Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Matt Stairs walks between the raindrops

It seems as though this is a post that we've been ready to write for months now, but every time we're about to commit our thoughts to the blog, Matt Stairs hits a game-changing homer, and we feel like a chump for having thought it.

But really, there's no one on the Jays roster who has escaped criticism more than the man from Tay Creek, N.B.. We're sure that it doesn't hurt his cause that he's a good, hockey-lovin' Canadian boy who has heart and grit and is a leader in the locker room (as if any of us would know that), but Stairs' production as a DH/Corner outfielder has been subpar all year.

For the month of July, Stairs is hitting .121, with a .521 OPS, one homer and three RsBI in 11 games while striking out in 15 of his 40 plate appearances. That just ain't no good.

For a good chunk of the season, it was hard to call Stairs out because he was actually leading the team in homers. But given a bit more time in this season and a bit more perspective, it's hard to tip your cap to the man for being the best of an outrageously feeble bunch.

Stairs is roughly on pace for about 16 homers and 50-odd RsBI for the season. No matter how much we love the guy, those are just not the sort of numbers that you can carry in your lineup for any extended amount of time, especially from a guy who is hitting somewhere in the middle of the lineup.

Telling sad tales about the feeble offense
Stairs might be struggling this month, but check out the OPS for a few of the Jays this month if you really want to ruin your day:

Gregg Zaun: .386
Rod Barajas: .451
Brad Wilkerson: .484
Scott Rolen: .573
David Eckstein: .560


The Ack said...

As Rance has mentioned approximately 3 times per at-bat for the last 4 weeks, "Matt's swing is just a little long right now".

Also, Scott Rolen is apparently a "good breaking ball hitter", David Eckstein is a guy "who knows how to win", and Lyle Overbay is "the key to this lineup".

Having said that, I still love me some Rance, especially when he rips guys for letting fastballs down the heart sail on by.

Joanna said...

I'm always a little impressed by the way Rance some how keeps it together in the face of such incompetence.

The Ack said...

^^ you mean on the field, or in the seat beside him?

Tao of Stieb said...


You know, with the right partner, Rance could be very good. And in fact, if you were to forcibly eject Jesse Barfield from the booth, you may end up with a good team of Hughson and Rance.

Still, our dream is to have Dan Pleasac doing the colour for the Jays. Caught him in a game earlier this year when he did an inning with (who was it? Musta been the Net.) He's working for WGN, but he'd offer the perfect blend of humour and insight.

And he might even run out with the World's Fastest Grounds Crew again.

Dave said...

No no, Rance is straight garbage. He has some solid insights but he CONSTANTLY talks over the play to the point where he is telling me why the runner on first ought to steal while the dude is sliding into second. With him as a colour man you basically lose any decent play-by-play that you need for the areas you can't see while watching from home.

Don't worry though, I emailed him about it so he'll calm it down.