I agree with Geoff Baker, optics are key in Toronto. The baseball fanbase in this city is fickle at best and hopelessly out of touch at worst. But are you willing to sell the farm in a sellers market? If the rumours are true, would you suggest trading David Purcey (middle of the rotation guy that he is) and Brandon League (freakish closer-in-waiting) for 2 months of Raul
I'm not entirely comfortable with my role as JP defender. I understand the rationale behind most moves, but this team is stuck between stations. I can't really see them making a serious "push" to make the playoffs next year or ever. This business is content to float along, make money and not upset the league enough to stop the equalization payments. Winning titles simply isn't the priority that "winning enough to avoid consumer confidence issues" has become. Just as Rogers won't lower the astronomical data rates for 3G wireless customers, they won't keep increasing their baseball costs if they are already seeing a positive return. The payroll is reasonably high, but returns are reasonably low.
Is JP to blame? Is he but a victim, caught between the fans expectations and ownership's eye for the bottom line? I certainly give him a hard time, mostly because of his pompous, arrogant persona. Has he done a bad job? Not necessarily. I wish that the Carlos Delgado situation was handled differently, that the money Ted ponied up the year after his departure could have kept him a Blue Jay until this day. I don't like Eckstein, but bringing him in made sense. Not trading him and other veterans currently bench surfing seems to be a waste of everyone's time; but C-level prospects and AAA roster filler don't help anybody, nor does it entice potential low risk free agents to come to Toronto.
I guess it boils down to the nature of my fandom. While liberated in some ways, I am mostly a dogmatic Blue Jay fan. I like the Jays, and that is that. It isn't going to change, but it isn't the essence of my being. I'd like for them to be better, I'd like to know they are working toward something positive, but I will not uproot my support and move it to a more "successful" team. So yeah, they didn't make any moves, and they are essentially out of the race. JP knows what he is doing, but what he is doing is making Rogers money. Whatever.
I'm back at Walkoff Walk this weekend, keeping my eye on all the debuts and hot weekend action. With Jason Bay going to Boston not Tampa, Rocco is clear to be the right handed bat/right fielder in September. Jays in Texas, I fear, will get ugly.