Monday, February 11, 2008

Greener Pastures

All the talk of scandal and greed, screw jobs and Massholes leaves me cold. Big companies make painful and heartless decisions every day; this one just cut a little closer to the bone. But the scenery is about to greatly improve for baseball fans. Money grubbing and rectal probing will be replaced by palm trees, sun, and guys in strangely-numbered jerseys having the time of their lives.

Baseball and sports in general are great because they offer opportunity to those who would otherwise be without. Brandon League, by all accounts, is not a genius. People of such diminished mental capacity are usually left to sad lives in the Jays ticketing department or supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs. Luckily for young Brandon, he can rush it up to the plate in a serious and sinking way. Which bodes well for his once budding, now question-marked baseball career.

Much was expected of Brandon League in the build-up to the 2007 season. He had been positively lights out at the end of 2006. He threw hard as balls and came complete with the kind of downward movement on his pitches that makes scouts drool. He was penciled in as the set-up guy going into 2007, leaving the Mullet and the Midget to pick up the pieces after the latest Josh Towers debacle or suffer similar indignities.

No scenario for 2007 considered the possibility of Brandon League losing his damn mind. Only in Brandon's pipeline-concussed brain do his reasons for ignoring the advice of the coaching staff lie, but somewhere in there he knows he fucked up. Large. He lost a year to injury and pissed off the Jays brass. He lost a great deal of zip from his fastball and the precious motion that helps separate the Mariano Rivera's from the Mark Wohlers'.

Fast-forward to this spring. Instead of having a predetermined role, he comes to camp fighting for those same 6th inning scraps. A return to form and initial visit to Sounddecisionmakingtown for League would give the Jays an enviable amount of flexibility. The Ginger Gangster could stay in the 'Cuse for a year of seasoning, Handsome Gus and JP's choice Casey Janssen could fight it out for the fifth starter's role. All the while a clutch of talented right handers would be vying for the chance to set up or step in for the rehabbing closer. Brandon League must be a part of the discussion and should play a key role in the Jays bullpen if they expect to repeat the success of last year.

1 comment:

Send forth the witticisms from on high