The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, especially if you’re a blogger and want to half-ass your way through a post of some retrospective-ish content– or perhaps a self-congratulatory anniversary post– and go get drunk (as most of us are primarily want to do).
For me, that kind of task was made even easier– theoretically, at least– by the whirlwind two months the Jays had on the trade market following the conclusion of the World Series. No longer would it be necessary to view 2012 entirely through the prism of arm injuries, fan deaths, Romer-woe, eye-black slurs, Farrell betrayal, Lawrie impudence, clubhouse concerns, the spectre of a permanently-closed roof, and whatever else went completely off the rails.
I’ve made up a list of headings for a DJF Guide To The 2012 Blue Jays Season that I may or may not do– a work that’s been half in progress since I decided I couldn’t stomach it back in October– and they’re infinitely more positive now than they would have been if the piece had been posted at season’s end. Nothing is more striking an example of that sea change, I think, than one of the few entries I had completed in full back in my late-September first draft– the one for the letter “A,” and Alex Anthopoulos.
So, as a gift to you as we usher in what should be the best Jays season in decades, here’s what I was ready to lay on Anthopoulos as the season came to a close, in all its vitriolic glory…
Anthopoulos No Longer a Greek God
At the end of the 2011 season Alex Anthopoulos was as revered as any young, entirely unproven GM in the game, and over the course of the calendar year that followed he’s unwittingly crafted the absolute blueprint for how to piss away goodwill. No, last winter’s free agency gut-punch and this summer’s parade to the disabled list can’t entirely be reasonably hung around AA’s neck, but what can is that he’s taken a full fucking year off from acquiring position players or starting pitchers of anything resembling consequence. Seven non-relievers acquired in the last calendar year have played for the Jays: JA Happ, Aaron Laffey, Jesse Chavez, Jeff Mathis, Ben Francisco, Yorvit Torrealba and Omar Vizquel. That might be acceptable if, y’know, the club he started with was any damn good.
It’s still mind boggling to think of how little he did over a calendar year, even now, as he’s added six true contributors for 2013– RA Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, and whichever of Izturis and Bonifacio ends up playing second base– to an already impressive core.
And OK, so maybe this isn’t exactly a message from Alex Anthopoulos himself, but I suspect you see what I mean– and how awesomely different things already are around here.
So… Happy New Year, thanks for a great six years of DJFdom, and here’s to a better 2013 for the Jays and their fans, and to the good news that last year set the bar so low it practically can’t not be better. I mean, we’re almost two full days into 2013 and everybody’s arm seems to be intact. Not a bad start!
Oh yeah, and I just realized that this comment from “Carl Sagan” on the most recent Griff Bag was our 200,000th since we switched to Disqus (which, yes, we all want back), in May of 2010. Two-hundred thousand!