Note from Hugo: Promoted from Fanposts. I thought this syc piece was great, and a great way for everyone to talk about why they are looking forward to watching (or not) this season.
This is no way an official Letterman Top ten list but just based on my glorious and never wrong opinion.
Feel free to comment and list your own top ten reasons. It's fun and interactive!!
Number 10 - Buck Martinez
Not many Jamie Campbell fans around these parts. Rogers went ahead this year and made a big change in the booth. They brought back Buck Martinez to do Play by play. I for one was happy with this decision. Not having anything to do with Jamie Campbell as a person. I just did not think he was a quality MLB Play by Play guy. Sometimes it seemed if he was in over his head. He never called out his Color guy for making stupid comments (Rance and Tabler) and got overly excited on some plays. I think if you want to have a successful product then it all starts with your TV guys. It might not be a "Sexy" reason to watch, but it will be a welcome change to a broadcast that got monotonous and boring over the last 3 years. Now can we please Get Evanka Osmak instead of Sam Cosentino as host?
More after the Jump:
Number 9 - The Overbay Trade
It has to happen sometime this year right? I think going forward and seeing what type of season he has will determine if we move him. I think Lyle has been a very good player for us, just maybe its time for a change. We will get that change this year (or next) when Wallace comes up. If Wallace is not ready this year I still think we should be able to move him around the ASB or Trade deadline. Even if we have to go with Ruiz and Brian dopirak for the rest of the year. I just hope Lyle has an ok season so we can get something good in return. (see Rolen, Scott)
Number 8 - Randy Ruiz
Yes I know that putting a platoon guy on your list can raise some eyebrows. But, I do think we might ave something here with Ruiz. Not in the sense of a perennial All Star player. Randy has hit the ball in every level he's been to. He's also been blocked on every team he's played for never getting a shot till now. Having a 30 year old Rookie is pretty rare now a days. I do think he is a perfect platoon guy for Overbay. I do not think that Ruiz could be an everyday player at 1B, But you can't begin to tell me he will be worse then Millar was last year. He's not going to hit .330 with 30 HR and 100 RBI. But he should be a guy we can depend on to hit in any situation. He's has power and I would gladly take a .280 with 10- 15HR and 50 + RBI season from him. I Just hope Cito will actually use him and not use Overbay vs Lefty's.
Number 7 - Cito vs The Players
So while every attempt last year to tell us the revolt was nothing, I still think this will become an issue this year. You cannot just brush it aside like it did not happen. I'm sure this goes on in other club houses as this was not the first time this happened in MLB history. The thing was that the players were tired of all the negativity coming from Cito and Co. We will never know what really went down and just kind of have the players side of things. No matter what in any kind of work type setting your Boss should not be a negative person. It's counter productive and people will eventually stop listening to you. Now the other part that I think people were mad at is Cito's old school way of doing things. We never stole bases, and he never pinched hit. He trotted Millar out in the clean up spot on purpose MORE THEN ONCE, and he over pitched our young arms to the tune of being 4th in pitcher abuse last year. This is his last year and will be lame duck manager as he should be. lets just hope AA has some say on things like who to play and who not to play.
Number 6 - Travis Snider
Moonraker! Will this be his year? big projections the last few years might have put alot of pressure on Travis to try and hit a HR every AB. While it's clear he might still need some time to learn to hit MLB pitching. Its pretty obvious he's wont learn anything in AAA. Snider will be a 35HR 100 RBI we just don't know when he's going to do it. Being only 22 im not going to sweat it. Spring has not been kind to Snider but ST games are not the best barometer to judge someone on. Some people say Cito has it in for him, maybe dishing out some tough love with sending him down last year. The bottom line is that he has to play and play every day. He seems to be a step above AAA and one step below MLB if that makes sense. I would like a great year from him, I think he might start slow and eventually come around. Lets just hope they give him a chance and do not send him down to AAA when he starts to slump.
Number 5 - Lead Of Hitter
Just because it's going to be a shit show if Jobau can't do the job. We all know Jobau can not hit Right handers at all. He is going to have to learn to get on base better and not try to mash everything he gets. He is mostly a pull hitter so I would like for him to use the whole field if we are going to keep him there. I think we can all say that barring any major miracles our Manager next year will not tolerate this kind of poop. Again nothing against Jobau, He is a great player to have. But should not be overused in any situation. Well who else to we have? Not much unless you want Gathwrong at the top the whole year. Unless we can trade for a lead off guy, the second best option we have would be Vernon Wells. While Cito wants VW in the clean up role, Presumably to strike out with the bases loaded instead of with only two guys on. I think VW would be an ok option but not one that solves the problem. So even for the fact we could end up with Randy Ruiz as the lead off guy. It's going to be fun to watch....or maybe not so much. Depends if your half full or half empty type of person.
Number 4 - Why do we have 3 closers?
Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs could all be our stopper this year. It's great we have some depth and maybe we will be getting rid of one or two guys. With no real closer type on this team we have three guys who "could" close on any given night. With this team in rebuilding mode a young closer type is what we should be after. I do not see these thee being a huge part of this franchise moving forward. Frasor and Downs have the most upside out of the three. Frasor is already getting interest from a few teams and could see him moved before ST breaks north or shortly after that. Downs will be moved before the Trade deadline, as every playoff team will want him. If Frasor gets moved soon, then Downs would be my man. When they move him, Gregg would take over unless they have plans for McGowen or Purcey. (which I don't see happening)
Number 3 - 2010 Draft
4 picks in the top 50 and 8 picks in the top 100. Rebuilding happens through the draft and development of players In order to be successful . I think that finally a major sports network covered the first round of the MLB draft last year. Hopefully this year too. The Jays 1st pick at number 11. No matter what... I have full confidence in AA. I think he knows that they have to draft the best player on the board (High school or college) instead of trying to draft to fill holes. I've never been really excited about the draft, but this year I'am more then excited to see how we do. Plus this being AA's first official draft as GM we automatically want to compare him to JP, and how much better he did.
Number 2 - Starting Rotation
Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Scrabble, Tallet to begin the season is an ok rotation. Marcum feels 100 percent and could be a sleeper. I think he will be our best starter this year. Romero looks to improve on a shaky second half. He has the talent to do it, I think he has a better year then last. Will improve on some things but wont blow you away with a 16 win season. Morrow is a riddle. He has a blow it by you fastball but his secondary pitches are bum bum. His control is a major issue but has some upside being in his middle 20's. If it all fails with him as a starter they can stick him in the pen as our stopper of the future. No harm no foul. Scrabble will continue to make strides this year, not sure how many games he will pitch in. I don't see 35 starts for him. If he fails then expect him to be sent down as with mcGowen and Litch returning im sure they wanna see if those guys can pitch still. I do not expect Brian Tellet to stay in the rotation for the whole year either. McGowen should be taking his spot when he's is able to pitch and rightfully so. Tallet was good last year for about the first 3-5 innings, after that not so much. He is a great long man/mop up guy and can be used for as a spot starter when ever you need him. Anything more then 10- 12 starts? I don't think so cito. I'am fully prepared to see The above 5 plus, McGowen, Eveland , Litch, Cecil, and Drabek to get some starts sometime this year. Can't forget about Richmond and Mils too.
Number 1 - Young Prospects
At the expense of my favorite player being traded we restocked our farm system with some great young players. Add to that the fact we already had some quality guys before that trade and we see to be on the right path. I fully expect to see kyle Drabek at some point this year. My guess is that it wont be untill September. I just dont see why we would force him through the system, this year just to compete for last place in the AL east. His upside will tremendous and if he's half the pitcher doc turned out to be I'll be happy. Brett Wallace is someone we can see pretty soon. Some factors might ave to fall in place thou. He has to rake at Las Vegas (which he will do) and Overbay has to have a bad year or get traded, Likely the latter as Cito wont sit Overbay over an unproven rookie. Maybe a ASB call up or sometime before that perhaps. I dont think you can keep him down in AAA all year specially if Overbay and Ruiz do not produce at all. Brian Dopriak could be another young gunner that could be a sleeper for us. Not sure how much time he will get at the MLB level this year. But I don't see the harm in seeing what you have with him. He might turn out to be some good trade bait in the log run. Specially with Wallace and Cooper coming along next. JP Arencibia is our Top prospect at Cather, with another one behind him. Two potential All Star catchers sounds great doesn't it? I really don't see the point of not having Arencibia on the roster at some point this year. He is having a good spring and should be on the opening day roster. But if it's not going to be playing everyday then I say some time at AAA and give him a mid season call up to take over the reigns from Buck and release Molina. I would also like to See Zach Stewart and Jenkins get a chance to show us what we have. The Jays have been using Stewart as a closer in ST games so I would like to see what they do with him this year. Jenkins might get a September call up, but that's it. I also woulden't mind seeing Marsinick and Pastornicky get some time at the show this year. I did want to add Hechevarria ( but do not want to jinx it) as I think he will be in the minors for the year with a September call up. If everything is good then he should be starting at SS next year for us.
All in all it's not going to be as bad as the Toronto Media thinks this year. Share your thoughts below.