Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Men Among Boys
I like the National League, I really do. Sure, watching pitchers hit is good for a laugh but I bear no ill will towards the Senior Circuit. The Giants are, by and large, deserving winners of the 2010 World Series Crown. At least I thought.
Blinded by the overt sexiness of the team and the cool NorCal locale, I blinded myself to the insanity (or is it inanity) of the National League West. Over a few days this offseason, teams in the National League West bolstered their playoff chances by signing Juan Uribe and Miguel Tejada. Uribe signed to a multi-year deal, if you can believe it.
Adding these players to your roster isn't evil, so to speak. But signing these creaky old out-machines to play shortstop every day is just about the craziest thing I've ever heard.
Both the Giants and Dodgers have playoff aspirations in 2011. To think they can field these two players at this crucial position makes me more than a little sick. Imagine! Imagine being able to think "I bet Juan Uribe is a good bet at short for next year at least, we can move him around the diamond at $7 mil a year beyond that. I guess." and not have it mean the death of your playoff chances.
Uribe and Tejada are formerly good players — even great, in Miggy's case — but expecting them to hold down such a key role during a push to the playoffs? No shot.
The Jays signed Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop at this time last year. Gonzalez is both younger and frankly better than Uribe and Tejada at this stage of their respective careers. The Gonzalez signing certainly wasn't made with a pennant in mind. That's the biggest difference - the Jays looked to a one year stopgap and potential flip piece. The Giants and Dodgers will likely hit these guys in the middle of the order1.
Please don't take this ill-advised screed as support of expanded playoffs. It isn't. It is just my quarterly frustration with the Jays lot in life. A lot, if seismic shifts in the power structure of the ownership group are to be believed, that doesn't stand to improve greatly in the immediate future.
1 - There is no basis of fact in that statement. It is for entertainment purposes only. They probably won't hit in the middle of the order. Probably.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Roadside Pictures