Friday, July 17, 2009

Offerings to the angry mob

Okay. We get it.

In a time and at a moment when we should be howling with rage at the very notion of Roy Halladay being traded elsewhere, we've been generally circumspect about the whole thing. Maybe that's just the way we deal with these things. We shut down emotionally, and analyze the whole ordeal until we've distanced ourselves from it just enough to function normally. Swallow the rage, the notion goes, and let it fester inside. Keep up appearances.

Which probably explains the ulcers. (Well, that and the bourbon.)

Of course, trying to take the high road and the dignified path through all of this will get you called all sorts of nasty names: A Rogers apologist; a heartless bastard; not a true fan. Joanna from Hum and Chuck even called us stupid on Twitter last night. (We actually had to check her blog this morning to see if she still wanted to be "respected" like us.)

It leaves us feeling like the Helen Mirren version of Elizabeth II in The Queen. We want you to know that we feel your pain, but we don't feel like we can show it. So let's just go fox hunting.

Ok, we'll play along. It's all J.P.'s fault
As much as we might try to not to fly off the handle and hurl accusations, we're left with this thought: If the Jays go ahead and trade Halladay, then J.P. Ricciardi's legacy will be the team's inability to win a postseason berth with the best pitcher in baseball on their roster.

We've defended J.P. for two years now, and we've gone along with the logic of many of his signings and moves. There's still a possibility that this Next Great Jays Team that we've spoken of recently may well be the work of Ricciardi and could be solidified with the players they receive in exchange for Halladay.

But if you're a bottom line kinda guy, you have to look at the past eight years and ask yourself if there weren't short term opportunities on which the Jays should have capitalized . As we noted before, the Ricciardi years will go down as the Era of Vague Optimism. The Blue Jays' margin for slipping past the Red Sox and Yankees is razor-thin at the best of times, but the measured approach that the Ricciardi regime has taken has always left us an arm's legnth away, with the prospect of next year always dangled as Our Time.

Fortune favours the bold, and opportunity is an ephemeral thing in baseball. (Especially in the American League East.) There have been ever-so-brief opportunities for this team in recent years, but the Jays have preferred to stay the course and stick to their program rather than risk the future for a slim possibility. It's an emminently reasonable strategy, but one that seemingly overlooks the fact that a slim possibility is the best that the Jays will be able to hope for given their particular context.

Maybe it's a bit much to call the Ricciardi era an abject failure. But as the decade closes, we're left with little to show for it other than ugly black ballcaps and a whole lot of frustration.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't limit the criticism of management to JP, but he probably deserves most of it:

reactionary signings = failure

Sven the Swede said...

Hey Tao, so if the Ricciardi years will be the Era of Vague Optimism, how will you titling your book on the mid-late 90s Jays? The "What the hell are the ghosts of Frank Viola and Danny Darwin doing on the Jays?" era?
According to Griffin, all the Jays need to do is hire a Canadian GM and then we'll instantly win.

Voodoo Matt said...

TL, dr, (OK I read it but forget all that anyway.)

Marcum's rehab start in NH yesterday: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 0 R!

One N, one A, one I, one L, one S!

Anonymous said...

What's next, a diversion from drinking ?

Darren Priest said...

Might as well blame the GM. He neither turned water into wine, nor did he feed a multitude with five loaves and two fishes.

Crucify him and develop a taste for the CFL!

Anonymous said...

But he sure knows how to find ways to make money disappear

Darren Priest said...

Not as well as Omar Minaya! Hallowed be his name.

Darren Priest said...

Oh and another thing, wouldn't it be more prudent for the Jays to try to package Wells with Halladay for fewer prospects? The Jays would need the receiving team to take on all of Wells' contract, of course. That might be worth more than a passel of prospects right there.

Ian Gray said...

See, that's enough for me. You have the best pitcher in baseball under a reasonable contract for eight years, and you never come close to the playoffs, that's that. Sure, he was unlucky in some things, but everybody is. And so while I agree with you that JP Ricciardi isn't the worst GM of all time or anything, the much ballyhooed trading of Doc is about as good a time as any to draw a line under his tenure as you're going to find.

As many people have pointed out, what's frustrating here is that after clinging to faint hopes when they should have cut bait in years past, NOW, with this guy of all guys they're being flinty-eyed and looking at the long term. It's backwards, I think, but it also feels like we've been sold a bill of goods. JP already had a reputation as a used-car salesman-presiding over the most spectacular firesale in team history a year before he said the team was due to compete puts the seal on that reputation, for better or for worse.

So while I realize and accept that part of me is being emotional, I really think there's not much of a case rationally for not making JP walk the plank after he officially gives up on this incarnation of the Blue Jays by trading Doc, Rolen et al. What reason is there to think that this rebuild is going to go any better than the last one he did? He had his shot, he did some things right but ultimately he failed. And as a result, he has to go. I don't see the argument to the contrary.

Joanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna said...

You aren't stupid, you are dumb. Dumb isn't as bad as stupid. And you aren't even dumb, just part of something you wrote.

Unknown said...

Let's not beat around the bush.... the Riccardi era has been an abject failure.

8 years and not even a faint sniff of the post season? If that doesn't say failure to me, I don't know what does.

Capt. Obvious said...

Who knows what Joanna means?

Bruno VOn Rottweiler said...

@DP, on OMar, I'm in the NYC area and I can't stand him BUT they made the playoffs once in his duration and missed it by two games two years in a row. JP has never even sniffed the playoffs with the Jays!

DP, I see where you stand on Wells BUT the Jays need to have to have a grand haul to justify the Halladay trade. To get relative garbage AND riding the Wells contract is not enough. They need to get something for Doc, not b prospects

@ Kevin ,great call. Enough of the dicision powerhouses excuse etc so on. He built this team and had 8 years to do it and not even one playoffs appearance? OUT!