Archive for July, 2012

This is no time to get emotional

Well, July 31st came and went and AA made some peculiar moves. Overall, I do think it’s a shame that AA doesn’t feel as if 2012 is the year to try to make the playoffs. I’m not saying he should’ve sold the farm, but the window is there this year. Sure, we’d be betting a lot on one game. But wow, when we looked back it would be a fun ride.
Besides, as we saw from the Giants and Cardinals the last couple of years… Anything can happen once you get into the postseason.

I won’t go into the trades much because there are many other pages out there that would break them down better than I could. So I’ll just say that I will miss Snider and the potential of Snider, whether it’s real or it was imagined. He’d been through a lot with us as fans and I guess we felt an affinity with him. Afterall, like we feel we’ve been mislead sometimes by Rogers, he might’ve as well. We had that in common. Except he is now with a contender and we’re still in 5th in baseball’s toughest division. Well, good for you Snider. You certainly were patient and seemed to stay a good guy. I will be watching, like many fans and I hope to see you play for a long time in a Pirates uniform.

Speaking of baseball’s toughest division, it was said in ST that a lot would’ve had to go right for the Jays to make the playoffs this year. But I guess one thing we didn’t count on is that so much would go wrong for other teams. And the additional wild card has helped. We should not be this close to a playoff berth. Really. We’re a mediocre team.

So I guess that’s what puzzles me… AA made no significant offseason moves to make a statement that we could be in this thing. So I guess he didn’t feel like we were. However, we lose some of our key pieces like basically our whole rotation (close anyhow), our closer, José for a spell, JP… and our bullpen which was to be so great has basically been dismantled already — and yet WE’RE STILL IN THIS THING not just mathematically but even logically too. We are still masters of our own destiny. Which begs the question — WAS AA REALLY OFF THE MARK IN HIS THINKING THAT THIS TEAM COULDN’T CONTEND THIS YEAR? Cause I got to think if we were healthy, we’d be in the WC lead. And if AA is what we think he is, and he knows how good this team is… Why didn’t he go for it over the offseason?

My fuzzy logic leads to be to believe the worst… Rogers. AA is not allowed to go for it. He’s not allowed to spend money. And because he’s not allowed to spend money, he has to protect the only currency he has — his prospects. So he won’t trade them away for some magic beans that may or may not amount to anything. He’s gotta be cautious.

It’s too bad. Because we were all in it with the Jays this year. We bought the new gear. We got excited. We came out to the park (don’t get me started on how the park had no upgrades the last two years either) so far at a clip far surpassing last year. And the numbers on Rogers Sportsnet are the highest in years I believe. Maybe the highest ever. I don’t think the season was lost today on deadline day. It was lost in the winter when we didn’t do much to upgrade this team and instead hoped “things would have to go very right”.

There are no certainties in baseball. So I refer back to my Giants and Cardinals examples. AA has shown himself to be very cautious, prudent and calculated. But I’m not sure that wins the endgame sometimes. This game is best played on hunches and on heart. AA is building something. And yes, I’m still on board at the moment.

But man, what a boring baseball movie this would be so far. The AA story is devoid of emotion. And as fans, we want to get emotional. We’re ready. This town is ready. But they’re making it very, very hard…

Rawr

The Tigers are in town. The Tigers, our ‘true’ rivals. I rue the day they moved the Jays and Tigers to separate divisions. For those of you who are too young to remember, the pre-WS years enemies were these Detroit Tigers. And I miss it.

We had a lot in common with Detroit Tigers fans back then. We were both baseball towns that didn’t get a lot of respect until we won the division. Those 1984, 1985 and 1987 seasons are ones to remember. 1984 when the Tigers ran away with the division in the first month. And then 1985 when the young Blue Jays put it all together and won the pennant. And then the classic 1987 race that came down to the final day and… well… we all know how that ended. In fact, I should post more about that one — maybe in October.

In any case, it’s always fun to see the Tigers come to town. Detroit fans are always nice — we share a border. I went to school in Windsor and can tell you how alike the people are over that bridge. We went to Comercia Park last year and were thoroughly treated hospitably by all the fans during a 3 hour rain delay. Great conversations about life, baseball and just good people.

I hope when the realignment happens that is rumoured, we’ll be put back with them. It just makes sense.

And I bet Ernie Harwell would agree.

Feel sorry for Ricky… right

In 1985, I was a young teenager at my local mall, Woodbine Centre. As I was walking through the mall, I see a man who looks like Jimmy Key, the Blue Jays left-hander, sitting with his kids. I tentatively walk over, star struck. “Excuse me, are you Jimmy Key?”. He smiles warmly and says “Why, yes I am”, in a slight southern drawl. I guess my eyes probably went wide like saucers and I stammered out something like “You’re having a great season, congratulations, good luck and I hope you keep it going”. He thanks me and here I am today, 27 years later, telling you what a great guy Jimmy Key is.

Last year, in 2011, I’m walking with my nephew outside Rogers Centre on Bremner Blvd. We have just left the Jays afternoon game and are wearing our Blue Jays gear. We’re fans. Traffic is thick and we see a white Range Rover with California plates, stopped like every other vehicle waiting for the light. We look closer and see none other than Ricky Romero at the wheel. Wearing our Jays gear I remind you, we wave to Ricky like he’s a hero. He stares right through us. We’re actually standing almost in front of his vehicle cause he’s waiting in traffic. We wave again… and again nothing. Not an eyebrow raise. Not a slight wave from one of his two hands on the wheel. Nada. Even a slight nod would’ve appeased us and made us think he’s the coolest guy ever.

And I’m supposed to ‘feel bad’ for Ricky Romero as Jon Morosi from Fox Sports suggests…?

No. I feel for our starting pitching and our team. But sympathy? How can we feel bad for a professional athlete that we don’t really ‘know’ that makes more this season than we probably will in our lifetimes? I mean, I’m not going to ‘boo’ the guy like some other ‘fans’, but people — he’s living the life, doing what he’s always dreamed of doing and taken care of quite well for it. I’m sure he’ll be fine…

Besides, I’ll save the actual emotional-caring about someone for my real heroes.

Like number 22. Now there was a class act to care about and cheer for.

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