A week ago, I was chewing on Prozacs like they were wintergreen Tic Tacs. Hey, beats heroin - am I right? And fuck you for judging, by the way.
Shaun Marcum was making an appointment to get carved up by Dr. Andrews. The pLAYOFFS! run had come to an end. The team was sliding into that shittacular "let's play out the string, boys" mode. A.J.'s opt-out was (is?) looming. Just an all around black hole of major league fail. Not good times.
But goddamn if there weren't some things to feel good about this week. No - really. I'm starting to talk myself into thinking this team can be in the thick of things next season. Stay with me here for a few paragraphs.....
(1) We still have Doc. Put it this way - if you're a fan of the Kansas City Royals, you're probably depressed 100% of the time during baseball season. You put Roy Halladay on the Kansas City Royals, and suddenly your happiness just improved by 20%. Maybe I'm over-simplifying, but that's how I feel about Roy Halladay. He guarantees you one good day a week.
(2) Two more years of the New Gastonian Era (TM) confirmed. Ignorant asshole fans from around the AL East can laugh and make "look, they recycled the wax statue of Cito Gaston to manage the Blue Jays again!" jokes, but seeing Cito in the dugout just feels right. He's that calming presence, that air of authority that it turns out this team really needed. He's also not afraid to mix it up a little, as evidenced by his "Mike Mussina can kiss my ass - and you can print that" knockout blow. The ball's in your court, Moose. POW.
(3) AJ Burnett's big week. His last start of the season was about as storybook as a no-decision/eventual team loss can get. From dominating the Yankees for eight innings, to his emotional send-off to the dugout after coming out to warm up (completely underplayed angle of all this, by the way - what a classy move by the aforementioned Cito), AJ left us wanting more. Specifically, two years more. And here's where I'm going to get a little crazy. Stay with me just a little while longer. You know why I feel at least marginally better that we might actually get a few more years of Huggy Bear?.....
(4) .....JP Ricciardi will be back in 2009. Say what you want about JP (that's never actually been a problem for Blue Jays fans), but if there's one aspect of his job in which he's proven to be quite adept, it's keeping guys in town that he knows he can't afford to lose. Now that it's been announced he'll be back next season, Ricciardi has to know this is the definitive "job on the line" season.
You don't think, despite his public bravado, he's secretly terrified at opening up the spring with three potential question marks in the rotation? You don't think he wants to keep "Bromancing the Stone" alive? You don't think he knows that said Stone will be paying careful attention to the direction the front office takes this offseason before deciding on any potential extension? Your goddamn right he does, on all counts.
So, yeah. Nice little week we had there. Anyone with me?