Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

You know, we'd like to think that we're a bit more rational and emotionally stable than we've been acting over the past week, but clearly, that's not the case.

It's taken all of eight days and eight losses to turn us into a typical hysterical JaysTalk-calling bandwagon jumper, ripping every player and every member of the coaching staff and writing off this season and probably next and threatening to stop following the Jays altogether. It's incredibly unbecoming.

The upside is that the fantastic start that this team had over the first seven weeks (remember when?) has left them in good stead and on the plus side of .500. If they decide to take advantage of a typical Roy Halladay outing and score more than a handful or runs today, maybe we can all put this ugliness behind us and focus on the last four months of the season.

Fingers crossed.

Cito's logical fallacy
Our pal MRB, the philosopher and lifelong Red Sox fan (yes, such a thing exists), would be proud of us as we worked our way through this undergraduate Logic 101 proposition.

Cito's notion is that he doesn't generally want to monkey around with the lineup because maintaining that consistency allows players to relax and feel comfortable. While over periods of time it might seem like shifting hot bats into higher leverage spots in the lineup would be beneficial, Cito's notion is that in the long term, it's best to stay the course, losing one today to win two in the future. Sounds reasonable enough, even to a hysterical ninny like us.

But here's the catch, and the spot where this logic falls apart: It presupposes that Cito chose the best lineup in the first place. If, in fact, Cito began with a lineup that wasn't his strongest, then he's holding onto a flawed model for the sake of consistency.

Players progress and regress from one year to another, so it would be reasonable in the early going of the season to adjust and ammend the lineup based on what we're seeing now versus past performance.

Because Vernon Wells' 2003 season is a distant blip in the rearview mirror.

49 comments:

Ian H. said...

It's still mind boggling that Cito benched Rios and not Wells last night.

Can you pass the glue? I need to huff something to get me through the day!

Tao of Stieb said...

The Rios thing was just a day off. Wells is apparently going to DH today as a means of getting him some rest.

Which means we won't get to see a ball go over his head...which is always a relief.

eyebleaf said...

I think that going into the season, Cito made the right choice in Wells as his cleanup hitter. Not because of 2003, or 2006, but because of last season. He led the team in slugging and OPS.

We're about 50 games into this thing now, and it's not working. If he changes it now, he should buy into his own philosophy and change it for good; for at least the next 50 games.

Who's our other option at #4? Lind? He's batting .264 in May.

I need some glue, too.

Angry, Pissed Off Jays Fan said...

If anyone needs counseling, I'm at jayssuicidewatch.com. we all need help so don't feel shy or embarrassed, we all share each other's pian.

The Ack said...

heroin.

Tao of Stieb said...

When I put a spike in my veins, and it makes me feel like I'm a man...

Ian H. said...

I usually try not to side with the callers on Jays Talk, but I remember there was someone who called in on the weekend who said that V-Dub was giving up on fly balls and basically ho-humming out in CF this year. I hate to say it, but he's right. It seems like Vernon just doesn't have that same hustle anymore.

MRB said...

A+ for you, Tao.

The Ack said...

Seduced by the bottle and the warmth of a syringe.

....seriously, though, the last line of this post is totally freaking me out.

Any Jays success, whether it was to be this season or the mythical 2010 season, had to be predicated on Vernon Wells being a legit middle of the order hitter with Rios acting as his bro' in arms, correct?

Umm, yeah. Someone else finish that thought for me....

Anonymous said...

vernon really needs to swap outfield positions with rios. i put the chances of that happening at about 0.001%.

Tao of Stieb said...

Don't get us wrong: We like Vernon.

But he's a fat bastard.

eyebleaf said...

Vernon cried himself to sleep last night.

Capt. Obvious said...

On a big pile of money and Twinkie wrappers.

Hey, Blue Jays stars are just like us! Except for the pile of money.

Joe said...

That airball last night was painful to watch.

Tao of Stieb said...

You know the Jays are in trouble if Vernon start to look like the rest of us playing softball.

If he asks for a Courtesy Runner at first, we're fucked.

eyebleaf said...

I believe in Vernon Wells.

Tao of Stieb said...

I believe in eyebleaf.

Darren Priest said...

Until Aaron Hill cowers under an infield fly, he won't look like me playing softball.

Basically, every time Rolen throws anyone out at first, I just stare in disbelief, "Dear God, how is that possible? It didn't roll on the ground even a little!"

Ian H. said...

BTW Tao, how are your lungs holding up after hauling back that entire carton last night?

The Ack said...

I believe in Rance Mulliniks. That's right, I said it.

Priesty, don't ever compare yourself to Scott Rolen. That's not a healthy exercise for anyone to partake in. Except for maybe Roy Halladay - he could pull it off.

Christopher said...

Vernon's 2003 season is a distant memory? Why not take last season's stats and average them over an entire season. If Vernon's not injured Vernon will be fine. I fully expect 30 home runs and 100 ribbies by the end of the year. Book it and you heard it here first.

Tao of Stieb said...

@Ian

Not a carton, but three cigarettes today. For shame.

Anonymous said...

On the logic - it doesn't presuppose the "best" lineup (I can't speak for Cito, of course, just saying is all ...). It simply accepts that the current outcome is satisfactory (in this case, better than expected) and assumes that a change is as likely to result in a poorer outcome as it is a better outcome. The logical reason for not taking that risk is that there is no need to take it (i.e. not losing, so no need to risk for potential greater payoff) - though I think in this case, this "logic" is combined with the somewhat less common (and not necessarily based on logic) belief that once you change what you have, you can't get it back.

However, "Cito's logic" and "logic" may be quite different things. I think he's just doing things his way, which is a simple way. Being more complex wouldn't necessarily win more games. I think Cito's logic is more like choosing the lineup at the grocery store. 2 lineups, same size. PersonalIy, I just pick one, and I don't switch if there is a small change that looks like the other one would be faster. 2nd guessing takes more effort, probably has little payoff, and is more frustrating when it goes wrong. That said, it is entirely possible that I miss a few chances to leave the store earlier.

Of course, if the dude in front of me pulls out a change purse and starts shuffling pennies around on the counter to pay for his 7 bags of groceries, I get the fuck out of there, because that is gonna make me blow-up.

Despite the overall stellar record, my impression of the Jays is that there are now 8 bags of groceries and only some fucking pennies on the counter, so I would change lineups!!

Darren Priest said...

Heck, Ack, I wouldn't compare myself to Craig Grebeck. My point was how awesome it is to watch a good fielder make difficult plays look easy. I am in awe.

Tao of Stieb said...

Although in fairness to you Darren, he's not playing on a crushed rock infield.

Let's see how smooth Scott Rolen looks when a softball suddenly changes direction towards his face!

The Flying Fadoo said...

Rolen is really a great third baseman, that can't be spun. Just like Vernon is a so-so hitter and is becoming a blah fielder,too. I'm glad that they have winners like rolen and doc on the team to balance the losers like Fat Vernon and Clueless Rios. JP needs to add two hitters next year in order for them to do anything, because as currently constructed things don't look too good....

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