When you've had an offseason like the Blue Jays have had this winter, strange things happen and you don't even bat an eye.
A former first round draft pick is introduced to those three dreaded letters - D, F, and A? Seriously, all the best and good luck to you, Rusty. Your team is the only one in the league not to sign a free agent to a major league deal? It's "the economy", I guess. Assistant GM's are cut loose to save a little cash? Let's call it a redistribution of assets instead. A 23 year old pitcher with less than 50 big league games under his belt becomes a staff mentor? No big dea.....what?
Jesse Litsch - veteran influence?
That's right, Uncle Jesse is ready to step up and be a leader. And you know what? That's just fucking nails, man. Oh sure, you can question the wisdom and validity behind the rationale that sees a kid who spent some time in AAA last season saying "follow me"....but just listen to him:
"We just have to think we're better than them," Litsch said of the Jays' positive thinking. "If we come out hitting and pitching like we did last year ... at the end of the season we were just as good as anybody. We have to overlap that into this season and run with it. We're all good enough to be at the major-league level, it's just a matter that they spend more money. Some people may not be worth the money they get, but we still have the same number – nine guys – that they have. It's just you against the Yankee hitters, and you're going out there with same winning mentality as their pitchers."
You know what, I'm sold. Now if he can just master the art of the fist pump after inducing a weak inning-ending grounder, and maybe sprinkle in the odd congratulatory hug for his teammates, we're all set at the #2 spot in the rotation.
(14 wins and a sub-4.00 ERA would be nice too, but let's not get crazy.)