2010 is like Stinky Diapers in Toronto
The plan for my entry today was to make a list of 50 reasons to pay attention to the Jays in 2010, since winning is not likely to be a regular occurrence this year.
I had a few quick reasons off the top of my head, and figured that looking at a depth chart would help fill in the missing entries.
I looked. Figured 30 reasons might be more manageable. Got to work.
But I couldn't do it -- could barely get started. Fact is, there just aren't 30 good reasons, on paper, to watch this team this year. Now, don't get me wrong - I think seasons like this are terribly important to a franchise. 2010 is the kind of season the Leafs should have had years ago - a year where cheap fill-ins are brought in to place-hold and heavy contracts are shipped out for youngsters. A good old-fashioned press of the reset button season. Nothing wrong with that, as long as your GM is willing to commit fully to the idea, and AA certainly seems to be. This off-season has seen the bare minor league cupboards replenished with names like Drabek, Wallace, d’Arnaud and Stewart, and, finally, a SS prospect that brings back fond memories of Octavio Antonio and his wizardry between the bases, in Adeiny Hechevarria. Players with high-upside, like the horribly misused Brandon Morrow, were brought in on the cheap, and overpriced (in rebuilding years) free agents like Scutaro and Barajas were bid adieu. There is a plan in place, and unlike JP's plans, this plan doesn't seem to be absolutely, wretchedly stupid and shortsighted.
Here's why I'm watching:
A) Randy Ruiz. I love fat ball players, and he is fat and can slug. I look forward to Cito giving him a chance to mash. .250 and 25 bombs are within reach.
B) Edwin "E-5" Encarnacion. I want to see if he is as stone-gloved as his wonderful nickname implies. Watching Scott Rolen has spoiled BJ fans greatly (I think he is by far the best defensive 3B in BJ history), and watching his spot be filled with a true master-of-poor-defense, for some sick reason, strikes me as entertaining. Like following up a model with a pig, just for the contrast.
C) The Kids. By mid-season I am hoping the exodus of contracts is amped up, and we see Overbay become Wallace and Wells become anyone other than Wells. I am also keen to see if Snyder keeps it together and if Lind can follow-up his stellar 2009 with a season even close.
D) Cito. My heart loves Cito, my brain hates him. His managing last year caused me great, great baseball stress. Wells hitting 4th like a number 8 hitter, Kevin Millar taking AB's away from Snyder, etc., made me want to pull my hair out. This years seems to be Cito's grand farewell to the field --here's hoping he remembers the players' names and doesn't cause another revolt. Fairly reasonable expectations.
E) I think that might be it. I dread watching Jose Bautista lead off and Wells still hit 4th (oh, the unending fly-outs to 2B just killed me last year!) I dread the bottom of the order (Encarnacion, Buck, Gonzalez, Bautista...ugh...), and the non-stop losing, even when it is for the greater good, has a way of wearing you down. But wait, I have another reason to look forward to 2010:
F) Bringing my son to a Jays game for the first time. Even if they stink, he'll be pooping his pants, so it'll all be relative.