"I can't believe I passed my physical." - Scott Rolen, January 15, 2008
Well, the Greatest Blue Jay of All Time has finally hit the DL with a bum shoulder, and nobody should be surprised if that's it for his season. I know that I certainly won't be. In my mind, it comes down to one of the following options:
(a) rest and therapy, which, reading between the lines (as I so often do - not sure if you've noticed), means "learn to play through the pain, but realize you'll never be as productive offensively as you once were", or....
(b) endure a fourth (fourth!) surgery on that ailing left shoulder in hopes of getting it right, and returning to form next season.
Ouch. Yes, I realize I already said that, but do either of those options look appealing to you? How do you think they look to Rolen? Now, I could be wrong on this - let me rephrase - I hope that I'm wrong on this, and the rest/therapy option is all that's needed, Rolen comes back strong for a few weeks to close out the season, and he's at full strength to start 2009. That would be the best case scenario. That would be, in Blue Jays blogginology, fucking nails.
But let's just say that I would be very surprised if that's all it took to get Rolen back to the 40 doubles-smashing, 20 HR hitting, 90 RBI collecting, .280 hitter I had hoped (there's that word again) the Jays were getting. After all, he had a full offseason (and then some, thanks to the weirdest fielding practice injury in history) to rest the shoulder, and apart from a hot start and the rarest of rare stretches, he hasn't looked right at the plate all season. So why would 2 weeks of DL time make a difference?
And that sucks. Really, really sucks. Hard. But you know what teems with equal amounts of bullshit? The "fire JP" crowd that chooses to use this as yet another indictment on his record.
"Look at Glaus this season! He has 21 HR and 79 RBI for St. Louis! And we have no power in our lineup! JP screwed up again! Asshole!"
Look, I'd like to think I'm pretty down the middle with Ricciardi, in that I see a lot of sense in a many of the moves he makes (the Overbay trade, the Accardo trade, signing Scutaro for next to nothing, etc), but disagree with close to an equal amount of others (the Thomas signing, Shannon Stewart, Brevin Mencherson, etc). Having said that, I don't know how anyone could score the Rolen-Glaus trade as anything but a win-win for both sides at the time of the deal.
Unhappy injury-prone third baseman for unhappy injury-prone third baseman. Bad wing for bad wheels. A slight dropoff in offense for a huge upgrade in defense. That was the score at the time, and to apply the "Glaus is killing it!" logic now is complete and unequivocal bullshit.
First of all, it's laughable hindsight to compare offensive stats, because nobody was predicting so little from Rolen, just as nobody was predicting this much from Glaus. Secondly, does anybody really think Glaus would be putting up the same numbers in Toronto this year? On the fieldturf that was somehow apparently destroying his body? In a lineup that doesn't feature Albert Pujols?
Finally, let's not forget that Glaus, while being a classy pro about the situation, didn't want to be in Toronto any longer, so getting back an established Gold Glove caliber player with potentially plus offensive capabilities - at the same position - was just about the best case scenario. And that's exactly what Ricciardi accomplished with the trade.
AJ Burnett isn't talking to the media any more
Well, at least not to Wilner, and I'm scratching my head over this one. AJ says he's unhappy with the way he's portrayed on the radio..... but if you read his always excellent blog, you'll see that Wilner is his biggest defender. I guess AJ doesn't read blogs (not even this one, AJ?). I'm also guessing you can thank the Bobcat and his Merry Band of Baseball Ignorami for this development.
There's good-flaky AJ (inappropriate hat tip to the crowd, warming up to "Hangin' Tough"), and there's bad-flaky AJ (this). Come on dude, let's not spend our final weeks together this way. Don't go away mad.
Then again, maybe he's just making it easier for both of us to say goodbye.
I don't want to talk about the Indians series
...so I'm not going to.