Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The mo-fo has been thrown down!

It's ON now!

It seems our peers over at Bugs & Cranks have a, shall we say, divergent, viewpoint from some others about some things. A recent post reacting to the misleading and overblown reaction to Doc's comments concluded thusly:

As a side note, I can’t wait to hear the response from guys like Mike Wilner and the Drunk Jays Fans now that he best player on the team is saying the same things the fans have been saying all year.

We were dickheads who didn’t know anything about baseball when we said changes were needed and we’re sick of this .500 bullshit. Now it’s Doc that’s piping up and echoing our sentiments.

Whatcha gotta say about that boys?

Now, I fully realize that I'm not the one being called out here but, damnit, I could no more resist a challenge like that A-Rod could resist a hot stripper. I LIVE for this sort of thing. So, I will proceed to indulge myself in a point by point refutation of the aforementioned post! Join me if you wish.

To begin with, let's repeat and clarify that Doc is NOT interested in leaving, whatever his level of frustration. From his own mouth:

"There's no chance if I have anything to say about it that I'm going anywhere. I can understand maybe disappointment with the way we're going. But as long as it's up to me, I'm staying."
~Roy Halladay

That done, here begins the rebuttal - italics indicate their original column
* * * * *

he “them” in the title refers to the Powers That Be at 1 Blue Jay Way.

The “this” is the numerous reports currently circulating that Blue Jays Ace and Best Pitcher in Baseball Roy Halladay has likened pitching for Toronto to Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.

This comment, much like the movie, isn’t good.

So Ted, Paul, JP and whoever else is calling the shots from those pretty little offices, how’s about we get off our asses and do something to make this guy happy?

Like doubling the payroll since JP finished shedding Gord's bad contracts? Like signing one of the best closers in the game, and the one of the most covered guy in his FA class? Like adding the best defensive 3B maybe ever (to say nothing of being a top 10 offensive 3B in every healthy season so far) for a guy who had ask out of town?

More to the point than all that, Doc IS - by his own words - happy with the players here and happy with the work of JP in putting this team together. If you read EVERY thing he's said in the past few days their is not the faintest hint that Doc is unhappy with the talent assembled or the players on the roster - he's frustrated, as any rational fan is, with the on-field performance.

Here is what we know about Halladay:
  • He wants to be in Toronto. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have signed the extensions he has penned over the years to remain the face of the franchise and ace of the staff.
  • There aren’t many better pitchers in the game than him.
  • Constantly failing to live up to expectations is starting to get to him, much like it has the fan base over the last, say, five years.

The Blue Jays brass actually doesn’t have a valid response to this. Not that they won’t issue one or play off the comments as “the same frustrations everyone is feeling” or something along those lines, but there really isn’t anything they can say.

He’s 100% correct.

This team has been relying on potential and wishing for a best case scenario for the last half of the Ricciardi Era when the reality of baseball is that you’re very seldom going to get maximum performance and optimum health up and down your lineup at the same time.

Damn right. That's why there is only one champion and only 8 playoff teams in any given year. You think those were the only teams that tried or had high expectations? Hell no. Those were the exceptions to the rule - the teams for whom enough things came together to get them that far. EVERY team knows that if you have full health and maximum performance you will win a lot more ball games, and every team understands that most years you won't. But what shall we do about that, go sign Mark Texeria and make Overbay a $7 million backup? Hell, let's have a backup at every position that would normally be a starter. Please. Even the Yankees don't have that.

What you generally get is what Toronto has gotten over the last three years - some really great years from guys, a whole whack of injuries and a need to make due with the guys who’re taking the field on a nightly basis.

Unfortunately, Toronto can’t ever make due and falls back on the “if we were healthy” excuse. The problem, aside from Toronto’s inability to remain healthy, is that when the injuries do come, there aren’t enough true quality players and leaders on this squad to carry the extra weight. Look at the Boston Red Sox.

When was the last time Big Papi swung a bat?

No Schilling, injuries throughout the pitching staff, Julio Lugo remaining Julio Lugo and what do they do?

Wait...we are citing the Boston Red Sox as a good example and we are going to in any way cite Julio Lugo's failures as a POSITIVE example? One can only imagine the howls of anguish which would emanate from all corners if the Jays were the ones paying that gawd-awful contract.

Plug in Justin Masterson...

Which is better than plugging in Jessie Listch last year HOW?

...get an outstanding season thus far from Jon Lester...

Which is different or better than getting a far MORE outstanding season from Shawn Marcum HOW?

... JD Drew discovers he doesn’t in fact suck balls...

Which justifies them acquiring a guy who you apparently though DID suck balls and waiting for him to contribute in his second season HOW exactly? Again, here you are pointing to what was clearly understood to be a BAD move as a sign of the Red Sox brilliance just because said bad move inexplicably did a 180 in the man's second season?

How does that make any kind of sense? What are you saying? That the Jays should go out and get Andruw Jones (for instance) and HOPE the hell that a couple of years into his deal he does something productive?

and they’re right where they always are as of late - first place.

Toronto? They bring in rejects like Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson...

Oh? So we are overlooking the fact that the Red Sox are getting a .904 OPS out of Sean Casey when he hadn't put up one higher than .800 since 2004? Somehow it's smart that the Red Sox hired Casey and unconscionable that the Jays hired Mench of whom the exact same thing is true?

Shall we note that the Jays hired Rod Barajas while the Red Sox hired Kevin Cash? How's that comparison gonna work out?

...wait too long to promote Adam Lind and hope that Marco Scutaro getting regular at-bats is going to be the key to the season.

Scutero has the same OPS in slightly more AB than Lugo does...shall we compare salaries?

Not surprisingly, Toronto too is right where they always are as of late - right around the .500 mark...

But not because Scutero is getting too may at bats, and not because they Jays are not a talented team. they are where they are because no less than six offensive players are under-preforming all reasonable expectations for this season. it is true that you expect to have losses, and down years - but you don't expect EVERY offensive player you counted on to tank?

Tell me, oh wise critic - did you predict and expect Alex Rios to be on a pace for 7 HR this year? Did you expect and predict Aaron Hill would give you less offense than Eckstien? Did you expect and predict that Scott Rolen would be perfectly healthy and still put up an OPS over 100 points lower than he has in any other healthy year? Did you expect and predict that all that would happen AND a healthy Wells and Overbay would also underpreform? Maybe...maybe you expected Stairs to decline this much with (apparently) age.

But you take your vaunted Red Sox and let Mike Lowell see his OPS drop 100 points, and Manny Ramirez be on pace for single-digit homers now, and Ortiz be on the DL, and Drew hit to his lowest expectations and Casey be the player he was the last 4 years and Youklis drop 60 points off his career norms for no good reason and Pedoria hit like Eckstien or worse...and tell me they would be much over .500

All you are doing by comparing the Jays to the Red Sox is comparing a team for whom most players are doing what could have been expected OR spiked upward, to a team on which the reverse is true. Who's fault is it, my friends, that JD Drew suddenly, after all these years, became the star he was once supposed to be and at the exact same time Alex Rios forgot everything he knew about power hitting? Is that JP's fault? Godfrey's? In the same year Youk steps into the 900's Hill steps into the 600's...who do you blame for that?

...just close enough for fans to have a faint hope of contention but far enough out that we all know we’re just diluting ourselves, something traditionally reserved for Leafs fans in Toronto.

But now it’s not just the fans who are complaining.

Doc is.

Yes, he is. but not about JP. In point of fact, doc specifically endorsed JP and the current management's efforts. He laid the blame, as Rolen did, directly on the players on the field. That's a fascinating concept, you guys might want to look into it if indeed you respect Doc's views so much.

Maybe it’s a good time to make some changes and keep that man happy, don’t you think?

Or, maybe it's time to impotently point fingers and lay blame because shit happens. The bottom line is, no one in baseball looked at this team on April 1 and said "there's a team that will struggle to score runs, there's a team with a huge offensive hole in RF, and at 2B and DH." And, BTW, none of them looked at JD Drew and said "there's a guy who's gonna have a .990 OPS and carry the Red Sox on his back" either.

No one. Not even you.

Shit happens. None of us like it, but it does. Man up and deal with it.



Lloyd the Barber said...

Hear Hear.

My comments on that post are growing increasingly desperate. I love when people skim read and make baseless accusations based on what they sort of saw.

Anonymous said...

Your best post by far

eyebleaf said...

and the winner is, by TKO in the first round, Willllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll RAINNNNNNNNN
*cue music: Lil Wayne - I Make It Rain*

well done, man.

Ari said...

Why is Overbay's contract considered as a backup's if they sign Tex? 7m for your DH is very reasonable. Sign Tex, have one of them DH until the deadline of 2010 when you move Overbay for prospects because Snider is ready full-time. I know it will never happen because Boras is going to demand way too much for Toronto to have a chance, but Teixeira is exactly what this team needs. Although if they did get him, can you imagine the shitstorm when he has only like 12HR at the break? Jays fans are way too used to mediocrity to tolerate a "second half beast".

The Southpaw said...

If you assume that Overbay is at 1B and Tex is at DH or vice-versa, then you do not address the issue presented at B&C - that if someone gets hurt you have no front line work to slide into that spot.

In order to accomplish what B&C thinks is a given for a winning team, you have to have Overbay and Tex in the lineup and then another starter-level talent sitting on the bench in case one of those get hurt.

sp said...

That, my friend, is a tour de force blog post (I just wanted to use "tour de force"). Seriously though, this blog is the best in the Jays blogosphere. Keep it up.

I still don't know how to explain EVERYONE on the offense having way below par seasons, but I have full confidence it's no one's fault but theirs. Seriously, that guy couldn't have used a worse example than the Red Sox. A team that perennially has the 2nd highest payroll, gets to pay above the slot, AND gets lucky with "ball sucking" players having out-of-their-minds seasons. WTF kind of comparison is that. I am supremely confident that JP is still the right man for this team, at least personnel-wise. Hey, even Doc says so, and I'll believe anything Doc says.