There seem to be two camps out there when it comes to Vernon Wells: Those who can't possibly hate the player and his contract any more, and those who have assured us all season that he'll turn things around and re-establish himself as the team's best hitter.
We probably have been in the latter group for most of the season, but we're getting perilously close to a tipping point in the season where we stop thinking of this as a bad start and start looking at it as a bad season...or worse.
In the 32 games since Vernon Wells last hit a ball out of the park (May 6th versus Anaheim), he has posted a .574 OPS and driven in a grand total of seven runs in 134 plate appearances. Each one of which, it should be noted, with him hitting fourth in the Jays batting order, just to beat that dead horse again.
And dare we mention that Travis Snider was exiled to Las Vegas after posting an OPS of .686 in 108 plate appearances? If that sort of performance merits a demotion - and it did - then shouldn't Vernon receive some sort of demotion himself? Like maybe a week or two of hitting seventh or eighth in the lineup?
Most importantly, the Jays have gone 14-18 in those games. We'd hazard a guess that not many teams would do much better with their cleanup hitter putting up numbers that could be bested by the fourth outfielder on their Triple-A team.
Several times over the course of the year, we've figured that Vernon hit bottom. When you hear enough thuds in the run of a season, you imagine that Wells couldn't go much lower, but we're coming to realize that what we're actually hearing is Vernon falling out of the Shitty Tree and hitting every shitty branch on the way down.
We're pretty much stuck with Vernon Wells for the long term, so there's not much that we can do aside from hoping that he addresses the issues that he's having at the plate. We see a lot of up-and-down hand movement in his swing, something that probably contributes to the fact that he rarely hits the ball squarely.
The larger question, especially for the Sports and the City blog, is whether or not there is a Hatred Level on their Advisory System that exceeds Severe. Because we may need it.