Friday, July 10, 2009

Memo From the Toronto Blue Jays Marketing Department

The Jays marketing department announced a new slogan for this season:


I hate to get all gloom and doom after a series of extra inning losses on the road, but the tenor around the team is so different, so markedly different and depressive that even I can't keep my chin up. I won't discuss the possibility of Halladay being traded here because I don't know that I can. Things look rough. Rough enough for the National Post to run letters-to-the-sports editor in which clueless fans refer to the Jays as a "glorified farm team." What the fuck?

I'm a little worried and a lot disappointed over how much coverage the last week of hearsay has received compared to the action on the field. Even at the beginning of year when things were both hunky and dory there wasn't the crush of media attention. It sucks. But, as the marketing slogan says, it is what it is. The Jays will likely continue to be a pretty good team in a pretty tough situation. I'm not afraid of a lifetime of also-ran status, I'm afraid someone might just pull the plug.

Confrères and Cohorts

One thing I can certainly count on is Scott Rolen. Scott Rolen has a quote in a recent New York Times baseball blog Bats post that warms nearly every cockle of my heart. The post covers new video technology (Hit F/x) that tracks all movement on the field, including fielders, baserunners, and balls in play. Exciting stuff for a stats nerd, no?

When asked what he thought about the possibility of new metrics, Rolen stopped short of issuing the dreaded dismissive hand wank gesture. Scott Rolen is no hard-headed traditionalist lashing out from fear. Rolen instead crafted a thoughtful response (emphasis mine):
I don’t believe that baseball is a game that can be encapsulated that way. That’s the beauty of the whole game.
Impressive. Scott Rolen is more concerned with the aesthetics of baseball to worry about tedious number crunching. If I wasn't such a nerd, Rolen's eye for style would probably bring me to tears.

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