Another shaky (terrifying) ninth, another save for BJ Ryan.
I've been meaning to post about BJ Ryan for a while now, but with all the trade deadline-Travis Snider-we're still in this thing-now we're out of it drama of the past few months, never got around to it.
Today's game gave me the push needed, though. See, I've been quietly disagreeing with those who say the contract was a mistake and the Jays should look to move him in the offseason. I understand the logic and distaste for the size and length of the deal - but after this season, there are only 2 years left, and to dump him at this point would be to signal a rebuild. And I'm not ready to do that (you know, since I call the shots and all).
Contract notwithstanding, BJ's primed for a monster year next season. Just think about it - he's 24 for 27 (65 for 74 as a Blue Jay) in save opportunities this season in his first year after Tommy John. His velocity is almost all the way back - touching 90 on the gun - and he's finding his slider again. His control and command aren't quite there yet, but when they are (next season), look the fuck out. Fist pumps galore, my friends.
Of course, you need to put a winning team on the field in order to see those fist pumps, and BJ Ryan needs to be a big part of that. Now, I know the team had success with Acorn Accardo closing games last season in BJ's absence. But do you want to roll the dice with Brandon League closing next year?
Maybe I'm old school, but I'm of the mindset that a team needs a legit stopper in the bullpen. BJ Ryan allows Scott Downs to be Scott Downs (8th inning guy), Brandon League can be Brandon League (7th inning guy), Jesse Carlson can do what Jesse Carlson does (loogy plus), and Jason Frasor remains Jason Frasor (umm.....). You take the guy paid to be the stopper out of that equation, and you know what you have? Chaos. Let's not fuck around with a successful formula.
Saying goodbye to Exxxstein?
Nothing official as of this writing, but looks like the end of the line for another player on my trade deadline photo collage.
David Eckstein appears to be on the way out after what can only be described as a disappointing stint as a Blue Jay.
Through no real fault of his own, Exxx never really won the hearts of the fans (or Cito) after signing on with the Jays last offseason. Really, in hindsight, the one year deal should have been a pretty big tip-off this wasn't meant to be, but little Davey came in and did pretty much exactly what he should have been expected to do.
He's another guy whose taken his lumps on the Blue Jay blogosphere, but he'll land on his feet and sign a decent deal somewhere next season - and hey, looks like he'll play out the season on a contender, and potentially further add to his "World Series MVP" legacy.
You stay classy, David Eckstein.