Sunday, 10 August 2008

Is it too much to ask for a little magic?

Apparently so.

It's part of my Jays' Fan DNA to be hopeful for the future, both this year and in the years to come, so I'm always easy prey for the tease of "the imminent winning streak that will put us right back in it" even when my rational side knows that winning 2/3 of our remaining games is about as likely as gas prices going under $2 a gallon this fall.

That being the case, it is both wholly expected and utterly depressing that the Jays would squander the momentum of the Oakland series against a last place team and in their home park to boot.

Look, guys, I can reconcile myself to the idea that you are going to finish marginally over .500 if that be your fate, but dammit, quit teasing me!

I'm not even asking for a playoff spot anymore, all I want is one thing - finish ahead of the Yankees. Ever since the ASB I've been holding a little candle for the idea that you could string together 9 or 10 in a row and really give us a thrill ride to the end. A little magic is a good way to keep the fans amused. But I see now that if you can't even take advantage of the shipwrecked season the Indians are having, you don't have it in you. You don't deserve it.

So I'm turning my attention to the future. I know I know, as soon as I say this publicly you'll win the next seven and try to lure me back, but I'm not coming back....not until you are the second place team in the wild card race (which you ain't gonna be).

That doesn't mean I'm through being a Jays fan, it doesn't even mean I'm counting the hours until JP is fired. Frankly, despite my earlier acknowledgment that the Jays pretty much have to do it, I've come around to the point where I'm rooting for him.

Yes, he has terminal foot-in-mouth disease, but the more I analyze his record the more hollow the objections to him become in my eyes. And the more empty and illogical calls for his head I see, the more inclined I am to take his side and defend him so I can lick the salty tears from the face of the haters when he doesn't get canned.

But I digress.

What it does mean is that you will see a lot more from me in this space about 2009, and the upcoming budget, and what we can expect from our prospects, and things like that. Already I'm harboring visions of a Championship year next year and my optimism is undimmed about the Jays' future. I'm not as crushed even about this year as many are because I recognize that for two long stretches they have played very good ball (In the last seven weeks they have the third best record in baseball) but the math is simply against them at this point.

Obviously, I have a lot of mixed emotions at this point. But hell, after this series I had to say something.



Anonymous said...

I too share your optimism for next year with a HUGE disclaimer. This is what I wrote at the Tao a few days ago:

"I'm usually pessimistic about anything Jays but I get the feeling Uncle Ted is gonna give us a huge payroll infusion for the next 2-4 years. Something like 130 million per season for that period. Keep in mind, I'm totally making that up and I'm not even sure if the current budget arc expires this year or not. But 130 per sounds like a doable budget for the richest motherfucker in Canada and with the team set up as it is, needing only a few more pieces, you'd think Rogers would ante up and go for it. Roy Halladay and that rotation, that bullpen, the defense...that combination doesn't come along that often. I say let's go all in. After all, we have a bunch of cheap talent coming up so we can afford to splurge now knowing that we'll have a lengthy period of time later on with cheap talent.

The extra money would give us room for Man-Ram (at about 18-20 million per for 3 years), a good #2 or #3 starter at 13-18 per (CC, Sheets, Harden, Lackey), an everyday SS at 8-10 per (Cabrera or Furcal) and maybe another bat for another 8-10 (Delgado, Giambi). Add that to this team, assume it's healthy and doesn't grossly under-perform for no apparent reason like this year, and you've got yourselves an instant contender.

Of course, if the big pitching signing is CC, Lackey, Sheets, Harden, etc, he would want a contract extending longer than the budget arc but it still might be worth it. If not, I'll settle for a Lowe or Moyer type. Point is, I say we go for it NOW."

So with the approx. 30 million coming off the books this year, plus another 30 million from Uncle Ted (pretty please?), I'm thinking, why the hell not?

The Southpaw said...

Good thoughts. I too speculated on a budget boost a couple of weeks ago (I guessed 400 mil over 3 years) but I must point out that both Harden and Lackey have very economical options that will be picked up so don't get too excited about them.

Anonymous said...

True about Harden and Lackey. I didn't see the asterisk beside their name on the Cot's blog.

BUT, there's still Sabathia, Sheets, Mussina (not likely with his history with Gaston), Pettitte (though he's having his first sub-100 ERA+ season), Lowe (durable and still has a good ERA+ and WHIP). I'd be happy with any of those since our other 4 starters would be Doc, Marcum, McGowan, Purcey/Litsch/Janssen.