John Gibbons was certainly guilty of over-managing on Friday night. Taking out Ryan Goins for a pinch runner was an especially odd choice that left the team stuck with Steve Tolleson at second base. Kendall Graveman and Daniel Norris were each thrown into the fire for one batter, despite sitting on the bench with a much more sizeable in Tampa two nights prior, watching Aaron Sanchez pitch enough to make himself unavailable until tonight — and the baserunner Graveman allowed, before he was given a quick hook and Aaron Loup was oddly brought in to face a bunch of right-handers was rather crucial. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that, despite whatever the fuck that all was, the Jays had a three run cushion heading into the bottom of the eighth and a two run lead going into the bottom of the tenth and blew them both. He maybe didn’t help as much as he could have, but last night too many people seemed to want to believe that those six runs are on the manager, which is absolute insanity. Even the decision to go to Casey Janssen — a once ultra-dependable closer who Gibbons has lost faith in enough to have removed him from the role (except when Aaron Sanchez is unavailable, as he was Friday night) — was eminently defensible, despite the groans from the peanut gallery. And it’s not exactly like he’s getting hit all over the yard, either — he seems to have lost just enough since his illness over the All-Star break to have moved him, hopefully temporarily, from being a guy always just barely on the right side of the margins to one falling the wrong way over the edge just often enough for it to matter. Tough to nitpick the decision in my estimation — tougher still to blame the manager when big leaguers, demonstrably worse choices to be in the game than others or not, simply have to get six outs while keeping six runs off the board and can’t fucking do it.
But yes, that fucking sucked. And so did Melky Cabrera’s season-ending injury. But… silver lining?
“I stay in Toronto,” Melky says, speaking about next year, according to a number of reports, including this one from John Lott of the National Post.
A reporter asked: You want to stay?
“Yeah,” he replied with a small smile.
I have no doubt that Cabrera enjoys playing in Toronto. But let’s not get carried away with his comments about wanting to stay.
Qualifying offer will loom large. It’ll impact not only what other teams offer but could impact #BlueJays offer as they leverage situation.
In other words, a lot of things have to play out before there’s any kind of certainty about Cabrera’s future in Toronto or with another team.
Sadly, this is almost certainly true. But holy shit, let’s just figure it out.
Bob Elliott said on Prime Time Sports this week that he thought Cabrera might be in for a Choo-like seven-year deal, but that, of course, is insane. It’ll be shorter than that — a Toronto Star piece earlier in the summer, in which Brendan Kennedy consulted caripus executives and agents on their thoughts, suggested Curtis Granderson’s 4/60 deal with the Mets as a ceiling. That’ll play. Backload it the right way to fit the Jays’ payroll structure and that will definitely play.
Just fucking do it!
Now consider this your Game/Rain Threat. Might be a long one tonight, so buckle up! Or, given the forecast at the time of this writing, there might not be a game at all. Fingers crossed — and for a win, too. Despite yesterday’s disappointment, the Jays ended the night hardly worse off in the playoff race than when they started. Let’s get back to winning, eh?