So, non Hall-of-Famer Bob Elliott has an article in today's Sun entited "Gaston Writes Off '09" I know the writers don't usually come up with the headlines, but my guess is that's not exactly what Cito's interview at yesterday's winter meetings was intended to convey. That said, it's certainly true that Cito was less than rosy about the 2009 Jays:
"We're not moving backward, we're moving forward, we'll have a good team in 2010 and for a long time." "We'll have Shaun Marcum back (in 2010) and we'll have Dustin McGowan back in May or June this year and we have some good kids like Travis Snider and Adam Lind. But right now ... today ... we have three starters." "I'm looking forward to the season because it's going to be a challenge. We have a chance to be thorns in the side of other teams."
Wait, what about 2009? Are we really just writing it off as a "chance to be thorns in the side of other teams?" Sounds like Cito told a classic Kinsley gaffe, named for American political writer MIchael Kinsley, who described it as when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
I'm glad Cito thinks we're going to be good in 2010. I agree. But what about this season? Is it so unbelievable that the Jays might contend? Just because the Yankees signed Sabathia? And have the high offer out on Burnett? And sill want to ink Lowe after signing A.J.? And are also pursuing Sheets? And are in the process of trading the terrible Melky Cabrera for the very good Mike Cameron? And got Nick Swisher for spare parts? Ok, now I'm getting depressed. No doubt, it is tough to compete with teams who have the financial ability to pay multiple marquis free agents when the Jays cannot even muster up the dough for one, despite huge holes that could be well addressed by signings. But for whatever reason, perhaps delusion, perhaps not, I refuse to count the Jays out yet.
Perhaps, as the Drunks suggest, Cito's statement can be seen as a way of taking pressure off the young players this year as they develop. I am excited to see a full year of some of our young Jays. Or maybe the Jays will still make a few waves that convince the fans, once again, that their beloved azure corvids are contenders. Either way, I continue to believe that this season will be an interesting and fun one to watch. If the Jays are truly writing off the year, it's hard to imagine how Ricciardi will possibly return, though he has defied death before.
Thanks to the great songwriter Elvis Costello for supplying today's title.