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Wednesday, July 11
Feedback: Jays have been awful

The majority of users agree that the Blue Jays have been a huge disappointment this year. GM Gord Ash is mostly to blame, but a lack of clutch hitting and an ace-less staff haven't made Ash or manager Buck Martinez look very good this season. Here are some edited responses:

Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down
It starts from the top -- Gord Ash has been bleeding away talent like a badly hemorrhaging severed limb for years now. Additionally, part of his master plan includes re-stocking divisional rivals with some of his best performers with childish, impetuous glee. Is he simply unaware of the concept of an unbalanced schedule? Is there any question that no North American is currently worse at their job than Gord Ash is at his? He is incredibly lucky that he is pulling these asinine moves in a country like Canada -- if his act were to be emulated by an American GM the question wouldn't be 'why did he get absolutely nothing for a third baseman capable of 35 HRs?' but 'is there enough of the body recognizeable for an open-coffin service?' Ash has betrayed the good nature and patience of the nation that he represents, and would be long gone in most other organizations.

Robb Sherwin
Fort Collins, Colo.

Make your move Gord
Time for Gord to put up or shut up! He needs to sign the big free agents and stop messing around with the middle of the pack, or go with a youth movement and start trading the dead weight (Loaiza, Hamilton, and Halladay). It's all or nothing now. I'm sick of these ridiculous trades, and free agents that keep us around .500. Stop screwing the fans, and let us enjoy our team.

Ryan Miller
Fountain Valley, Calif.

Youngsters are stepping up
I would be lying if I said that this season hasn't been a disappointment. However, instead of dwelling on the negatives, there has been a few positives during the first half of the season for the Jays. The biggest positive would have to be the play of some of their young kids, Bob File has been sensational, we all knew Cesar Izturis was a great fielder but so far has shown he can handle the bat as well and Luis Lopez is making the Batista move look good.

Peter DeMarco
Waterloo, Ontario

Hey management, Wake up!
I agree with your 1st half report card. Honestly the hitting has been totally disappointing! I would have guessed the offense to be a lot stronger based on last year's performance. However the pitching is no surprise. When will management realize that other teams' castoffs are not the answer (Parris, Loaiza)? Which leads me to management. Not so long ago I thought that Gord Ash was a miracle worker, making a medium to low payroll team competitive. But as of late I am losing my trust. They appear content to let the pitching staff flounder, and go out and pick guys like Deion Sanders!!

Jason L. Spurrell
Alberta, Canada

It all starts with pitching
I would love to see Pedro Astacio come to the East to Toronto. He is a proven pitcher who would dominate more in the American League, I think, with more pitcher-friendly ballparks than the National League. I think Toronto should look to the NL for starters who are struggling but still look good or put up decent numbers like Woody Williams, Jason Schmidt or even Bobby J. Jones. But what Toronto needs are Aces, Leaders, and Players who play like every game was their last; someone needs to step up.

Gemal Brangman
Fairfax, Va.

Wanted: A good starting pitcher
Hitting, I feel right now is just out of sync. The whole lineup can rebound right back into the same production as last year with the help of consistent pitching. Trust me … I have followed them long enough to know hitting is NOT the issue here. Get rid of Loaiza and Joey Hamilton. They are absolutely no good. Make some moves, but don't trade off Shannon Stewart, arguably an All-Star and still young at that. Jose Cruz is expendable, Homer Bush too. Trade a combo of those four and get a solid starter NOW.

Raul Arreola
San Diego, Calif.

Time to clean out front office
It is time to change the chemistry on this team. The Jays have had the same cast of characters for four years, under three managers -- with similar results. This is an average team at best. Outside of Mondesi, the players on this team lack the heart and character of a winner. Ownership and management should consider re-tooling the entire roster. The Jays now enjoy the luxury of being under local ownership, which results in accountability. Rogers Communications must take a serious look at the front office. It may be time for Ash et al to exit. Could the return of Pat Gillick to the retro Jays (see Buck Martinez and Tony Fernandez) be in the cards? Hopefully!

Paul Basran

What a letdown
I was really looking forward for the Jays to become a playoff contender this year. Then Sirotka was gone for the season before he pitched and the batters became a strike out machines. The rotation was never that good with Mr "he thinks he can win 18" Esteban Loaiza, and Mr. "I've barely won 10 games in 3 years" Joey Hamilton. These guys are such a joke … the bullpen was pretty good, but now is overused. I don't really think anyone is a must keep, even Delgado, after his monsterous season, reminds me of Joe Carter. 250 hitter and bad hitter with RISP. I was also first a Buck Martinez fan while he was a commentator at TSN but now I know he really didn't know THAT much. He's often too late to make a change.

Kenji Nomura

Bitterness runs North
Buck Martinez is an awful manager and Gord Ash is the worst GM in baseball. We need to trade Cruz Jr. because he is certain to slump and get back to his garbage self in the second half. Alex Gonzalez is a one way player and Felipe Lopez needs to get a chance to play in the bigs. Carlos Delgado is showing that he is not capeable of hitting over .300 and the pitching staff is the worst in the American League. It's time to let Stewart, Delgado and Mondesi play with the kids (L.Lopez, F. Lopez, C. Izturis, V. Wells, C. Carpenter, Koch, Halladay, Escobar.) and say so long to the rest. Maybe in 2002 the Jays will again reach the top of the Eastern Division.

Ari Waldman

Put a fork in the Jays
The pitching is awful and I don't see any help coming this year. They put half the staff up on waivers and still nobody would take them. The hitting is a huge disappointment in anyone's books. Fletcher? What's with a .200 batting average from a catcher who gets stolen on at will? On the other hand Cruz is really coming into his own and we can only hope that Ash makes the right trade because it will be a miracle if Cruz is still here come October. Ditto for Stewart. Short of the kind of miracle that does happen from time to time in baseball I think we would have to say that Jays are pretty much toast for 2001.

Kerry Gordon

What did you expect?
In my opinion the Blue Jays first half has not been as disappointing as everyone says. With the loss of David Wells and Mike Sirotka, the pitching staff was not expected to be great. Esteban Loaiza has never been a proven pitcher and younger pitchers such as Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay have proven that they can not handle the major leagues. In the second half of the year the Jays should be looking to ship Cruz who has been playing well of late and still has some trade value. After shipping Cruz, Vernon Wells should be brought up so he has time to develop as a major leaguer now for next season.

Jonathan Kaplan
Lynbrook, N.Y.

What about Bob?
Biggest suprise is … Paul Quantrill??? Let's get serious!!! I am shocked and amazed that there was NO mention of pitcher Bob File. Take a look at his numbers from the first half season: 3-1, 1.74 ERA, 28 G, 41.1 IP, 22 H, 17 BB, 23 K. This rookie relief pitcher has been a "human band-aid" for this ball club and this bullpen. Bob File certainly deserves the "Biggest Surprise" accolades for this underachieving team.

Brian Burnett