Alex Anthopoulos met with the media yeterday morning in Dunedin and said exactly what anybody who’d given it two thoughts ought to have expected him to say about his club’s stand pat off-season, giving fans one final opportunity to vomit up as much winter negativity as their innards could summon before spring officially began. Even the calling of the session itself and its live broadcast online (on TSN only, as the Sportsnet feed of their parent company’s club’s GM’s potential self-immolation mysteriously succumbed to technical difficulties at the last minute) proved contentious among some fans, underlining the utter loss of perspective that seems to me to be characterizing this tail end of the off-season. After all, the media availability was almost certainly just a rote exercise on the first day in which all players are required to be at camp.
Negativity and disappointment directed at this club is, of course, justified, but some fans seem to believe that grants them license to act like spoiled children incapable of acknowledging nuance or any speck of thought that doesn’t enable them to piss and shit that negativity anywhere, and as though anyone who isn’t satiating their blind, deaf, and dumb thirst for acknowledgement of their supposed victimhood is a weaselly apologist with some kind of agenda hidden behind incomprehensible logic.
It’s not a monolith, of course. Many fans are able to swallow the bitter pills this club has been asking us to swallow this winter — the wholly disingenuous posturing as though they have no concept of realistic expectations on the free agent market; the bizarre acknowledgement that Ryan Goins isn’t a permanent second base solution, but that he is somehow the best they’re willing to do in what seems like it ought to be a crucial few months in early 2014; the sudden finding of religion on notions of the quality of their internal pitching options — with the understanding that this isn’t the end of the world. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, their voices aren’t nearly as loud as their whiny counterparts.
That’s because it’s hard to say in this climate of negativity that Anthopoulos is right when he points to health as the major factor behind last season’s disaster, but he is. It’s hard to look at the projections with enough perspective to wrap your head around how they’re fluid, imperfect, and hardly a substitute for actually playing the games.
And it’s easy as fuck to fake pity everyone who won’t goose-step along with you in the moronic doom and gloom brigade and pretend like it takes some measure of wit to regurgitate irrelevant noise like a club history that has zero bearing the here and now, to feign expertise on matters of health, or to narrowly pick at a single statement or inaction as though it’s all that’s needed to prove the club’s entire existence is an affront to everything good and true and that doesn’t smother puppies to death.