Friday, July 2, 2010

Relativity


What you see above is the first (FIRST!!1) comment on my Fangraphs Q & A session with the esteemed Carson Cistulli1. While I certainly don't believe I whine about being a Blue Jays fan, "Kyle" brings up an interesting point: how much worse off are the O's than the Jays?

On the surface, one would say "a lot." The Orioles are abjectly awful and have been for years. But consider the criteria we use for success, consider the complaints generally lobbied against the Jays. No playoffs since 1993? The Orioles made the playoffs in both 1996 & 1997, the latter club winning 98 games. Sure, they haven't won even 80 games since then, but if your thought process is Playoffs or Bust; what's the difference?

The Rogers Dome is a sterile, unlovable concrete toilet bowl. Camden Yards is the blueprint and standard measuring stick for all retro themed baseball-specific playgrounds. Who's ahead here?

The Jays got 12 glorious years of Roy Halladay greatness, the Orioles had 300-odd seasons of demigod Cal Ripken anointing the sores on Dukie's feet. The RSN and Yankees take over both buildings so that's a wash.

The Orioles spend money on free agents (with generally hilarious results), if you listen to Jays Talk callers the Jays haven't done that since Jack Morris. The Jays win scads of "meaningless" games but that certainly doesn't sate the "meaningful baseball" hordes.

So what's the difference? Would you rather be the excellent also-ran or consistently pitiful doormat? Is there a difference? Are the Jays really no better than the Pirates or Nationals because the results, ultimately, are the same?

1 - Please read this. It is no small amount of mind-blowing to see my name on Fangraphs in any capacity. Incalculable thanks to Carson Cistulli for including me.

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Notice, "Kyle" (Boller?) conveniently framed it as "try being from Baltimore". Nice try buddy, but we're talking baseball here, not quality of life. Your ownership was always willing to spend like Ziggy Sobotka* on a Saturday night. It's just that your GMs have sucked. If they had half-decent GMs after Gillick left, they're better than the Jays. Meanwhile, the Jays had, to put it concisely: uninspired ownership, unfathomably bad luck with Uncle Pythagoras, awful injury luck (a record amount in 2007), lack of spending on drafts and int'l signings, and still managed to field decent clubs. Going by run diff, the 06-09 teams were top 10ish teams in the majors.

    *If you can't tell, I'm loving The Wire

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  3. Living in Toronto is infinitely better and therefore watching games here is infinitely better. It logically follows that the Jays are infinitely better. In conclusion, we win. The end. That's my formula and I'm sticking to it.

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  4. 3rd Period PointsJuly 2, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    I believe Mr. Manners recommends a 20 year moratorium on abject whining after each World Series Championship (10 years after each Pennant).
    Any Blue Jays fans that do not remember 1992/93 will have to bottle it for 3 more years./

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  5. What's the opposite of addition by subtraction?

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  6. I'd say the Brad Wilkerson signing a few years ago was a pretty good example of subtraction by addition.

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  7. With the Jays, I've been able to delude myself (until August generally) that the Jays had a shot at the playoffs. With the O's, there's no chance.

    So yeah, to me there's a big difference, it's called hope. And if you have hope, you have everything. Heck, sometimes hope's better than the real thing.

    Example: Someone tells you that next Saturday night, you're having sex with Jessica Biel (insert your favorite celebrity here). Chances are the build up leading up to that event will be better than the event itself.

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  8. Reply to Anonymous, July 4 1010 5:51pm:

    I call bullshit on your comment. Sex is definitely better than the build up to it (although that part is definitely important). And the analogy is off too, as in winning the World Series is better than not winning the World Series.

    This comment is something a virgin, or someone who has never seen their team win a championship, would say.

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  9. CC, you've got it all wrong. A virgin would think that the sex with Jessica Biel would be the best part of the experience, but would end up disappointed. If the Jays win, that would be great. But it's not going to change my life in any real way. It might mildly excite my body chemistry. Either way, the build-up (to a game seven? won in eleven innings? against Roy Halladay?) would be infinitely better.

    Having things is usually a disappointment, because reality attends possession of something, whereas it comes nowhere near your imagination.

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  10. Paorta, I said it is something a V would say, not something they would think. What someone thinks and what someone says are 2 different things and often someone will say something other than what they think in order to save face.

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  11. Well, I guess that depends on the hypothetical virgin.

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