Thursday, 7 February 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one . . .

So. Here we are.

It'd be foolish of me not to acknowledge that most of our early traffic is going to come from those who already know Johnny and me from PSD so I'll try to strike a balance in introducing myself between the necessary repetition of thinks a lot of you will already know, and the need to lay a foundation for those of you who don't.

On a personal level, I've been a Jays fan since the mid-80's and the explanation for how that is the case despite the fact that I live in the Southern United States is too long and tedious for you to endure. I remember with fondness Dave Steib, Tony Fernandez and of course Jimmy Key who was my first favorite Jay.

(As an aside, let me say that nothing in the universe chafes me so much as seeing a player I loved in a Jays uniform eventually find their way into pinstripes!)

I loath the Yankees with white-hot intensity, but only dislike the Red Sox to the extent I am obliged to as a Jays fan.

Being from the South, I have less than zero interest in anything to do with hockey, I can't tell you a thing about the city of Toronto that you couldn't get from a good almanac. So I'm not the guy you go to for "local color."

I also am a man who recognizes his limitations. I am easily confused by defensive metrics, and view all of them with skepticism . . . and the higher math formulas involved in sabermetrics are usually beyond my grasp. I can understand what point the mathematician is trying to make but don't ask me to explain the formula - it's been 20 years since I used that sort of math.

On the other hand, I DO know how to use basic statistical math and have enough reasoning ability to derive conclusions from it. I also have a healthy skepticism for anything put forth as "everybody knows."

All too often what "everybody knows" turns out to be utter bullshit.

If my baseball writings are know for anything, it's that if an assertion CAN be tested by looking at the facts, then I'm going to if it's at all practical and the stats are readily available. I probably have more than a little fetish fro proving an unsupported claim wrong (one of the names we kicked around for this blog was "Here's Why You're Wrong"). Certainly I have opinions and insights beyond that - hopefully some that will make for entertaining reading. But whatever the case, I'm not the guy who's going to blindly accept "conventional wisdom".

Sometimes that will lead me to be in front of the curve, picking up on something that's getting little attention . . . sometimes that means I am going to feel obliged to call attention to when someone on one of the other great blogs out there (particularly Jays blogs) is ahead of the curve . . . sometimes - sometimes it's gonna leave me out on a limb with a stupid conclusion that comes back to embarrass me (I remember when I thought Clayton Andrews was an exciting prospect).

Johnny believes, and I hope, that we have something to contribute to the blogosphere. I know that we aspire to be as entertaining and insightful as other great Jays blogs like The Mockingbird, The Tao of Steib, Drunk Jays Fans, and others. Time will tell.

Oh, and one more thing about me - I'm an optimist when it comes to sports teams I like. Hopefully not a delusional one, but I see little point in rooting for a team about whom I assume that bad things are bound to happen to. So I approach this season with the basic assumption that Scott Rolen will go back to his All-Star career this year, not assuming he can't get around on a softball. I assume that just because Roy Halladay has had three, unrelated, fluky interruptions to his season, it doesn't mean he's bound to have another one this season - hell, I even assume A.J. Burnett (especially in a contract year) logs 30 starts this year. If you are a bitter cynic who gets the hives whenever anyone looks to the future and sees a potential positive outcome when it comes to the Jays, I'll just tell you right up front - my writing will make you itch.

All that said, in the words of the great Eddie Wilson - "Lets get on with the music!"

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