Your humble narrator has taken more head shots than George Chuvalo from the Cruel Bitch Goddess Life this past week, but I press on nevertheless. There are, what, two dozen loyal readers out there, right?
As though you didn't need any reminder of the relative wackiness that accompanies the month's worth of real fake games taking place down south now, Sal Fasano stole a base on Wednesday. There you are, skeptics. Proof that John Gibbons is going to start playing small ball this year. Huzzah! (No, seriously: small ball is for cowards. Fuck off over to the National League if bunting and stolen bases pull your hair back).
Today's Grapefruit League action was marred by the worst display of working class solidarity since the unwashed masses shut Winnipeg down in 1919. Generally, I am a friend of the working man and once dated an NDPer, but I'm struggling to see why I should feel sympathic for washed up old semi-pros who get to jet across the world on the company's dime to eat sushi, toss BP for an hour or so, polish shoes, and take club house naps on a rota system. So, basically those who've parlayed their grade 10 education into a six figure salary working an 8 month a year fantasy camp job need a few thousand extra bob. Pardon me if I don't stand for the playing of the Internationale. I have two university degrees and 4/5ths of a doctoral thesis under my belt and I've got nothing but fucking tumbleweeds to show for it. Really, I'd like to add another layer of sarcasm here...
Brian Tallet probably got pushed into his fair share of lockers during high school, but I take serious offense to the amount of slagging off directed his way by Jays fandom over the past two years. He's been quietly effective against both lefties and righties during his tenure here, holding opposing hitters to a miniscule .611 OPS last year. Well, finally some respect for someone who seemed to be on the bubble: today Gibby announced that Tallet has indeed locked up a roster spot. I welcome this both as a fan of Tallet and someone who hates the feel-good schtick articles that hacks pump out about the random non-roster invitee du jour (see: Parrish, John).
Bastian kindly points out that Gibby had already issued a similar vote of confidence for 2007's Forgotten Man, Jason Frasor, meaning that we now have four locks for what will inevitably be a seven-man pen: Tallet, Frasor, Accardo, and Downs. The Beej, Brandon League, John Parrish, Randy David Wells, Brian Wolfe, and Armando "I blow saves" Benitez are battling for the final three spots.
Well, not really battling. If The Beej is ready at the end of the month, he goes north. Brandon League is achieving sexy results and may well be part of our own little late inning Nasty Boys clique with Accardo and the Beej. So it's most likely one spot that's up for grabs.
Sorry to all those Parrish boosters (Bastian included), but why in fuck's name would we need a fourth lefty in the pen? He's nice minor league depth, though. Wolfe has options, Benitez would likely benefit from an extended minor league tune up, and Wells is a Rule 5 pick who has to be offered back to the Cubs if he doesn't stick on our 25 man all year. I say its Wells rather than those other two suckers who takes the final spot in the bully, but I've always been a sucker for converted position players (Dave Stieb, Shaun Marcum, etc.).
Uncle Griff says that Curtis Thigpen "must learn to shake it off" after being sent back down to Syracuse. It probably wouldn't hurt if he also learned to hit and catch well enough to stick in the bigs. I didn't actually read the linked article because it's written by Richard Griffin and would surely make me regret wasting two minutes, but is he implying that we should feel sorry for young players who aren't good enough to make the team? If you want to root for crappy, second rate athletes, I'd advise you to stick to womens' hockey. This is a man's game, thank you very much.
I'm swearing more than usual due to the Wiser's and have developed a new appreciation for these guys.
-- Johnny Was