2004 Toronto Blue Jays season

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2004 Toronto Blue Jays
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Rogers, CEO Paul Godfrey, General Manager J.P. Ricciardi
Manager(s) Carlos Tosca and John Gibbons
Local television The Sports Network
(Pat Tabler, Rod Black)
Rogers Sportsnet
(Rob Faulds, John Cerutti)
Local radio CJCL (AM)
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek, Mike Wilner)
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The 2004 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's twenty-eighth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing fifth in the American League East with a record of 67 wins and 94 losses, their worst record since 1980. The Blue Jays' radio play-by-play announcer, Tom Cheek, called every Blue Jays game from the team's inaugural contest on April 7, 1977 until June 3, 2004, when he took two games off following the death of his father – a streak of 4,306 consecutive regular season games and 41 postseason games.


Regular season[edit]


The 2004 season was a disappointing year for the Blue Jays right from the beginning. They started the season 0–8 at SkyDome and never started a lengthy winning streak. Much of that was due to injuries to All-Stars Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay among others. Although the additions of starting pitchers Ted Lilly and Miguel Batista and reliever Justin Speier were relatively successful, veteran Pat Hentgen faltered throughout the season and retired on July 24. Rookies and minor league callups David Bush, Jason Frasor, Josh Towers and others filled the void in the rotation and the bullpen; however, inconsistent performances were evident. Most starting pitchers did not pitch further than the sixth inning; thus, the overused bullpen contributed to the frequent relinquishing of early scoring leads.

The offense really sputtered due to the injuries of Wells, Delgado, Catalanotto and others, although in their absence, Josh Phelps emerged as the team's go to guy, hitting 12 homers and driving in 51 runs before being limited to playing against left-handed pitching and was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Five different catchers were used: Greg Myers, Bobby Estalella, Kevin Cash, Gregg Zaun, and rookie Guillermo Quiróz. Greg Myers was injured running the bases in Minnesota, early in the season, and was lost for the year. Bobby Estalella was called up, but he proved to be brittle as well. Gregg Zaun landed the starting catching job for the rest of the season. Kevin Cash continued to struggle from an offensive standpoint and would be moved in the offseason. The highly touted Guillermo Quiróz was promoted from the minors near the end of the season.

With the team struggling in last place and mired in a five-game losing streak, manager Carlos Tosca was fired on August 8, 2004 and was replaced by first-base coach John Gibbons through the end of the season. The Jays' trying year would also touch long-time radio announcer Tom Cheek, who had to break his streak of calling all 4,306 regular season games in franchise history, upon the death of his father. Cheek had to take more time off later to remove a brain tumor, and by the end of the season, Cheek only called the home games.

Nevertheless, prospects Russ Adams, Gabe Gross, and Alex Ríos provided excitement for the fans. Adams hit his first major league home run in his second game, in which Gross also earned his own first major league grand slam. Alex Ríos was among the MLB Rookie of the Year Award candidates. However, the award went to Bobby Crosby of the Oakland Athletics. Rookie pitchers David Bush, Gustavo Chacín and Jason Frasor also showed promise for the club's future. The Blue Jays' lone MLB All-Star Game representative in 2004 was pitcher Ted Lilly.

On October 2, 2004, the Toronto Blue Jays announced the dismissals of pitching coach Gil Patterson and first-base coach Joe Breeden, effective at the end of the season. One day later, the Blue Jays finished the 2004 campaign with a 3–2 loss against the New York Yankees in front of an announced crowd of 49,948. However, the Jays' annus horribilis continued after the game, when it was announced that former pitcher and current TV broadcaster John Cerutti died suddenly of natural causes at the age of only 44.

More losses to the Jays family came in the offseason. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member Bobby Mattick, the manager from 1980 to 1981 and perhaps the best baseball man in the organization, suffered a stroke and died at the age of 89. Mattick had also served as the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Blue Jays. A few days before Christmas, the Jays also mourned the loss of former first baseman Doug Ault, who had hit two home runs in the team's inaugural game in 1977; he was only 54 years old.

Rogers Communications, the owner of the Jays, purchased SkyDome from Sportsco International in November 2004 for approximately $25 million CAD ($21.24 million USD), just a fraction of the construction cost.

Just days after superstar Carlos Delgado became a free agent after the club refused arbitration, the Jays announced the signing of Manitoban third baseman Corey Koskie, formerly of the Minnesota Twins. One month after Koskie was inked, the Jays traded pitching prospect Adam Peterson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for corner infielder/DH Shea Hillenbrand.

Season standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 101 61 0.623 57–24 44–37
Boston Red Sox 98 64 0.605 3 55–26 43–38
Baltimore Orioles 78 84 0.481 23 38–43 40–41
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 70 91 0.435 30½ 41–39 29–52
Toronto Blue Jays 67 94 0.416 33½ 40–41 27–53

Notable transactions[edit]

  • April 9, 2004: Gregg Zaun was signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[2]
  • May 21, 2004: Bobby Estalella was signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[3]
  • May 27, 2004: Marvin Benard was signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[4]
  • June 7, 2004: Adam Lind was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 2004 amateur draft. Player signed June 30, 2004.[5]
  • September 2, 2004: Marvin Benard was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.[4]

2004 Draft picks[edit]

Source [6]

The 2004 MLB Draft was held on June 7–8. The Blue Jays had two compensation picks.

Round Pick Player Position College/School Nationality Signed
1 16 David Purcey LHP Oklahoma United States 2004–07–20
1 32* Zach Jackson LHP Texas A&M United States 2004–07–23
2 57 Curtis Thigpen C Texas United States 2004–07–09
3 83* Adam Lind 1B South Alabama United States 2004–06–16
3 87 Danny Hill RHP Missouri United States 2004–06–16
4 117 Casey Janssen RHP UCLA United States 2004–06–16
5 147 Ryan Klosterman SS Vanderbilt United States 2004–06–22
6 177 Preston Patton OF Texas A&M United States
7 207 Randy Dicken RHP Shippensburg United States 2004–06–16
8 237 Rhame Cannon 1B The Citadel United States 2004–06–16
9 267 Joseph Metropoulos 1B Southern California United States 2004–06–16
10 297 Brian Hall 2B Stanford United States 2004–06–16
24 717 Jesse Litsch RHP South Florida Community College United States


2004 Toronto Blue Jays
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Game log[edit]

2004 Game Log

Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO

Award winners[edit]

All-Star Game

  • Ted Lilly, Pitcher [7]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse SkyChiefs International League Marty Pevey
AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats Eastern League Mike Basso
A Dunedin Blue Jays Florida State League Omar Malavé
A Charleston Alley Cats South Atlantic League Ken Joyce
Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays New York–Penn League Dennis Holmberg
Rookie Pulaski Blue Jays Appalachian League Gary Cathcart

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: New Hampshire[8]


  1. ^ Ted Lilly Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ Gregg Zaun Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ Bobby Estalella Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  4. ^ a b Marvin Benard Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  5. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/l/lindad01.shtml
  6. ^ "Feature: 2004 Free Agent Draft Pick Compensation". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Blue Jays All-Stars | bluejays.com: History
  8. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]

Preceded by
2003 Toronto Blue Jays season
2004 Toronto Blue Jays Season
Succeeded by
2005 Toronto Blue Jays season