Reading news stories about the Jays this morning I get the feeling everyone else in the world thinks the Jays are doomed to last place next. I really don't get how come we are so quick to expect the worst, yeah we didn't make a move at the winter meetings. So what? The season doesn't start for another four months. It's not like we are the White Sox, trading away guys for pennies on the dollar.
Everyone's favorite writer, Richard Griffin, says it's 'Time For Blue Jays to trade Roy Halladay'. Why? Well because we didn't win the AL East last year. Anyway a couple of points I have to comment on:
Halladay is being abused. He will never publicly criticize the organization.
Halladay is being abused? The man will make $14.25 million next year. If that's abuse, where do I sign up? I know hyperbola is great and all but let's save the term abuse for, you know, someone that's being badly treated.
... the Jays finished fourth last year, with a better chance of finishing last in the AL East next year than of placing third.
I know being negative is the way to sell papers and all but have the Orioles improved themselves greatly and I haven't noticed. For that matter have the Sox and Rays improved in some manner I've missed out on. Even the Yankees, up till this point, have added one amazing pitcher but have lost a handful of players. And, if you are a fan of baseball history, you will know that the Yankees several times in their past have added great free agents only to see the team not improve.
For that matter aren't there positions the Jays should see improvement in. I mean, yeah we are down a couple of starting pitchers, but Casey Janssen is returning, do we not feel he could fill one of those holes. And we do have a number of good young arms even if we don't add anyone before spring training.
Other spots? Who doesn't expect a better year from Overbay? A year further removed from the hand injury. And, with any smarts at all Cito will sit him against lefties next year.
Aaron Hill will be back. Now I'd like them to try him at short but even if he comes back playing second base that's an improvement. And didn't anyone notice how well Scott Rolen was swinging the bat at the end of last season? Figuring that to carry over some, we are better off at third. And for the times he is hurt, Bautista isn't a terrible option.
The outfield? I'm hopeful Rios seems some return of his power with Cito guidance. And he can't possibly hit as poorly with runners on as he did last year. Wells was very good last year when he wasn't hurt and there is no reason to believe he'll spend as much time on the DL as last year. And a full year of Lind can not be worse than Stewart/Wilkerson/Mench etc were last year. And, this year, if one of them gets hurt, Snider looks like someone that can fill in.
DH was a deep black hole last year, and even if we don't add someone, Snyder in the DH role couldn't be worse. But I am willing to bet we pick up someone by spring. There is a glut of DH types available someone will be left over when the music stops.
That leaves short and catcher. Scoot did well at short last year, now I hate him in the leadoff spot but we could do far worse at short. And if we happened to get Furcal, so much the better. Catcher? Well I'll never be a fan of Barajas, but last year is about what we could expect from him and really who in the AL East has a much better catcher. The backup? Zahn was just awful last year, even if the backup is Thigpen, there weren't be much of a drop off.
The bullpen was a strength last year and there is no reason to think it won't even be better this year. Ryan is a year further removed from Tommy John. Accardo should be healthy. And we know what Downs, Carlson and Tallett can do. I would like them to trade Ryan to fill one of the holes, but we shall see.
In other words......Frig, stop the crying, we aren't the Royals, or the Padres or the Nationals or the Pirates. Let's get some perspective. Yeah it would be nice if we could sign Manny and 3 starters that finish in the top ten of the Cy Young voting but we ought to be a fun team to watch next year.
Oh....speaking of Doom and Gloom....non-Hall of Fame writer Bob Elliott's tea leaves told him the team was for sale. No, he has no evidence other than Ted Rogers died.