Yesterday's Star had a long article on Shannon Stewart and what has been an extremely difficult season for him. Stew's cri de cour:
"This is like a bad dream. Things happen in life that are unexpected. I went through a lot in the off-season. It was kind of difficult just because of the situation. I knew I wasn't going to be the guy (here). The way I look at it, I was more like insurance. I've had the opportunity to play, but it's been weird.
"I don't think people really understand how hard it's been on me. Not saying just the (lack of) playing, but a lot of stuff. It's been difficult. It's been more of an eye-opener because I didn't think it was going to be like this. What can you do? If you don't go out there, if I don't play well, then the other guy's got to play. I haven't lit it up. To be honest, I haven't felt comfortable since the spring.
"I know we're losing and you've got to play the guys that are producing. The organization's doing what they can to try to mix things up, but ...that's the hardest thing. The reality of it is that this role that I'm in, I'm not doing anybody any good right now. I'm not doing the team any good. I'm not doing myself any good. It's like, what am I going to do next year? Hopefully, I'll keep working till I find it. They might want to do something else. It might get to the point where they might want to bring in other guys and see what they can do."
I can empathize with Stewart. He really sounds like he's feeling sorry for himself, but he doesn't seem like the kind of player to take those feelings out on teammates or out on the field, and he's not complaining about the team or anything. Nor does he have reason to, as he's gotten plenty of playing time despite underperforming. But if both the Jays and Stewart himself are resigned that it's not going to work out for him here in Toronto, it might be best to let both parties move on now. Even if Wilkerson doesn't work out in the outfield, I think the Jays would be better served to give Lind another shot, and if he's brought back, he needs to play. It doesn't seem likely that Stewart will still be with the team a month from now.