Another week, another Griff Bag — aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star — and… hold on, the Jays have been kick-fuckin’-ass for the better part of a month and this is what we’re talking about??? Yeesh.
If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, unless it’s about fucking Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!
Rather than come up with ways to improve the team I think I am just going to enjoy the one we have right now for a little while. I don’t know about you but I always have a feeling that when good players are on a genuinely successful team they consistently up their play to the highest level. As opposed to playing down to their comfort level on a struggler. They are starting to beat good teams and look like the real deal.
Anyway I was thinking about JP Arencibia–I don’t wish him any ill will (I still remember the excitement of his debut) but boy he has hit the skids. I was wondering why some talented players (Halladay, Aaron Hill, Encarnacion and Bonifacio) can get their careers back on track after a trade/ spell in the minors etc and others like Russ Adams, JP, and Ricky Romero etc just sink.
Should the Jays make a deal to eat some salary and get Romero off the books? Or is the plan to hope he turns into a kind of long project like McGowan?
As for JP should someone sit him down and kindly tell him to put his catcher’s mitt away and maybe convert himself into an Adam Lind type of player. A lot of DH and a little 1st base?
All the best
Frank Taker, Prescott, ON
Uh… you can’t exactly “eat” Romero’s salary and consider him “off the books,” for one. But honestly… whatever. You’re not magically finding someone who’ll actually take on more than approximately nothing of what’s still owed him, so it’s pretty fucking pointless to bother even thinking about any of this. I mean, I’d love to see Romero actually figure himself out at some point, and I’m all ears to hear about the fucking fantasy world in which some team actually wants to pay to acquire him at this point, but maybe think for a second like you’re another team, with its own budget, and what you’d do — except laugh — if the Blue Jays called you up and suggested you take on Ricky Romero and pay for the privilege of doing so.
I’m sorry, but he’s fucked. At least until he stops being fucked.
And Arencibia as a DH or first baseman? How in the living fuck would that be possible? The offensive bar at catcher — which, FYI, he already can’t clear — is about as low as it gets for any position. How could he convert to a position where the expectations are even higher and be viable? I mean, he could make the switch, but he’d twice as useless as he already is. It’s not a solution.
As for why some players can weather their troubles and some can’t, I suppose the bullshit narrative way to look at it would be that there’s some personal or mental issue common to the guys who can’t hack it, but I’d suggest that the reality is more that in baseball the margins for error are just so razor thin. A little bit of lost bat speed or velocity on a fastball can be all the difference between great and washout. Every case is different, obviously, and maybe this isn’t a satisfactory answer for you, but the elite level of the game is difficult to a degree that those of us simply observing really can’t comprehend. Many very, very talented players haven’t been able to reach the level of a Halladay or an Encarnacion. That’s hardly a failing.