Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Squaredown

Way back in April pretty much everyone was pointing the finger at the Baltimore Orioles (and San Francisco Giants) when the discussion turned the worst teams in baseball, you know, the autolock 100-loss type. You called it, I called it, Wilner called it. Everyone did. I admit that I've done more than my fair share of Oriole-mocking over the years, but then everything changed with one courageous roster move in late March. Yes, the decision to DFA'd half-goblin HGH-user Jay Gibbons, the most loathsome player in baseball.

Even though the O's join us on the south side of the .500 line o' suck in taking the loss last night, I think you would be hard pressed to come up with two more exciting back-to-back games in the same series at any point since... Opening Weekend? There were a couple of nail-biters in LAoA back at the start of June, but they wound up as heart-breaking/infuriating losses rather than heart-warming triumphs. If we're going to enjoy baseball for baseball's sakes, give thanks to that motley collection of sad-sack losers from B-More for putting on an entertaining show for us.

AJ Burnett continues to do a pretty solid Josh Towers c. 2006 impression as he auditions for a trade to a contender. Last night on JaysTalk JP and Wilner addressed the question of whether his piss poor performance of late will affect his trade value, reaching the conclusion that AJ suitors either like him or don't and won't be deterred by a few starts good or bad. Who knows, maybe it's just been bad luck of late (paging some pitch fx magic from the Mockingbird), but the collective exhale we've been building up towards can't come until he does finally get moved.

Dick Griffin
believes that AJ is now "indispensible" with McGowan and Marcum out indefinitely, a contention that I politely disagree with. Pride is about the stupidest thing you can play for, especially when it means passing on a trade that would make you better in the future. At this point I could really care less if the Jays finish the year with 85 victories or 75 so long as they set the team up for a better 2009. JP had to recant the white flag insuinuations of his manager a day earlier for the benefit of ticket-buying public, but still, the situation is what it is.

The Sun reports that the erstwhile Dustin McGowan has a torn rotator cuff and we'll be gone for at least a month, perhaps the rest of the season. Here's hoping Dusty recovers well and returns as an integral part of the 2009 Jays; you just don't mess about with the health of a guy with his health track record and importance to the team. It's kind of at the point where this things don't really shock anyone anymore, we've just seen so many injuries over the past 2-3 years. Where does MLB stand on cloning your players in a Korean lab and dusting off model 2.0 when the original is unable to play?

Is it time to reconstitute my man-love posts for Dave Purcey? The AAA All-Star won't get the call immediately, but expect him to join the rotation post-All Star Break if it does turn out that McGowan is lost for the year. Exciting stuff, folks, in a left-handed sort of way.

One thing that sucks: when you live outside of Toronto and can only make it up to about half a dozen games a year because it's a four-hour roundtrip drive from London and the scheduled starter for the first game you'd gone to since April gets injured and you get to see Brian Tallet or Francisco Rosario get the emergency start. This always happens to me, always. Again, this Sunday against the Yankees.

If you're like me and feel the need to do something for the betterment of humanity in an abstract sense, you could do much worse than rounding up a bunch of cans and handing them over to the Lady Jays, who are doing their annual food drive at the Rogers Cente this weekend for the Yankees series. They've got autographed swag, too, for anyone who donates $20 or more. Do the right thing, readers.

-- Johnny Was

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