Monday, 8 December 2008

Meeting Demands

Ah! It's that time of year again! It's it a nice cosmic joke that baseball's winter meeting fall right in the heart of the Christmas shopping season? While little children everywhere are perusing every catalog and store shelf in sight saying, in so many words, "Want dat!" likewise, the whole baseball world is consumed with the same phrase. Players want x number of years or dollars or guarantees, agents want, the Union wants, teams wheeling and dealing players want and want and even more than all that, fans WANT!

With a level of maturity higher than that of the child mentioned about (by a microscopically detectable amount) fans of various teams demand action, damnit! Like that annoying toddler we've all seen in the toy aisle lying on the floor kicking and squalling until his spineless parent caves and buys him the treat he demands, so fans grumble and moan and complain that their GM doesn't somehow magically transform B.J. Ryan into Prince Fielder or make some other fantasy-league move.

JP waxes at length about the poor economy and "not doing much" and heads explode. As if JP hasn't said he was "not doing much" pretty much every winter before going out and doing something. Now, MAYBE it's true this time in light of the economy - but you certainly ought not to be bitching about it until AFTER you see it come to pass. The striking thing about all this, though, in my opinion, is that if there was ever a winter to keep your powder dry and lie in wait, it's this one. Sure, i think we missed a great chance on Khalil Greene and Nick Swisher both, but I also recognize that the smart GM has to be looking at the slowness of the market right now and all the teams obviously restraining spending and realize that come mid-to-late January there's the potential for some significant discount buying. Already, someone is going to get Rafiel Furcal a whole lot cheaper than Furcal had intended, for just one example.

The way I see it, one of three things is going on here:

1. JP is telling the truth and there isn't any money to spend, in which case his hands are tied and there's no point carping about his inactivity. If that's the case all he can do is wait until spring training approaches and see what's left in the bargain bin;

2. JP is lying as usual and moves will come when the time is right. If this is the case then he'll make all your whining about how we aren't going to do anything look foolish because you spoke too soon;

3. The Jays are not letting him act because they intend to leave as much flexibility as possible for the new president, including whether or not JP remainse employed. in that case, those among you who think JP needs to go will have to accept the trade-off of him not making any significant moves until you get your wish and he's gone.

Either way, what is called for here, as tough as it is (and I want new news as much as anyone) - is calm patience. Especially during the meetings. Just today one reporter breathlessly reports that JP is discussing Ryan with the mets and within a few hours another reporter says it's utter baloney. You can expect this sort of thing for the next four days. So do your blood pressure a favor and don't expend a lot of emotion on a rumor that is quite possibly a total lie. We can't change things anyway, so why not just enjot the ride instead of pitching a tantrum?


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