Monday, August 11, 2008

Revisiting Rolen

"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 I'm not going to.



I'm sure there is a way to blame this most recent addition to the DL on Kevin Mench, who as a result receives the latest of his nine lives with this club.


eyebleaf said...

hope is a fucked up thing.

and i came across someone who was bitching about the rolen/glaus deal and how JP fucked us again, and i pretty much wanted to knock the guy out. hindsight is so easy for half these morons around this city who call themselves "jays fans"...

as for the indians series, well, the jays are just a bunch of god damn cock teasers. how they could deliver those three stinkers after they swept oakland is beyond me. i cried myself to sleep last night.

BUT today is a new day, and a new series. go jays.

bs said...

i thought the offense looked terrible against the A's, so i'm really not surprised by this weekend

silvestre said...

Count me as one who liked the trade at the time. Defense is very under-valued by many GM's and the number of runs saved by Rolen's glove is exceeded only by Adrian Beltre IIRC.

Still, he really stinks it up with the bat lately. Here's hoping that rest and relaxation can restore him to at least league-average offensive levels for a 3B.

Darren Priest said...

I was happy about the trade. I was also happy about the Glaus trade when he came aboard.

Can't we get Bonds for the rest of the year? That would be fun.

The Ack said...

...I'm just happy I didn't get the "strawman" treatment from Priesty....

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out the brilliance of the Gonzo nosed GM in light of this this Shannon Stewart situation.....we gave up Reed Johnson to make room for him.

This chowda head has to go.....What credentials does he have for running a ball team again?

bs said...

see, now that is a worthwhile comment. you should really put a name to those wonderful thoughts

The Hek said...

Rolen for Glaus is still a win-win. Besides, Glaus isn't tearing up the league. He plays with a slightly better lineup (thank you Albert).

Shannon Stewart still burns me. I can't believe we gave up Reed for this dude.

fantasybaseballmacbookpro said...

Like I continue to preach, it is time to clean house and really shed ourselves of players who are going to hurt us with their salaries.

Step 1 - Trade, release, or plain out give away players for future draft picks and decent prospects.

Ste 2 - Sit and wait for a collection of the prospects to come and show us why they were highly touted prospects.

Step 3 - Sprinkle in some Free Agents and hopefully we have a team that can REALISTICALLY compete against the big teams in the AL East.

Of course this is easier said then done. I hope the Jays can bring some competitive seasons back to the SkyDome.

Fantasy Baseball Help

The Ack said...

Step 1 - draft picks aren't tradeable, you won't get anything for releasing players + you will still be on the hook for their salaries, and the Jays simply don't have the type of players who you can trade for big-time prospects, or you would have seen that happen at the deadline.

Step 2 - when you have an owner willing to spend $100M+ on payroll, why would you give away everybody just to wait around for the few blue chip prospects in the organization?

Step 3 - well, yeah....but last time JP went on a free agent binge, he signed the best starting pitcher on the market + (one of) the best relievers on the market....and he gets ripped to shreds today for having done it.