Thursday, June 19, 2008

The infinite sadness

Four losses in a row. Three games below .500. Six series losses in a row. Last place in the AL East.

However you slice it, these are the worst of times for the Toronto Blue Jays.

We're not sure if there was anything emblematic about last night's game. It was just another loss in a series of losses that leave you thinking that this team just isn't good enough, and that the pieces that we thought we had here aren't what we might have thought.

(By the way, does anybody remember a time about 14 months ago when people would make the statement "Oh don't worry...the Blue Jays are going to score plenty of runs." Yeah. Those were good times.)

Denial, Grief, Anger, Acceptance - All in one episode of Wednesday's with J.P.
It shouldn't surprise that the callers came with knives out last night on the weekly call-in segment with the General Manager after the game. Ricciardi alternated between reassuring the fans that he's a frustrated as they are and flagellating himself over the ballclub's poor performance.

But what was stunning last night was hearing J.P.'s comments about Adam Dunn when a caller suggested that there was something wrong with the Jays' brain trust if they didn't already have him locked up.

"What do you know about Adam Dunn?" J.P. shot back at the caller. "Do you know that he doesn't like baseball?"

We won't reprint the whole exchange (go listen for's towards the end of the episode), but for anyone (admittedly, like us) who had visions of big number 44 hitting cleanup for Toronto, J.P.'s incredibly frank assessment of the Reds' slugger should pretty much put those notions to rest. We've never heard J.P. (or any other GM) speak this frankly about a player, although we're sure that if he had a do-over, he might not have let his frustration with the petulant tone of the caller get the better of him.

Our question now though is: If not Dunn, then who? Big Sexy Richie Sexson?


Darren Priest said...

If Sexson can be had for very little (like Frank Thomas for the A's this year), Sexson would be worth a flier in my opinion. Roger's Centre is supposedly a better hitter's park than Safeco.

Tao of Stieb said...

Although you wouldn't know it from the way that the Jays hit when they're there.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

i'm not sold on sexson. that .220 avg and .294 obp aren't all that enticing.

i'm depressed. fuck.

Darren Priest said...

This Jays Talk thing with Riccardi is pretty hilarious. Thanks for the link.

These callers sound like they are about to burst into tears or maybe they are just nervous.

Goldy said...

Erg, I would stay away from Sexson. He had a couple of decent seasons with the Brewers, but once he got hurt in Arizona, it wa all downhill. However, I would rather have Sexson on the roster than Mench. I think Mench may be my least favorite brewer of all time. I was shocked when I saw him draw a walk agains the Cubs on Sunday.

Darren Priest said...

I certainly wouldn't want to play Sexson anything close to the money he is making with the Mariners, but if he is going to be released, then I would see if I could get him and hope he finds his stroke. But, of course, I have no idea what it might cost.

Tao of Stieb said...

The other thing with Sexson is that he hasn't played in the outfield in eight years, so finding him playing time between first and DH would be difficult.

The fact that we're even talking about Sexson, or looking with envy at the Yanks signing big fat Sidney Ponson shows you just how bad this season is going.

The Ack said...

It's just.....what the fuck do you do with this team, at this point? We were all blowing ourselves (at least I was, I had a rib removed HEYO) over the long term deals JP handed out to Vernon, Rios, and Hill. I was happy he was able to reel in big time free agents like Burnett and Ryan, even if he had to overpay/overcommit to do now what? We're locked into these contracts for better, but now more likely, for worse. We've got no wiggle room to do anything. Wait for some of the kids like Snider, Lind, Arenciba to come up and make an impact? Hope the bats come back and are at least league average again?

Fuck, it's depressing. I'd almost rather the team was pure shit instead of just swapping spots in the middle of the standings with the other also-rans. At least then we wouldn't have our hopes up and couldsnag some high end talent via the draft.

You're right Tao. These are the worst of times. And I fully realize I'm completley overreacting, but fuck it.

Darren Priest said...

Wilner made a great point on a recent show about other teams looking at the Jays and thinking Doc could be had for a couple of minor leaguers. My first reaction was "preposterous!" (in my best John Adams voice) But at some point, if things continue the way they are, the Jays will have to make those types of decisions.

Since we love Doc, it's only right that we set him him to a contender. Fly, little bird, fly!!

The Ack said...

It's so sad that I've actually thought about this, but if Doc decided he wanted out and wouldn't sign an extension, I wouldn't begrudge him one bit. The guy deserves to pitch in October, and if he really doesn't think it is going to happen with the Jays, then he should sign elsewhere. If he ever does leave (on his own accord), you know it won't be for money. He's too stand-up of a guy for that.

And I don't care what kind of dazzling prospects-based return he would fetch in a trade, I would completely shit my pants and hand deliver them to One Blue Jay Way if that happened.

Tao of Stieb said...

You know...we kinda missed the boat on trading something of value when teams around the league were sniffing around Wells and Rios.

We get the instinct to want to hold onto your own players, but there was an opportunity there that's pretty much gone now. Wells' contract is going to make him untradeable in the short term.

Of course, we'd probably want to hold onto Rios and his team-leading .267 average.

It's like the 1997 Jays, led by Orlando Merced all over again.

Andrew said...

Richie Sexton should be released by the Mariners once the dust settles from their recent GM firing and even more recent manager firing.

Mr. Sexton has a .962 OPS in 30 games in the Rogers Centre. He also has a .924 career OPS in the 2nd half. (.796 in the first half)

Tao of Stieb said...

Adam Dunn's revenge: he "singled to catcher" in his first at bat today, then struck out.

But someone has to explain how the hell Adam Frickin' Gigantor Who Hates Baseball and Probably Kicks Dogs Dunn singles to the catcher.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

wow, talks of trading Roy...that's when you know shit is really fucking bleak.

and we're already down 2-0. nice to see AJ come out with some fire and try and prove he's committed to toronto.

i need a hug.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

wow...6-0 brew crew...un-fucking-believable. anyone think gibby might be gone after this game?

Tao of Stieb said...

Russell Fuckin' Branyan!

Jiminy Christmas!

10 homers in 61 ABs, and an OPS of 1.272.

Branyan now has more homers in this series than Alex Rios has all year.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

"Branyan now has more homers in this series than Alex Rios has all year."

i just threw up in my mouth.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

could dave bush actually no-hit us?

Tao of Stieb said...

Prince Fielder inside-the-park home run.


Drew said...

Prince Fielder inside-the-park is the seventh sign.


Anonymous said...

Only way the Jays could survive the AL East is if EVERY player on the team has a career year.

Guess we will just have to follow the ways of Tampa Bay and live on the bottom while collecting 1st round draft picks.