You're still with me?
5. Because Cito Gaston is kicking all kinds of ass and taking names
If we've learned anything about the New Gastonian Era (terminology hat tip), it's that you don't mess with The Cito. Mike Mussina can kiss his ass, and apparently, Roger Clemens is an asshole. Cito - such language! Think about the children!
There's a good chance there's a little bit of senility creeping in, but you know what? I'm really enjoying this new 'shoot from the lip' Cito. You have something else to say, Joe Maddon? Then you'd best be ready to throw down. The Cito isn't messing around in '09, man.
4. Because of The Arnsberg Effect
If you tell me that it's possible to have a man-crush on a pitching coach, then I will tell you that I think I have one on Brad Arnsberg. Seriously, if any one man can cobble together a workable staff out of the fresh faces filling out the Jays rotation this year, it's Arnie. His handling of one Ricardo Romero Jr (I may have made the Junior part up - no idea) this spring has been nothing short of nails.
He may have saved your career, Ricky - now go reward him with 14 wins.
3. Because of the kids
When's the last time we, as fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, had a crop of talent like this coming up through the system? Sniderman and Young Adam Lind are here to rake, and we have 3 young arms in the rotation (Litsch, Purcey, Romero) looking to establish themselves as big leaguers.
The next wave includes impact bats like JP Arencibia and some usable sticks like Scotty Campbell and Brad Emaus. The best may be yet to come on the mound, with future rotation horse Brett Cecil due to arrive mid-season, and spring darling Brad Mills is on standby should someone falter. I'm an ardent follower of boxscores on MiLB, and I plan on continuing that trend this season.
(What? You think that's sad? Fuck you! How else am I supposed to follow the daily trials and tribulations of kids like Balbino Fuenmayor and Timmy Collins? That's right - I didn't think you had another answer.)
2. Because the Blue Jays have nothing to lose
I mean, it's going to be a dogshit season, right? That's what all the experts are saying, yes? The Jays will be in a 4th place battle with Baltimore, correct? Good, glad we have that settled. Now I can carry on and enjoy the season with absolutely no anxiety over each and every one of the 162 games on the schedule.
Every win is a bonus. Contenders should be embarrassed to lose to this team. Close defeats will be moral victories. Et-cet-era.
(Now where's my Prozac?)
1. Because PENNANT!