Holy shitballs, who knew that Jays fans were so full-on thirsty for the opportunity for some good, old fashioned, staggeringly-moronic pants-shitting panic?
While there remain a lot of completely reasonable folks out there beating back the trolls with cool-headed logic, things sure have gone shit ape bonkers in the comments on this morning’s post about Eric Thames’ demotion. Because… y’know… what reason isn’t there to lose one’s mind after the completely reasonable and expected demotion of a guy who’d barely scraped past an at-his-worst Travis Snider on the depth chart, coming– as it did– on the heels of a great pitching performance from Drew Hutchison, a shitty road trip in which the club was two extra innings losses away from going 3-3 against very possibly the two best teams in baseball, and the thoroughly sane decision to demote Adam Lind, after the defensible– yet admittedly questionable– decision this winter to give one more go at squeezing some value out of what could have been an eminently team-friendly contract, had Lind ever managed to regain his 2009 form.
Thing is, I find it hard to entirely blame the casual– or dim-witted hardcore– fan for losing his or her shit when the ridiculous “Jays in Crisis” meme is being endorsed (read: milked for all its worth) by the mainstream media likes of Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, and Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun– who fills his piece with enough screaming idiocy to get it shit on by Toronto Sun readers and to make Griffin’s essay look rather quaint by comparison. These guys could combine forces to write as “Richard Simmons” and would still have trouble churning out this kind of panicky fucking dreck– but I bet they’d look fabulous doing it! HEYO!
“The buoyant optimism of spring training, the optimism of even a week ago, is guarded if at all apparent,” writes Simmons, as I begin gargling back the puke. “And just as troubling, has been the body language of several Jays players. Too many acting entitled, too many showing too little respect for the game, too many talking a better game than they have played.”
“Rather than talk like contenders,” he adds, about to drop a fourteen tonne shithammer onto our minds, “the Blue Jays have to play like them.”
Whoa! And apparently that has to start NOW, because, as Griffin says, “the result of Romero’s start on Tuesday will be huge for the Jays.”
“This series and this homestand are crossroads for the Blue Jays,” he tells us.
A crossroads!!! Good lord.
I mean, he creates terrific theatre for a throwaway series, I guess, but he sure as fuck is playing fast and loose with anything resembling the truth. This is a crossroads? Seriously?
It isn’t… I don’t know… kinda exactly where you’d expect a halfway decent team to have muddled their way to at this point in the year? I mean, this kind of doom and gloom might make sense if the Jays had been forecast to run away with the division or something, but when did they not have the look of a club that was going to be OK enough to keep their heads above water, hoping for some young players to over-perform, or to come up and give them a boost in the second half, to catch a break in the form of some poor play from their division rivals and maybe sneak into the second Wild Card spot? And how the fuck is that not still totally the case?
It’s not a sexy position to be in, granted, but they’re doing the best they can to find a combination of talent on the 25-man roster that works– and don’t get confused by Mike McCoy or David Cooper (or Rajai Davis against right-handers), because Vlad Guerrero and Travis Snider will be here as soon as they’re ready, and the knocks on the door from Travis d’Arnaud are getting louder with each passing week.
Yes, it’s easy for certain fans to get sanctimonious about the club not having done enough in the off-season to load the roster with talent, but that brick wall of an attitude is, I think, going to have to be run into over and over and over again, no matter how many times people are reminded that the Jays were spurned by some free agents, rightly felt other contracts being given out were absurdly bad, similarly felt the price in prospects was too rich for some trades, or didn’t have the MLB-ready pieces coveted in others.
It happens. And this ain’t sexy either, but it’s true: doing nothing is better than doing something stupid. Besides, the Jays did much of their roster construction in the twelve months previous. And clearly the club will continue to look to the trade deadline, when more teams will have pieces on the market than did over the winter– if maybe not as many as in previous years, thanks to the additional Wild Card berth in each league. If they feel they have the opportunity to make a September run, they’ll have the resources to upgrade the team, and if they don’t, they’ll be able to continue adding to their excellent young talent base by potentially offloading free-agents-to-be like Kelly Johnson, Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Cordero, Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver.
They can’t really go wrong either way, so unless, for some inex-fucking-plicable reason you’ve decided to put all your cheer-eggs into the 2012 basket, there isn’t a whole fuckload to worry about right now. Frankly, they’ve probably done better than they should have so far, with Romero having not been his best, and three-fifths of the rotation made up of Kyle Drabek and two guys born in the 90s.
The Jays remain a team with holes, yet a pretty good team, with lots of guys who can get better, and the honest-to-fuck ability to maybe hang in the race long enough to really get rolling, get some help, and possibly even make some kind of an unlikely run.
That would have been true if they’d managed to beat Texas in extra-innings on Saturday, only I’m pretty sure nobody would have been going off the deep end far enough to make it necessary to fucking say so.