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So This is the New Year? / I Don't Feel Any Different: Cito & J.P. to Return; Marcum to Be Examined Today; Team Other Than the Jays to Play the O's Tonight

Today's Star confirms that an extension for Cito will be announced sometime during this homestand. The article, written by Richard Griffin, draws what I agree is the overwhelmingly likely conclusion - J.P. Ricciardi will likely also be back next season. Not that it is impossible for a manager to be retained while a G.M. is fired, but for J.P. to be announcing Cito's return, I've got to think that he, too, will be back next season. J.P. has some real work to do this offseason, in my opinion. I think what he needs to do is deal with a few problem areas, and not in the way he's done it in the past where he acquires a plethora of journeymen and let them fight it out. I also think that this season and last have made clear that lots of injuries and veterans falling off a cliff isn't the exception to a team's season, it's the norm. Therefore, he must plan accordingly. But I'm not distressed to see J.P. returning - I have my doubts about him, but I do think he's got the team on the verge of something big. The only problem is that there are a lot of questions around this team and things could also go bad in a hurry.

In other news, Shaun Marcum will be examined today after leaving yesterday's game with some numbness in his pitching hand. Marcum also apparently felt some numbness in his forearm. He doesn't think there's any ligament problem, and because he doesn't see a job in the starting rotation as a sure thing for him next season, is anxious to get back on the mound if all is well to show what he can do. I can understand that, but my guess, and my hope, is that the Jays will be cautious with Marcum, upon whom the Jays are relying quite a lot next season.

Cito promised that we fans would see a "different team" tonight, and that's good after yesterday's debacle. I'm hoping that means Thigpen and Snider and Lind moved up in the order, not, say, Bautista at SS and Lind at 1st base. Also, why no Richmond yesterday after Marcum had to leave? Might as well, no?

Thanks to Death Cab for Cutie for today's title.