I was at Monday night's game and while I felt the same way about the game as my compadre, I didn't have the option of changing the channel. So that Clockwork Orange type experience of facing the team unfiltered has lead us to some conclusions:
1. Despite our mediocre season we have had a horseshoe up our collective ass. Sean Marcum and Dustin McGowan were not part of the plan. They certainly weren't counted on to be as good as they have been. This has to be viewed as a bonus. Our projected rotation for '07 isn't on the DL. It's in the unemployment line. So to get upset about a rare meltdown by Marcum is foolish (hear that Robert MacLeod?). Without Marcum, McGowan, Janssen, and Accardo, we would have been looking up at Tampa Bay in the standings right now.
2. John Gibbons HAS to go. We've long thought that Gibbons was a poor motivator. We've also thought that he has some isues with handling pitchers. But until Monday night, we never thought that he was dangerous. Why, for the love of god, would you put Dustin McGowan into a game as a pinch runner?!! Why would you take your most scarce resource and the future of your team, and put him in an unfamiliar position in a high pressure situation?!!! If he had hurt himself, Gibbons may have never found a job in baseball again.
3. The Jays need a more varied attack. Home run hitters who can't find their stroke are pretty useless. This is magnified when you have more than one. A DH is typically a one dimensional masher (Paul Molitor aside) so we should be ok with Thomas for another year. The preference would be finding a 3rd baseman who has a little less pop and a few more tools in his kitbag.
4. The Jays need character. We have character pitchers. We're talking about position players. Matt Stairs has character but he's not an everday player. Greg Zaun is always worked up so his rants are not impactful. Reed Johnson has a lot of hustle, but is not nearly as effective as Dick Griffin would have us believe. We need a couple of guys in the big spots in the lineup who have the skills AND want to win at all costs. Not an easy thing to find.
5. The Philly Cheese Steaks at the Rogers Centre are filling but nasty.