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.