Our compadre Shortwaveboy once said that the Jays will never win anything as long as they continued to give regular playing time to Reed Johnson. That was before RJ's big year and run at the batting title 2006, and for a time, it was easy to write it off. But the comment stuck in our head ever since.
If there was any truth to that statement, then yesterday's news that the team had cut the "gritty" and "scrappy" outfielder loose is truly a happy moment, and a turning point for the team. You'd never know it to read all of the maudlin eulogizing of Reed's time in Toronto, but the truth is that he's been living on borrowed time for as long as he's been a Blue Jay.
Plus, he runs like a girl.
We've noted before that with a bit of digging, you'll find that Johnson's brilliant career with the Jays was comprised of a lot of replacement-level, marginal performance with the exception of about nine weeks of good fortune.
Sure, he's a gamer who runs hard (if not fast or in a masculine manner), and he's a guy who'll lay out for balls in the outfield. He's got spunk, but to quote Lou Grant, we hate spunk.
If you're feeling down about Reed Johnson's fate today, just take a moment and compare the man'd performance to any of the outfielders on the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Tigers, White Sox or Mariners. Those are the teams the Jays are going to have to beat if they expect to make a run at anything meaningful this year, and Reed Johnson wouldn't rate a bench spot any of their rosters, much less the starting left field job.
Other thoughts that percolated whilst we were in self-imposed exile:
The story about Scott Rolen's fingernail grosses us out too much to discuss. Yeesh. Of course, it is another hand injury to a hitter, so if Rolen is hitting .247 with 4 homers in mid-July, we're sure we're going to hear about this mangled digit lots this year. Or we'll get to know Marco Scutaro really well.
There's no good story that can't be ruined by a Paul Godfrey quote
We were really excited to hear the news that Toronto will be hosting first round games in the World Baseball Classic, and were trying to figure out how we get tickets. Then we read this quote in a Blair article about the forthcoming tourney from our old pal Godfrey: "(Y)ou'd like to think that you'll be able to attract fans from some of those baseball cities in the northern U.S.," Godfrey said. "I mean, you see a city like Detroit and with Magglio Ordonez likely to be with the Venezuelans, that would be a draw."
Jeebus Cripes on Segway, Godfrey! Can you stop fixating on bringing fans from outside of Toronto to the city, and start thinking about your own fan base?!