Friday, 4 April 2008

'Bout Damn Time!

The phrase has more than one application tonight but I have to start with my all time favorite Blur Jay, Robbie Alomar. The man who, in my biased opinion, played the position of second base, in his prime, better than than any human being ever has.

Don't talk to me about spitting, don't talk to me about sometimes inappropriate emotionalism in other forms, no one who played with him has ever accused him of being an ass in the manner of some other folks who are known for bad behavior, I simply don't think he's a bad person...and even if he is, I'm going to ignore it because no one impressed me on the diamond like Robbie Alomar. Tonight was long overdue and I can't wait to see him into the Hall.

On another note that seems to have been overshadowed by Alomar's elevation, former team president and, according to legend, the first employee of the Toronto Blue Jays, Paul Beeston was also elevated. This, too, was long overdue. Everyone who was employed by the Jays in the glory years testifies that it all started with Beeston - it was the pattern he set that led the Jays to be called the best organization in baseball for over a decade. We didn't know how good we had it until Interbrew showed us how the other half lives. Would that we could recapture that Beeston magic.

Back to the future, the Jays, as you know by now, signed two cornerstones of the franchise in the coming decade to long term deals - Alex Rios for six years and an option, which is effectively control of Rios for the next 8 seasons since it kicks in for the 2009 season, and Aaron Hill for 4 years plus an option for 3 more (which is explained elsewhere so I won't detail it) which begins with the 2008 season.

As much as Jays fan's debate the merits of JP Richardi, this is now the third time that the man has displayed absolute wizardry in nailing down a well below market deal for a key player. Given the inflation of the market it is difficult to estimate just how much JP saved the Jays in future millions with today's signings but one can safely say it's over $20 million. For those of you who so often wonder if JP "has a plan" I can only say that clearly Rios and Hill think he does. That's not to say he has done so well on every deal (i still think Wells got too sweet a deal and i hope he proves me wrong) but I'f I'm gonna grumble about the Wells deal, I'm sure gonna step up and praise him when he pulls off a masterstroke like he did today.

Oh, and by the way, I know I'm all alone on this, but the powder blues were ugly then and they are ugly now, sentiment aside. I'd have much rather seen the unis Robbie is wearing in that first photo as the PB jammies.


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