Archive for the ‘The Long View’ Category

In lieu of a Game Threat…


You know what an insufferable and lonely feeling it is to be the the single sober person in a sea of screaming drunks? That’s precisely what it felt like for me reading through the comments on last night’s Game Threat, as frustrations continue to boil over among fans who seem to have let their absurd expectations crash down around them into the already ample pile of wreckage of the 2012 Jays season.

Of course, it needs to be noted that I’m absolutely not alone among the grown-ups who can survey what’s happened to this year’s Jays with some measure of perspective, but it sure as shit doesn’t feel that way sometimes– especially when so many comments get impossibly, incoherently negative, and do so all at once about the present, about the past, and about the future.

Surely it’s entirely in-bounds to take a critical eye to the moves Alex Anthopoulos has made that have brought us to this point, and indeed there have been a number of poor decisions along the way– not to mention transactions that haven’t brought results to match the enthusiasm they were greeted with– but it absolutely kills me to see things go so hard the other way, as in Richard Griffin’s ludicrous suggestion today in the Toronto Star that the Orioles and their filling of holes via the scrap heap and sprinkling them with pixie dust is some kind of non-horrendous model to be followed. Or the insistence of a commenter last night that the only good thing Alex Anthopoulos has ever done is get rid of Vernon Wells.

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I mentioned in Tuesday’s Afternoon Snack that, back on Friday, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star had given usĀ five things the Jays ought to do in August, and amazingly, by the end of the weekend the club had pretty much already nailed his whole list of suggestions– save for the one we couldn’t possibly know about: quietly beginning the process of courting the Buffalo Bisons as the club’s new Triple-A franchise.

Well, I thought, if the club is seemingly so damn eager for suggestions, why the hell not throw a few more ideas at the wall and see if they stick? And why not make them a touch more severe than the stuff Griff floated?

So, in that spirit, here are Five Radical-ish Things the Jays Ought to Do With What’s Left of 2012…

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So… quite the season so far, huh?

We’re heading deep into the dog days of August, and though the Jays are mathematically still hanging around the playoff conversation, and it continues to feel like a betrayal to suggest that it’s impossible they’ll close the gap and make it interesting in September, the frustration among the fan base is growing thick as a slice of Pat Tabler’s insufferable analysis.

Negative things have compounded, become distorted in scale, and have even sucked into the pile what may in other years have been perfectly reasonable cases of the club employing good process to bad effect.

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Taking the Long View…

As of the conclusion of last night’s game against the Royals, the Jays have now played 81 times in 2012, exactly half of the season’s schedule. For now the club still clings to a winning record, and might seem poised for a potential second-half surge were it not for the fact that the rotation is in absolute shambles. The trade market has yet to develop, but even if it were to materialize this instant, the Jays’ front office may not see the value in giving up vital futures in an attempt to put a band-aid over the hamburger that is their pitching staff. There appears to be little to do but to wait and hope that their makeshift starters bridge the gap between now and when Brandon Morrow’s health, or the trade market, can provide them with some help, or that it at least becomes clear by July 31st that they must be sellers, at which point they can begin acquiring assets and looking ahead in earnest to next season.

In my view– which should come as no surprise if you’re a regular reader– there’s not a whole lot of value to be mined by worrying too intensely about the upcoming weeks, which will nominally “make or break” the season, but not exactly in the grand sense that the phrase should be reserved for. One way or the other, we’ll soon know for sure what kind of season 2012 will be remembered as, but what’s important isn’t so much where the Jays are at and where they’re going in this particular year, but where they stand in the context of their entire development arc.

The samples of data from this season have grown enough, I believe, that we can start to adjust our beliefs about the long-term future of certain players on this club, and in this organization, in accordance with what we’ve seen this year. So let’s take a position-by-position look at where the club is at, and which areas of need should be focused on as we begin looking past whatever we think is going to happen with the rest of this year.

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