Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Pardon the obvious excesses of my ego, but given that my compadres have already covered all the big stories of the day, i am reduced to reactionary bloviating (look it up) rather than breaking news and since my opinions are diverse and wide-ranging I figured why not collect them in an actual post rather than just comment on the others.

So, with no semblance of order or reason, here are some quick takes on the points in the news today concerning the Jays:

Rios (almost) signed!

If the deal is as reported, it's out standing news, both for the commitment and the price. Sure, it's an illustration of how overpaid Wells is going to potentially be (although I may be the only one who thinks the market is getting so insane that Wells will profit by opting out after 2011) but that only reinforces just how good a deal it will be to lock in Rios long term for well under $15 mil per on average. Even those among the Jays' fan base who are, shall we say, a tad under-enthused with JP will have to tip heir hats to this one.

Sparky a Cub!

As much as I always liked the guy as a tailor made 4th OF and teammate, I have to say that I think the Cubs situation is about as perfect as you can get for him to maximize the rest of his career. Center fielders are more valuable on the market than left fielders, he has the chance to steal time from a very-likely unready kid, he's in a league where "grit" is at a premium among journalists and fans. I'll go on record right now as saying that there's a good chance Johnson finishes the year with a better OPS+ than Stewart unless one is skewed by lack of plate appearances.

Rolen the dice!

Let the pool begin for when our man Scott is back in the Jays lineup. Johnny has gone on record with "by April 15" so I might as well put myself out there - though without the ill-advised commitment to inappropriate dining choices - and say that a quick glance at the schedule makes me think April 18 is a good target date. The Jays are on the road April 11-15, then have two games hosting the pitching poor Rangers. Beginning on the 18th, the Tiger are in town and that's a good place to go all in - not only on Rolen, but on Ryan as well. After the opening six games (about which we can do nothing regarding the injured players) there comes a relatively "soft" run of ten games before the Tigers come to town. I can see the logic in trying to get Scotty in on the 16th if you think he needs live game action before the Tigers get here but he's not the sort of man who is unprepared and a couple more days before he tests the finger would have to help.
Put me down in the pool for April 18.

The 2008 Jays are....

Johnny alluded to his opinion of the Jays chances this year as his own, so let be toss in mine here - even though there may well be a more extensive exposition of this opinion in the coming days. In My Not So Humble Opinion, the Jays are legitimate World Series contenders. They are, on Paper, perhaps a step behind the Red Sox and Tigers over the course of 162 games (acknowledging of course that injuries can sink any ship - theirs or ours) and that the Angels having the amazing depth they do makes them a team to be reckoned with. But of those teams who would be widely considered Wild Card contenders, it is my opinion that the Jays are every bit as good as, if not better than, their rivals. I'd go so far as to give them a puncher's chance of catching the Sox.
BUT, here's the thing - if the Jays do make the playoffs, the picture changes. Then you have the opportunity to throw Doc, AJ, and Chops in six games out of seven in any given series. I'll happily argue that no team in the AL can - as far as what we know on March 25 - better that. If we assume the playoff teams are Boston, Detroit, LA, and Toronto, I think the Jays are as capable of emerging as the AL representative as any of the other three. Yes, I'm an optimist . . . but I don't think unreasonably so.


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