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.

13 comments:

  1. Isn't amazing how much of a genius AA looks like after the month of April? I don't think Gregg and Gonzalez will keep up anything close to this performance, but if they just look half as good the rest of the year, AA will gain a lot of confidence from fans for next off-season.

    And so, how do we get Alex Gordon here? Kansas needs pitching. I think we have that.

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  2. If I'm AA, I'm worried about offering the Royals too MUCH for Gordon. Dayton Moore is so far up his own ass I bet he'd take no more than two of the following:

    i)a smile and/or a handshake
    ii)a Strawberry Cheesequake Blizzard
    iii)the deed to oceanfront property in Saskatchewan at this point.

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  3. We should convince them to take Jeremy Accardo in exchange.

    "See, neither of them are good enough right now to be in the big leagues, but look at all the shiny saves Accardo racked up 3 years ago! He's had way more big league success than Gordon!"

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  4. Brian Tallet's MoustacheMay 6, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    You could totally sell Accardo (and Gordon, at that) on the standard "he just needs a change of scenery" pitch.

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  5. I can't help but like JoBau. So what if he only hits against crappy pitchers and teams? He's going to face a lot of them, even more than the good ones, so I say go to town, bromigo. All of his HRs this year are against righties, and on inside pitches. Last year, he hit all inside pitches too except for one. If pitchers are too dumb to keep pitching him there then it's not his fault. He's a decent RF too. I do love Fdot though. His swing and follow through remind me of Jason Heyward, or should I say Heyward reminds me of Lewis. Yea, the latter.

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  6. I've always been a huge Bautista fan since he moved to the outfield last year. He's not the most athletic or talented guy, but he is very patient at the plate and has a pretty good eye, hustles, and has a cannon arm.

    Oh, and he mashes lefties.

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  7. On Gregg:

    A few weeks ago there was a live chat session with AA at bluejays.com. Someone asked about the Gregg signing. AA said basically:

    - We think he's better than what he showed last year.

    - He was a leadership presence in the bullpen.

    Who'd have thought we might actually be considering picking up that 2011 option in a few months?

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  8. hmm, posnanski seems to think everyone is down on a-gord right now. some kind of a ricky ray - david purcey - scott downs pu pu platter?

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  9. plain_g, I don't think that's just a personal opinion of Posnanski's... You don't send a guy like that down to AAA indefinitely unless you've more or less given up on him.

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  10. Drew, sorry man - I hope I didn't come across as being an ass on my Bautista post.

    It's always great to have opposing views ... I have no doubt that if we had a Bautista slam-poet showdown, you would kick my ass anyway.

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  11. Beat ya by three days (more if you count the comment on Batter's Box)

    Anyway, the Accardo suggestion has legs. I find it hard to believe even Moore can be sold a bill of good on Purcey but I'd damned sure try.

    Jeroloman is a guy we could afford to deal. or Bobby Bell or Luis Perez ...hell I dunno, but like someone said - be worried about payng too much. Marcum would be a WILD overpayment, for instance.

    also, don't propose any veterans like Downs - that's not the sort of thing they can use (though I would try to get them to take EE if I could just because the roster would be so crowded)

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  12. I think Purcey is EXACTLY the kind of guy you could sway Moore with. He's big! And throws hard! A lefty to boot? Sold.

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