Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The Month of May Means Mea Culpas!
Ordinarily I'd be content to luxuriate in the wondrousness of The Fred Lewis Experience, marveling at his warming bat and discerning eye. Now would be a great time, on the back of the goodness that is @Fdotlew, to throw my support behind the acquisition of spurned Royal Alex Gordon. In due time, so long as Dayton Moore and the rest of the reflexively foolish Kansas City front office "braintrust" keep dicking Gordon around.
Instead, I'll use today for the opposite reason: to admit a few errors in judgement. Giving too much credit to strong months of April is not my style (as is widely understood) but some of the hottest Jays in April were guys I wanted nothing to do with.
Kevin Gregg caught a heaping spoonful of my scorn all off-season long. I compared him (unfavorably!) to Josh Roenicke and griped about the prospect of watching the human form of compensatory picks giving up frequent home runs. Kevin Gregg responded by morphing into some kind of strike-throwing dynamo, sonning the American League with little regard for anyone's safety.
Gregg is awesome because he doesn't throw nearly as hard as it seems, but he keeps throwing his splitter and slider to great effect. The ball stays in the park, the walks stay down and Alex Anthopoulos looks like a genius (get used to that, it's going to happen a lot.)
The Alex Gonzalez signing didn't excite me, though I quickly warmed to his arrival for the obvious reasons. He'd save outs and hold a place until somebody (the Cuban, it turned out) was ready for the show. Alex Gonzalez indeed saves outs, but the sudden power surge? Crazy.
That Alex Gonzalez has 8 home runs and an ISO more than double his career average is a pennies from heaven situation nobody could have foreseen. Even if he completely shuts down for the rest of the season, his offensive numbers are pleasantly surprising.
Nobody in their right mind, as the nerdy dude webisphere proved all week, expects Alex Gonzalez to sustain even half this pace. Alex Gonzalez makes Jeff Francoeur look like Kevin Youkilis. You could roll the ball between your legs and A-Gon would swing. He wakes his wife twice a week by swinging at phantom pitches in his sleep. His plate discipline is even worse this year than usual, he just keeps connecting.
It won't last but who cares? An aging guy comes to town with a giant neon "JUST PASSING THROUGH, NOT A PART OF THE SOLUTION" sign over his head, only to provide so much excitement and help the Jays win a surprising number of games in April is worth it for me.
Of course, I would be remiss were I to ignore the ongoing contributions of Jose Bautista. He knocked a bunch of taters in April just like he did in Sept[record scratch] Nope, can't do it.
Sue me, I've got it out for Jose Bautista. Excuses made for other, sexier players quickly turn against the BAS guest of honor. Travis Snider struggles? It's his low BABIP! Bautista struggles? It's because he sucks. Fred Lewis is on fire! Who cares whom he beats? Jose Bautista only hits home runs against crappy teams and crappy pitchers. Because he sucks.
It's sad but true. I try to be fair and look objectively when the time comes, but I don't think I'm alone is looking for reasons to dismiss Bautista (and his ilk) while looking for reasons (or hope) in Lewis and Snider.
I hope it doesn't discredit the "analyst" brand I've worked hard to cultivate, but nothing short of a .400 wOBA or an opposite field home run at Fenway can save Bautista in my eyes. Alex Gordon can't get here to steal his job soon enough. The promise of next year will diminish the reality of this year nearly every time.
Images courtesy of Complex Magazine and the ether.