Something weird is going on when hitters get to Toronto. I don't know that it gives any credence to the Man in White conspiracy but it makes me uneasy all the same. An alarming pattern and something I'm not altogether okay with.
Why do hitters stop walking when the come to Toronto?
Colby Rasmus drew 5 walks in his final 7 games as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has drawn a grand total of 2 as a member of the Blue Jays, 1 in his last 10 games.
Brett Lawrie - one walk in 22 plate appearances as a Blue Jay after drawing 8 walks in 17 games since coming off the DL.
Travis Snider - twice as many walks and half as many strikeouts at AAA compared to the big league.
Even Fred damn Lewis - I guy I wanted the Jays to acquire because of his patience - posted the only below-average walk rate of his career as a member of the Jays.
This...isn't a welcome trend. It the ballpark to blame (Statcorner ranks the RC as a poor park for left-hand hitter walks, if you put stock into such phenomena.)
Maybe it is the hitting coach, the esteemed Dwayne Murphy?
I'm not saying the Jays should replace Dwayne Murphy at the end of the season but the Jays should certainly consider adopting a more sound offensive strategy. I can't pretend to know how the players feel about Dwayne Murphy or even if it is his doing. The hitting coach makes an easy and obvious scapegoat but this total lack of patience worries me.
Speaking of Patience
Patience is not something the good people of Toronto are known to possess in spades. They (we) certainly didn't show Vernon Wells a lot of patience.
When I first starting thinking of how best to receive Vernon Wells, I went with my usual "the idiots will do this so I'll do the opposite" contrarian shtick you have come to expect.
But then I thought about it for a second - when Vernon Wells left I wrote that he was just a guy.
Vernon Wells isn't much different from Roy Halladay or Carlos Delgado. They all presided over middling times for a middling club. Except those two players are better than Vernon Wells. They hit better or pitched better and smiled bigger and became the thing we desperately want athletes to be, each in their own way. Vernon Wells just played and went home.He isn't a local legend or a player with whom the fans experienced great ups and downs. He came, he played, he was traded.
A nice enough guy but, for whatever reason, he didn't make as deep an impact as he probably deserved. Thems the breaks.
With that in mind, I hope Jays fans greet Vernon Wells with exactly what he deserves: a mild smattering of indifference. A few claps and a some boos but basically allow a non-event to unfold as such. Overzealous cheering will seem insincere, raucous booing pointlessly cruel. Just let it be. It is how Vernon would want it to be.
Image courtesy of the Ruin Porn flickr pool. Which is, of course, fantastic.