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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts on John Farrell...and the Manny rumors

I don't really know that much about him. I do know from being forced to listen to Red Sox games on my drive home from work that he has a good reputation in Boston. Players seem to enjoy playing for him and he was held in high regard for his work with the developing pitchers on the Boston staff. That being said, Manny Ramirez said he would like to play for a manager like Farrell and that scares me a bit. I'm not sure Manny being in your corner is something you would put on your resume. Otherwise I'm happy with the move. Toronto's one chance to be competitive in the near future is to develop our young pitching and Farrell can help with that. I like that he brought back Walton and Butterfield, I like that he indicated that he might even consider a bunt once in awhile, and I like that Toronto didn't overspend to get a big name creep like Bobby Valentine.
Now, back to Manny. Manny has gone on record saying he likes John Farrell, would like to play for a manager like him, and had liked Toronto since the 80's when the franchise heavily tapped the Dominican Republic for players. Now these were just offhand comments which will undoubtedly translate into nothing, but it's fun to consider. I'm sure, like everyone else, my initial reaction was "Oh God, please NO". But after thinking about it, I don't know......IF Manny is healthy, IF Toronto doesn't need to break the bank to sign him, IF he agreed to a one year contract.....Manny sure would look good in the middle of our lineup. The A.L. East is heavy with quality lefthanded starters. Lester, Price, Sabathia, Pettite, and (let's just face it) Cliff Lee. A 3-4-5 of Bautista, Ramirez, and Wells would even the playing field quite a bit. Granted, this is assuming Manny has something left and isn't completely washed up which I don't think he is. Besides, I can't imagine even a washed up Manny Ramirez not bettering the offensive numbers of Lyle Overbay. Yeah he's a headache, yeah Adam Lind will never be Overbay at first base, yeah at some point Manny will decide he's done enough and want to go home....but a one year, incentive-heavy contract? I think I'd do it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My two cents on Doc-tober...

I'm surprised there's even a debate about this. How can one not be happy for Halladay? Yeah, he's wearing Phillies red instead of Jays teal/black/baby blue/white/silver/etc but so what? We won 85 games this year, we have Drabek waiting in the wings, and frankly I feel a lot better about the future of this franchise than I did at this time two years ago. And yet, I see this bitterness, this resentment, this entitlement towards Doc and his 2010 success. Why? We're not talking about Alex Rios, who pulled an Alex-being-Manny and quit on us. We're not talking about A.J. Burnett who opted out of his contract to sign with the one team that would hurt our chances the most. He's not David Wells, Shea Hillenbrand, or Raul Mondesi who whined, complained, and otherwise pouted their way out of town. Halladay gave this franchise everything he had for over a decade. He could have left before this season, but he didn't. He didn't leave until it was clear that Toronto wasn't going to be able to pay him anywhere near market-value. He wanted to play in October, something that didn't seem to be in the Jays immediate future. And when he finally was dealt, he was gracious about it. It was bittersweet to be sure, but he wished us well and we, for the most part, wished him well. I think most Jays fans still feel this way, but clearly the bitter has overtaken the sweet, at least for some. I think a lot of it has to do with Toronto's unexpected success this season. If we had just kept Halladay, could we have been in contention? The fact is, we probably would have. Doc, Romero, Marcum, Cecil, and Morrow would have been among the best rotations in baseball. But, at the risk of cliche-ing myself to death, hindsight never needs contact lenses. A lot of things went right for Toronto this year. Jose Bautista, for instance. He hit a few more home runs than one might have thought, you might have read about that. Vernon Wells, surprisingly, looked like Vernon Wells. The Braves agreed to give us Yunel Escobar in return for an older, not as talented, version of Yunel Escobar. The back three of that aforementioned rotation gave us seasons we had no right to expect. John Buck did his best Bengie Molina impersonation and gave us one very solid season at the plate before (most likely) moving on. John McDonald finished with the same slugging % as Jorge Posada (it's true, look it up). Even Kevin Gregg finished with good numbers, which was a shock to all of us who watched him pitch into trouble seemingly every game. Even disappointing seasons from Hill, Lind, and Tallet were absorbed by good pitching and 257 home runs. it turns out...if we had held on to Halladay for this one last year of his contract, we might be getting ready for a Texas - Toronto game five tonight. But, of course, all of this is speculation. No one expected 85 wins from this roster. The Phillies offered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. A.A. was able to wrangle two more top prospects out of the deal. Halladay wouldn't be back in 2011. It was a deal that had to be made. For all the Jays fans who cringe everytime they see Halladay make a batter look foolish and wonder what might have been...relax. As I said before, the future is bright. Now is the time to look forward. Look forward to Drabek and Arencibia, look forward to the resurgance of Lind and Hill, look forward to Tallet being waived, look forward to Burnett giving up 5 runs in 3+ innings in Game 4 of the ALCS, and look forward to Doc finally having his day. He deserves it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just what everyone has been waiting for....

The thoughts, the ramblings, the whinings, and the hopes of that rarest of species... the Blue Jays fan born, raised, and currently residing in the lower 48. Please excuse my spelling of color, center, and Canadian. In turn, I promise to not be distracted by hockey season. I don't even like football all that much, north or south of Niagara Falls. I am a Blue Jays fan 365 days a year. I've never done a blog before, but I do like to rant. I figured by starting after all the lockers at Rogers Centre have been cleaned out and there's no one left for Kevin Gregg to walk, I would at least have time to get the hang of this before anything meaningful happens. In the meantime I will be the last to congratulate Doc on his no-hitter, and I will turn my immediate attention to cheering loudly for whoever goes to the Bronx for Game 3 of the ALCS.