An off day almost halfway through the season is a good time to reflect. I'm not the type of masochist to take on the Jays as a whole, so I'll look particularly at Scott Rolen v. Troy Glaus. This is what I said about the trade on January 13th:
While some seem content to stomp all over Troy's grave, I'll remember him as a guy that hit home runs, offered to play shortstop for a weekend and adjusted his manboobs with alarming frequency.Troy Glaus hit a game-winning home run yesterday, ensuring the Cardinals home plate mosh pit showed up on most media outlets. Meanwhile the ticker below read Mariners 4 Blue Jays 2. The walkoff-styled jimmyjackcorn was Troy Glaus' 13th of the year and the RBI was his 54th. Some Jays fans read that and thought: holy shit, I wish the Jays had a guy with that kind of power and run production. Scott Rolen only has 6 home runs. What a shitty trade. JP sucks, the Jays suck. Why won't Richard Peddie return my phonecalls???
The optics are indeed bad, but they don't tell the whole story. Actually, fuck that. The optics are just fine. Yes Troy Glaus has almost twice as many home runs and RBI as Scott Rolen. He's played 23 more games. Troy Glaus' OPS - .856. Scott Rolen's? .839. Hardly a major discrepancy. Troy Glaus is a notoriously streaky hitter that had a hot June after two consecutive months of sub.800 OPS.
Another key factor in Troy Glaus' success is Albert Pujols. This season, Glaus's at bats with runners on are almost equal to those with the bases empty. Hitting behind the twin killings in Toronto, Scott Rolen certainly doesn't have that luxury. He's being pitched differently. Pitched differently in the inferior league.
And what of the defense? Sweet and glorious defense. Scott Rolen, 61 games in, is the best third baseman I've ever seen. I don't see much room for argument. Top Zone rating in baseball, 6th in range factor. Glaus hasn't played poorly, nor did he as a Blue Jay. But Scott Rolen is in a class unto himself. Getting to so many more balls, making difficult plays with such regularity. I sure the difference in zone rating makes up for the difference in OPS.
I still haven't mentioned the true catalyst for this swap: TROY GLAUS BEGGED OUT OF TOWN. He worried about his long-term earning potential being effected by the Fieldturf. Hard to fault him. So JP did what he had to do, brought in a clearly superior defender and almost identical offensive producer. Yeah, fuck JP. He's a chump that has no clue what he's doing.
Half a season, I applaud this trade because I get to watch Scott Rolen every day. I benefit more from the "be able to tell my grandkids" angle than the "Troy Glaus hit more home runs" ever could. Greatest Blue Jay Ever.