An absolute heartbreaking season, so far. Other teams just feel bad for us now. The Marlins guy that reads my blog, http://marlinsin62003.mlblogs.com/, talks about ‘the poor Blue Jays’. Always so much potential, but always behind the Sox and the Yanks, except 2006 we were ahead of the Red Sox, on an off year, but we were nowhere near a playoff spot. Since the end of the 1994 Strike season, we have been kicked around and no where near in contention for a playoff spot. I’ve wasted the better part of my teenage youth dreaming about the playoffs, (I even made this in my graphic design class).
Since 1994, only these teams have not made the playoffs.
Tampa Rays (might come to an end this year)
Kansas City Royals (would hate to be them, but they are still proud)
Washington Nationals (they were the Expos)
Texas Rangers (you can’t win without pitching, they won’t understand it, even if you beat it into their head. Really great hitters THIS SEASON, probably better than they’ve ever had, which is saying something)
Milwaukee Brewers (at least they are contending this year)
The Jays should not be in the same catergory as these teams, especially with our success pre-1994.
So, now for my mid-season disappointments. Wow, okay, where do I start?
Here is an easy one. Alex Rios – signed to a big contract in the offseason and generally thought of, to be an emerging Fantasy Baseball Stud. Rios has hit only 4 homeruns and drivin in only 39 runs, in a year where we desperately need RBI’s guys. Disappointing for Blue Jays and very disappointing for the fantasy baseball people that have him. The only nice upside to Rios, this season, is that he is on pace to shatter his season high in stolen bases. He has become a ‘bigtime’ stolen base threat, something the Jays haven’t had in a while.
Lyle Overbay – It shows how bad the Blue Jays are hitting when Lyle Overbay is almost leading the team in RBIs, yet only hitting .203 with runners in scoring position and .167 with RISP and two out. Great defensively, but his numbers are definately a downgrade, especially for a first baseman. There are many much better bats out there, at that position. Eric Hinske is making Jays fans beat their head against a wall and it is disappointing, actually more like excruciating.
Vernon Wells – He has been hitting very well lately, and you can always count on him to pick it up mid-season. However, you are too injured all time. Just stop being so injured, okay. lol. That is his only disappointment.
The Closer Role – I thought that we had this locked up with B.J. Ryan, but he hasn’t been sensational and when he was injured to start the year, Accardo and company were terrible. I’m looking for a big second half from B.J, he just needs to sharpen his control and stop giving up so many walks. It is a solvable problem and I’m he can do it.
More disappointments, no there could not possibly be any more? Well there are.
John Gibbons – Not able to make this team better than a .500 ball club. Rotating relievers to see which one will lose the game for us, and messing up a lot of our hitter’s approach at the plate. Blue Jay hitters seem to be free swinging, under Cito, and it is starting to have some benefits right now.
Scott Rolen and David Eckstein – These were the two, that were suppose to come in and give us that winning mentality. That edge, if you will. They were going to get us over the .500 hump. Not the case, both are performing below their career numbers in batting average, homeruns and just about everything. Didn’t see this coming, I loved it when the Jays got these guys. Glaus has outperformed Rolen, and Eckstein is being out perform by Scutaro and even Johnny Mac right now. Eckstein is way better player than those guys, I just don’t know what has happend to him??
Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson – What have these guys done?? Do they make any difference to our club whatsoever? Play Mench against lefties, is all I can say (did a great job against Andy Pettite the other nite). Desparate moves by J.P. that hurt us and set back guys like Lind.
J.P. Ricciardi – He knows that he is a disappointment because he takes full blame for the teams performance. That is a good thing. I rate him as an average G.M., taking too many risks on vetern players, is probably his greatest downfall. He has made some good moves and he has also made some bad ones, he has put together good teams (there is something to be said for that) but not great ones. Shame, because he will probably be gone before he gets to see the guys he drafted in recent years. The Jays have apparently drafted very well the last couple of years. Call up Brett Cecil now!!!
I’m ending the disappointment section now, because it is starting to make me depressed. Let me just name a bunch of guys, and Jays fans will know what I am talking about. Aaron Hill, Shawn Camp, David Purcey (for his one start, lol, kinda unfair), Frank Thomas (for his time), Shannon Stewart (bad Ricciardi move).
‘Mighty’ Joe Inglett – Great pick-up, like we already have enough middle infielders. I am appointing Inglett to a back-up role and definately a spot on the squad for some years to come. Maybe he will start down the road, who knows? Hill was also a early season disappointment, so Inglett could make a case for that position, who knows?
Adam Lind – The absolute best thing Cito has done, is giving this guy full-time starts. He was killing the International League, and someone doing that, deserves to be in the majors. He had a 0 for 19 start, just bad luck for John Gibbons? Or bad coaching? Who knows? All I know is that Adam Lind can hit and he is definately an upgrade from Shannon Stewart and even Reed Johnson. I’m willing to bet that he hits over .300 in the second half.
Roy Halladay – You are the best pitcher in the American League. If you could get some more run support this season, you would be starting the All-Star game and easily on your way to being the Cy Young in 2008. When Halladay is on his game, he is very fun to watch. I would not give, a guy like that, up for anything. He still has many good years in him and I say the Jays ride it out. You just can’t make a good trade for a player like Halladay, whoever you get in return, would just not be good enough. I know his value is high, but I would not be willing to take the risk of trading him. If it weren’t for Kevin Mench in 2004, he would have taken us to the playoffs. He is a huge asset for a team that wants to be a winner, no way we could get rid of him and watch him succeed elsewhere. Anyone but him, period. Makes me mad. Sorry, to all you that want to trade him while his value is high.
The AMAZING Pitching Rotation (I still question) – Marcum is the real deal, he can really frustrate hitters. McGowan has great stuff and will be a solid pitcher, but I don’t expect All Star numbers from him. A.J. Burnett is A.J. Burnett, a 16-14, 15-15 pitcher, streaky but no team wants to catch him on a hot streak. Jesse Litsch, sorry to say but I thing he is pitching a little over his head right now. Hitters are starting to catch onto him and he has to be careful. How bout John Parish? “Comeback player of the year”, was also killing the International League, a good fallback for injuries and Jesse Litsch.