Monday, February 14, 2011
Doom, Gloom, and Sponging Up the Fun
It looks more and more likely that Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays will reach a long-term agreement, especially after postponing their arbitration hearing until Friday. That, I think, could be a good thing for the Blue Jays in the future, provided the length and terms are agreeable.
Just about everything looks good for the future of the Blue Jays. The present...not so much. It isn't that the upcoming season is already lost or that I don't eagerly await Opening Day. I just think there are many short-term potholes between the Jays and a steady cycle of success.
I said as much during my turn at the helm of the ESPN Sweet Spot blog over the weekend. The Jays are in great shape for the future, unencumbered by regrettable contracts with a nice pipeline of talent streaming towards the big leagues. Too bad not enough of that talent is ready to salvage 2011.
The 2010 rotation was alarmingly durable, not missing a start until the Jays shut Brandon Morrow down. Can that continue? I know I'd like to think pitchers progress in a linear fashion but there is a real chance either Ricky Romero or Morrow suffer setbacks at some point of their career. If anything, shouldn't we hope this happens in 2011?
Adam Lind and Aaron Hill were very bad in 2010 at doing anything other than hitting one home run a week. They were much better in 2009 as you well know. Which season was the fluke? Adam Lind has the minor league track record and all but Hill is the human outlier. Assuming this duo fills the productivity hole left with Vernon Wells' departure & Jose Bautista's return to Earth is reckless indeed.
Frankly, I'm scared. I'm afraid 2011 will be ugly enough to kill all the good vibes Alex Anthopoulos accrued this winter. I don't even know why. What does it matter to superfans like us? (That's me writing this and you reading it.) The fairweather fans are only going to be there in fair weather, it's right there in the name! Maybe I like the idea of bloggers and fans of other teams coveting our wonder boy and his Ichiro-esque batting average.
As warily cynical as I am about the two items discussed above, I am completely bullish and hopelessly positive about Travis Snider in 2011. Nothing I see or read this spring can dissuade me from believing, for no real reason, that this is the year he goes off. Even if he doesn't, he sure seems like a swell dude to hang out with, which is more than any of us have any right asking for.
Building on the 85 wins Cito's magic potion rung from the Jays in 2010? We cannot get greedy. Enjoy the growth, enjoy the sun and enjoy the ups and downs. I think it is important we take the downs in stride because I've written this post too many times and at some point need to sack up and demand Playoffs!!1! like a real fan should.
Reuters Image courtesy of Daylife