Thursday, July 16, 2009

Madly off in all directions

If you want a testament to the fact that Roy Halladay is the cornerstore/foundation/bedrock of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise, one need only look at the reaction of the fans in recent days to the prospect of losing the team's ace. People are angry. Sad. Resigned. Frustrated. Depressed. They are ready to move on and accept the change, or they are threatening to swear off the team forever.

They're blaming J.P.. And Rogers. And Vernon Wells. They're even blaming Halladay for maybe-sorta-possibly wanting to leave.

This isn't the Jays fanbase, marching in unison behind a rallying cry. It's more like the Running of the Brides at Filene's Basement, as fans scramble madly and chaotically to find their position and guard it with their life.

Not that we're insinuating that there should be some unity of voice over the potential departure of the best pitcher in the club's history. Those who have followed the narrative of this team's struggles and triumphs over the years have reached this chapter, and now that the rug has been pulled from beneath them, they're frantically looking back over the past few years to try to make sense of this.

It must be what Lost fans feel like on a constant basis. (Stop me before I sub-reference again.)

Whatever the case, this is all kinda fun, in a miserable way.


Ian H. said...

Tao, it really is what LOST fans feel like. I just want it all to end already so I can be put out of my misery and move on with my life.

Johnny G said...

I was almost resolved that he was leaving... and then the fan part of me kicked back in and I yelled at a co-worker for bringing up Halladay trade rumours...

I think the wait is killing me more then anything.

Jim Briggs said...

The worst thing about all of this is reading the asinine speculative offers for Doc from fans of other teams.

There's a pretty good taste of it (and who knew Dodgers fans were such oblivious homers?) over at MLBTR.

'These guys are untouchable,' 'Jays would have to take on Halladay's salary,' 'the conversation for Kershaw STARTS WITH Halladay.' Commenters suggesting that the Jays are in the position of weakness because they NEED to deal Halladay.

Cue Yanks fans proposing Kennedy-Gardner for Doc and saying TO should pay Vernon Wells to play for New York -- or Massholes suggesting Lugo and Ellsbury would get it done.


The Ack said...

@ Jim Briggs.....EXACTLY. Yankees fans seem to think that Melky is a major trading chip (fuck off).

All these delusional jackasses who seem to think a deal can get done by excluding their team's top "X" prospects and/or young players can take a flying fucking leap. Even the Phillies, with their "we're the frontrunners but Drabek and Taylor are untouchable" line of reasoning.

Ricciardi, and possibly the Jays, would be finished if he accepted a package like that.

Drew - LtB said...

I dunno, Clayton Kershaw is AWESOME and 20 years old making nothing. That is a mighty fine chip to dangle.

I like the mysterious/mythological aspects of LOST more than the resolution, what does that say about me?

Mark my words: in time Lost will be regarded as a shining achievement in syndicated storytelling on TV. It will have changed the game.

The Ack said...

Don't get me wrong, there's no way the Dodgers would include Billingsley/Kershaw in a package - why the hell would they? Lose an "A" starter controllable for years for an "A+" starter in his prime earning years? No way. I just don't think the Dodgers match up.

I wish Texas would get involved (if Doc would even agree to such a move).

I've been saying for a while that I need to get in on the Lost franchise, probably via season DVD's. I waited too long to get in, so have to start flush at square one.

Bruno Von Rottweiler said...

I love Lost. I wonder if it ends like its primary influence, Watchmen on a dark but somewhat bittersweet note. Yeah, we're being jerked around a bit BUT what did everyone expect? Hopefully in the end , Doc will stay until the off season that is....

@ Drew, funny how a series that takes from Watchmen, The Prisoner, the Wizard of Oz and M Night Shamaylan could be so amazing in some sense. The mythology is interesting BUT most people consider it too much......

Ian H. said...

@ Bruno and Drew:

I just hope it doesn't end with them waking up and it was all a dream. That would be the ultimate cop-out, but I don't think JJ would resort to that.

Drew - LtB said...

Brian K. Vaughn is my lord and master.

Voodoo Matt said...

It's the idiocy tht's the most painful. "Halladay would be a great asset in Wieter's learning curve." said a Baltimore fan acquaintence. I didn't have the energy to discuss it.

Tao of Stieb said...

Ok, if you guys don't mind, I'll be off in the corner by myself, discussing the analogues between the Halladay Trade Crisis and the Wire.

The game is the game, yo.

QJays said...

I think I'm ok with whatever happens with Halladay -- no sense in getting angry or frustrated.

I just don't know where to start in discussing it. How can you rationally discuss the supernatural? And fans of other teams are completely unfamiliar with it, so just smile and shake your head.

What Would Halladay Do?

Torgen said...

If we accept that clutch hitting is not a repeatable skill, then you would expect that the distribution of clutch scores of hitters on a team would be Gaussian. Look at the Red Sox or Yankees and that's what you see. On the Jays everyone's negative but Barajas (0.1) and Chavez (0.03). So either it's possible to be consistently unclutch but not possible to be clutch, or we're getting killed by luck.

Jim Briggs said...

@Ack: No doubt, there's probably NOT a match for Kershaw (too much evidence of future #1 potential, though he seems to walk guys a lot at this point). Nor with the Dodgers, period, because the LAD would probably refuse to blow JP away.

But you give something to get something, and I think Ricciardi has been crystal-clear that he is not going to do a deal that doesn't include at least one high-ceiling, major-league-ready prospect (I'm talking top 10-20 here). If he doesn't, he's deader-than-dead to me and Toronto fans in general. Deals simply will not and should not be made if these kinds of guys are off the table.

Potential is just that. Doc's potential is to help a contender go the distance, like few pitchers in MLB. Innings-eater, consistent, relatively injury-free, contract that - while pricey - is below market, two cracks at the playoffs with him in tow; Doc is HIGH VALUE. His potential is worth a mint to a playoff team. A prospect's potential is far less clear-cut, and it should be valued as such vis-a-vis Halladay.

eyebleaf said...

These are definitely some interesting times. Most everyone I speak to about this has changed their mind at least three times. It's def. fantastic to be a part of.

@ Voodoo: I think we all have one Baltimore fan acquaintance. God love 'em.

All I'm hoping is that J.P. is asking for the moon. If he gets it, pull the trigger.

Tao of Stieb said...

@Jim Briggs

Here's the funny thing about J.P.'s current predicament: If he trades Halladay, people are going to complain REGARDLESS of the quality of the package he gets in return.

And if he holds on to Halladay, it won't take long before people complain that he didn't trade Doc for a king's ransom.

Such is life in a sports media market populated by twits and cynics who mistake their jaded malingering for wisdom.

(Brunt excluded, of course. But not Blair, because he refuses to follow us on Twitter.)

Drew - LtB said...

JP? JP triflin, basically.

The king stay the king.

Tao of Stieb said...

Cut to: J.P. in his office with Tony LaCava and Alex Anthopolous.

JP: What are you sayin'? Are you sayin' Drew / Lloyd the Barber's been puttin' my name out on the streets?

(Tony and Alex look nervously at one another.)

JP: What's he been sayin'?

(Tony and Alex continue to look nervously at one another.)

Tony: He's been sayin' you're a punk.

JP: A punk?

Alex: It don't matter. You know...nobody listens to them ghostrunnin' 905 boys.


Anonymous said...

Lost blows.

JP should be fired.

Maybe we can get Ben least he looks like Roy.

Jim Briggs said...

Tao, most def anyone who rages out later on, if they end up not trading Doc, will be a grade A moron with a diploma from bovine university to prove it.

I would be far more pissed if the jays trade Doc to the Phils for lesser prospects that they should have traded AJ for last year.

The main point here is that if we must say goodbye to Doc, it ought to be because a deal that makes the team measurably better is there to be made.

rob said...

i agree Roy halladay is the "cornerstore" of the franchise

Jay said...

Lost is one of the greatest shows to have been on television the last 5 years.

My advice @ The Ack, don't start watching unless you have a clear schedule. It's very addictive.

Darren Priest said...

I tried to get on that Lost bandwagon in the second season but it all seemed pointlessly drawn out. I've seen tighter story arcs in Days of Our Lives.

Not every teleplay needs to be stretched over multiple seasons. Columbo was better and it was fresh fish every week!