Monday, September 29, 2008

End the chapter, turn the page

Well, that's that. Another season, come and gone.

It's hard for us to know what to make of the 2008 season at this point. We spent so long holding out hope this year that we've barely had time to really figure out whether if we think this is a good season or a disappointment. At this point, it kinda feels like a bit of both.

In the end, the Jays win 86 games (yay!) and are 10 games over .500 for the season (hooray!), and they play 14 games over .500 under Cito Gaston (woohoo!).

But then again, they end up fourth in the AL East, which will certainly provide almsot endless fodder for the superficial and superior media gasbags in Toronto over the winter. If someone deserves to be pilloried in the media about this year's performance, then fine...but it sticks in our craw that media types who could give a shit about baseball and are too lazy to examine the context are going to toss off pejoratives like "failure" or "mediocre" in passing, as they hurry through their non-analysis to talk at legnth about some fourth-line Maple Leaf.

Nevermind that the AL East is in the toughest division in baseball, and one which will only become tougher next year. The Jays ended the season 37-35 against their own division, while the potential AL Central champs made hay by beating up on the Royals, Tigers and to a lesser extent, the Indians. The White Sox sit at 42-29 within their division before today's final game against Detroit, while the Twins racked up a 43-29 mark.

We'll probably hear lots about the incomparable job done by those two franchises to remain competitive and make the playoffs, even if all that collected acumen led them to two more wins than the Jays.

Moreover, against the AL East, those two models of excellence in franchise building got their asses handed to them. The Twins ended up 13-22, while the White Sox were 15-26.

Our kingdom for a balanced schedule.

Turning the page, Part II
Breaking news: Paul Godfrey is leaving the Jays. It's probably the worst kept secret of the year that he was on his way out after the season...Hell, we figured it out, and we don't have any of this new-fangled "access" that we keep hearing about.

We still think that Godfrey is a wannabe Republican kitten-eater, but give the man his due: he saw attendance increase by about three-quarters of a million patrons per season over his tenure. There's something to be said about that.

Meanwhile, the nostalgic hacks in Toronto already have Paul Beeston stepping in to take over.


eyebleaf said...

Every baseball writer in this city should read this post to see just how much of an impact divisional play has on playoff hopes. Every year we hear the same shit, that complaining about the AL East is not acceptable. Well, fuck, after reading this post, I shall continue to complain.

bs said...

the organization has to accept that they are in the AL east and increase payroll. that is really the only way they can compete year in year out. JP can use it as an excuse because he doesn't determine the payroll. if rogers wants a perennial playoff team, then they need to pony up the dough. but I highly doubt that Uncle Ted cares if they are winning, as long as he is lining his pockets. and I hate the bullshit about the rays being able to win the East with a low payroll. Friedman lucked out on so many things this year, there is no way that team is as good next year. I think the Jays can make the playoffs with a 90-100 mil payroll, but they need many things to go right, just like the Rays this year.

Anonymous said...

Friedman didn't luck out AND they will be damn good next year. Primo pitching prospect Price is coming on as a starter. Longoria will be one year older and so will the rest of the kids. Friedman made some good trades and free agent signings and not many people's contracts are up next tear. The Rays might be better not worse next year.

bs said...

that he did, but he got lucky with Pena, Hinske, Floyd, and the bullpen. Good for him, but I don't see them winning 96 games next year

Lloyd the Barber said...

I agree with bs. Hinske & Floyd could just as easily be Mencherson. Then where are they? Or where are we if the roles reversed?

bs said...

that is what i wanted to say, but didn't for some reason. anyone could have predicted floyd would be better than wilkerson, but to get a 114 OPS+ out of him is getting kinda lucky

fantasybaseballmacbookpro said...

10 of the past 14 Wild Cards winners have come from the AL East. Just shows how weak the other divisions are as a whole. I think there needs to be something done to make the league more competitive in the playoffs.

But again, strong divisions change regularly and is highly cyclical. There will be a time when the AL East will no longer be the strongest division in baseball.

I wouldn't mind seeing a schedule made that reflects the performance of prior years.

Anonymous said...

I guess Baltimore's crying that if they were in another division they'd be a .500 team

You morons