Friday, January 8, 2010

That funky four-hole

If there was one Jay that we felt pretty good about going into next season, it was Adam Lind. There's something about the ease with which he hits the ball hard that makes us think that his performance is the most likely to be repeated.

Some of that easy-breezy feeling just left our being with a big sigh when we read this article from Jordan Bastian on, wherein Lind indicates that he'd rather not hit in the cleanup because "There's just something funky about that four-hole." Oh, dear.

What's worse still is that The Manager has also gotten into Lind's head on this. Rather than reassuring Lind that such thoughts are irrational, negative and unconstructive, and assuring the Jays' best hitter that he can do any goddamned thing he wants up there because he's an awesome hitting machine, The Manager has taken to reinforcing the notion:

"If that's in his head, then it's not a good place to put him. We have to find somewhere else to put him."

Would it kill The Manager just to let a little sun shine into his players' worlds? Does he have to feed into their own inherent negativity?

Although his math was askew, Yogi Berra had it right when he said that "ninety percent of this game is half mental." In the early chapters of Dirk Hayhurst's The Bullpen Gospels (which can be pre-ordered right here at, and will be well worth your while, but more on that later), the Garfoose speaks at length about the debilitating power of his own negative thoughts, and the work that he had to do to battle back against his own self-doubt in order to progress and transcend into a better pitcher. It's a very revealing part of the book, and one that makes us worry a bit about Lind, the guy that we were so sure of.

(Mind you, if we we were making up the lineup, we'd hit Lind third anyhow. But there's probably no good for our own sense of well-being that can come from trying to make sense of The Manager's lineups.)

Friday Rock Out - The Hold Steady
To be honest, we haven't totally figured out what we think of the Hold Steady. But this is as good a rock'n'roll song as we can think of at the moment, so enjoy. Happy Friday, and congrats on making it through your first week of the new decade.


Ian H. said...

Obviously, I can't fully grasp the intricacies of hitting in the majors leagues (hell, I probably couldn't even hit a BP fastball), but what's the difference if Lind hits fourth or whether he hits first, or last?

Regardless of where you hit the in the lineup, the approach should be the same, right? Get on base (whether it be by via walk or hit).

Now that Cito has played into Lind's insecurities, it will be that much more difficult to get him to hit in the cleanup spot.

eyebleaf said...

I want to give Lind and Cito the benefit of the doubt on this one, because since they got together, it's been nothing but home runs, doubles and RsBI for young Adam. That being said, Lind should realize that he is clearly the ideal candidate to be batting 4th. Another 82 games and 333 at-bats with Vernon Wells batting cleanup? Let's please not go down that route again.

Def. looking forward to reading "The Bullpen Gospels."

Anonymous said...
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The Ack said...

Makes perfect sense. How do you think Millar wound up in the cleanup spot?

Cito: "Whaddya think there, Kev?"
Millar: "How's about the four-hole, skip?"
Cito: "Butter! Pencil the Cowboy in at cleanup."

Drew - LtB said...

I class the Hold Steady as an old fashioned good time. I have a hunch seeing them live in an appropriately-sized venue after an (in)appropriate amount of drinks could qualify as a religious experience.

Anonymous said...

If you're unclear on the Hold Steady you haven't seen them live. Plan to be off work the next day.

Massive band. Arena rock with a brain.


Random D-bag said...

Based on that one song, it's clear they've been listening to Springsteen.

Tao of Stieb said...

A band that evokes good Springsteen is probably a lot better than the actual Springsteen these days.

I guess with the Hold Steady, I keep thinking that they are similar to Guided By Voices, but not as drunkenly awesome. But I think on further review, they're not that similar.

I need happy, angry, drunken music. And booze. And maybe a stripper or two. Something to put a superficial smile on my face this weekend.

Drew - LtB said...

I might be in the 613 in a couple weeks. Booze and strippers all around.

Anonymous said...

So they are making the best offer to Anoldis Chapman? That's interesting.

Stedron said...

Saw Springsteen in November. Pretty impressive.

The Funky 4 hole is far less treacherous than the funky 2 hole!

Anonymous said...

Fuck Amazon. You can pre-order it from a real bookstore, too, ya know.

Anonymous said...


Buy any of the Hold Steady's first three records -- Boys and Girls in America is the most accessible, Separation Sunday is the most Sprinsteeny. There are recurring characters on all four records, a la Springsteen in the early days. Great lyrics overall (the lead singer is due to release a novel soon with a bigger publisher)

They're very much a drinking band, (have ben called the "new GBV" )though more fun than angry. The music isn't similar, but they're similar in that they provoke serious attacks of/on beer. At their Horsehoe shoe a few years ago there was more glass on the floor than any in recent memory.

The new record has some good songs on it, but it's the only one that's not unreservedly Great.

And if you want angry, do you know McClusky, the sadly demised Cardiff trio?


Fangarello said...

Drunk or sober, live or recorded, the hold steady are the best (and most poetic) rock and roll out there. Seeing them live is what I imagine seeing Springsteen in the 70's must have been like. And that picture of Adam Lind's swing triggers the same feelings in my soul. I like the 2-3 combo that is Hill-Lind. I just wish we could find that legitimite number 4 hitter. Maybe Ruiz later this season if all goes well for him? Having said that, I am not against putting Vernon in that spot on opening day. And who knows what Snider might be capable of this year?

QJays said...

I think Eyeb makes an excellent point - though it was not what I was thinking till I read it. Perhaps it's fine for Cito (i know, i know) to say "If that's what Lind wants, that's what Lind gets" so long as he adds "cause that guy absolutely rakes."
In a way, Cito is taking pressure off a young kid who will hit well for years to come -- and let's not forget that if he's fine with batting third, that's not such a bad thing. It's not like he wants a low pressure spot in the order.

mathesond said...

The Hold Steady is the best live band I have seen in I don't now how many years. Absolutely the best club/bar band around right now.

saxrdrunk said...

The Hold Steady rule!

Any of their albums are stellar. To "Anonymous 4:59", Stay Positive is fantastic! It's the sound of Craig Finn maturing. Better get used to it! Not sure if I'd pick that or Separation Sunday as their best, but you can't lose on either one.


Anonymous said...

The Zach Jackson era begins!

Anonymous said...

Mikey Lowell for DH!

KL said...

McLusky, The Hold Steady, Springsteen, and Adam Lind are four of my favourite things in the world. This post rules.

Check out Separation Sunday by THS, if you like concept albums about Catholicism, pimps, hookers, and Chinese restaurants. In my own personal best of the decade poll, it's my choice for #2.

nellybud said...

thanks for the youtube... hadn't seen THS on letterman.

if you like craig finn... i would suggest you try alejandro escovedo. may favorites are 'real animal' and 'gravity'.