Toronto Baseball Guys
Saturday, May 08, 2010
  Coulda' Woulda' Shoulda'
As the Jays marched into Chicago, it was interesting to see the impressive stats that Alex Rios is beginning to put up: BA 301, SLG.553, OPS .890. These numbers play in pretty much any position and obviously look better in centre than they do in right. How is it that Rios manages to look below average in a corner outfield spot, but runs like a VW in centre?

Rios is beginning to put together a nice season and the Jays gave him up for nothing, meaning that the team’s refreshingly strong play could be even stronger if he were a part of it. Which gets me thinking…Roy Halladay’s dealing to the NL at a clip of: Win/Loss 15-1 in 7 starts, ERA 0.6, and WHIP 0.812 (NB, confirm Roy’s numbers) and none of the talent we got in return for him is contributing in the majors yet.

Oh Crud! What did we do!? We should be competing this year. Has anybody checked their watch? Is it finally five years since Ricciardi began his plan? That seemed much longer…but I guess I, like most fans, have been travelling past Rogers’ Dome at speeds close to that of light over the last little while.

Imagine if we replaced the weakest member of our rotation and Snider’s sub-Mendozan line with Halladay and Rios….The drips from our altitude-induced nosebleeds would be landing squarely on the bills of the Rays’ and Yankees’ caps and we’d need to be careful not to get the “bends” when resurfacing from a series at Fenway. We’d be winning, ESPN.com would include the Jays in their list of MLB teams, and the Dome would be so full that Chris Bosh would be twitting from the 500’s just to say he was a part of it –On an unrelated note, am I the only one embarrassed for Bosh right now? He’s like that awkward guy in your high school class who’d act like the biggest jerk in hopes that he’d get noticed by the cool kids- but I digress.

Get those guys back, call up Philly and Chicago and ask for a do-over. While we’re at it, let’s see if we can get Barajas and his nine homers back from the Mets…

Wait, I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. It’s only May, the timely homers (thank you “New and Improved” Alex Gonzalez), stunning starting pitching and evolving bullpen are bound to run out, right? Even if they’re not, New York and Tampa are too good this year, and Big Papi’s just a couple months away from his second annual realization that “while it would be nice to say I did it without my PED’s it’s just not possible”.

There’s another reason that I don’t want things to go back to the way they were…it wasn’t any fun. I think this team is a real team that’s been a pleasure to watch…on TV:
-Cito’s showing respect to everyone. He’s even complimenting the guys selling programs.
-Nobody’s intimidated by the brooding ace.
-They’ve got each other’s back…even with Fred Lewis and AGonz conspiring to bloat Andruw Jones’ OBP on Friday night, Sean Marcum made a point of letting them know it’s okay.

Some other thoughts:
-Curtis Granderson injures his groin and now the Yankees shiny new toy is broken. If this injury takes too long to heal –especially considering the demand CF puts on legs – do the Bombers break out their change purse and offer to “help” take Vernon Wells off our hands? I hope not…
-Speaking of sore legs…I’m starting to cringe every time I see Aaron Hill leg out an infield hit, or jump to avoid Bill Madlock Jr. barreling into second. Do the Jays have anyone coming down the pipes at third? Have they ever considered moving Hill to third? By the time the Jays are competing, Hill will be older and slower, and might be a defensive liability in a key position. However, he’ll still probably have a strong arm, and the good quickness and hands required for third. We’ve seen him hit for the kind of power that you would expect from a third baseman and it seems like second base is a pretty hot position in the majors right now. There’s bound to be a nice prospect coming up, or an all-star free agent willing to sign with a winner.
-Travis Snider continues to look more and more comfortable at the plate, and I’ve really enjoyed watching his wacky plays in the field. On Friday night Snider cut in front of Wells and launched himself at a ball heading into right centre, making the clean catch and then sliding on the ground. The whole play was completely unnecessary as he could have caught the ball standing or just let his gold-glover- again centre fielder take the ball. This was yet another diving catch that he’s made this year. They always look a bit silly –his massive body hurtles through the air like Free Willy clearing that stone pier- but they tend to work. Look, he’s showing effort and that’s great. Besides, the last guy I remember flailing this oddly at batted balls and pitches was Joe Carter. I heard he was pretty good.
-And seriously Adam Lind, please stop striking out. Set up an appointment with Murph and Cito, and see if you can't get the "John Buck Special".
 
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