Monday, July 13, 2009

Out of wilderness and into the mire

After more than a week spent deep in the wilderness, pounding away mercilessly at our liver and feeding the varying species of flying, blood-sucking insect life, we're back and ready to examine the Blue Jays' landscape.

Or maybe we're not.

When we dropped off the pavement and out of cell range last week, we had vague hopes that a good run against the AL East and the Jays would be right back in the thick of things. But as the day-old boxscores trickled in from borrowed newspapers, the news in the agate type left us with an increasingly sinking feeling that could only be assuaged with another couple of gin and tonics and some long, searching stares into the distance across the lake.

"It's aaaallll over for the Blue Jays," our father-in-law told us with a smirk more than once over the space of the week. Although to be fair, he generally says this after every April loss. It's just that it seemed to resonate a little more this week, and we had fewer rationalizations or contextualizations with which to retort.

The season obviously isn't over, with another ten weeks to go. But with the release of B.J. Ryan and the trade rumours circling around Scott Rolen and someone else who we can't bear to mention, it seems as though an era in the Blue Jays history may be coming to a close.

Call it The Age of Vague Optimism, wherein the Blue Jays made free agent splashes and re-signed key players with a view towards some convergence of fortunes that would lead to their slipping between the behemoths and into the postseason. With the slide of the 2009 team's fortunes and the ongoing decimation of their pitching staff, it seems as though the path to that increasingly remote day of glory will be taking a detour of indeterminate length and distance, with a different crew both on and off the field.

Obviously, we're not about to jump ship on our beloved team. But the next chapters might be a test to our spirit of adventure.

The inevitable Doc post...postponed
There's a post of epic length coming on the recent rumours around Roy Halladay, but we need more time with it to shake off some of the raw reaction and come up with something vaguely coherent. Stay tuned.

Thanks and praise
Again, we offer our sincere thanks to our Man in the Prairies, the Ack, for his stellar work in what was an incredibly eventful and trying week for Blue Jays fans. His piece on the possibility of Halladay being traded ranks amongst the best things to ever appear on this site, and the 65 comments it generated are a testament to his work. Good work, Ack. Now go get reacquainted with your family.


The Ack said...

I think I speak for the readership when I say good to have you back. No - great to have you back.

Looking forward to the eventual Roy Halladay Epic. It will be a nice counterbalance to my "gut reaction-don't wait for the dust to settle" post. Not that I feel any differently, really.

You touched briefly on something here, which has been gnawing at the darkest recesses of my declaring this "the end of an era", are we then absolutely writing off any faint hope that the team can be competitive in '10? Are we resigning ourselves to another Ash-ian/beginning of Ricciardi's tenure type era? Marginal (at best) major leaguers filling out a roster comprised of a drastically slashed payroll?

(If you're sick of seeing Lyle Overbay at first base, think back to the days of Dave Berg handling the duties.)

If so, holy fucking shit. Can. Not. Handle.

Wait, this is a comment, not a post. Shut up, Ack.

Tao of Stieb said...

Yeah, we're not necessarily thinking that the team is going to begin a perpetual rebuilding process, because there are a lot of very good pieces there for them on which they can build: RickRo, Marcum, Snider...there's going to be some improvements from within by 2010.

But it seemed for the past few years as though the team was making a slow and gradual build towards something, and now we feel like a couple of pieces have been yanked from the bottom of the Jenga tower, and we're going to have to rebuil... er...retoo... er...well, something.

I don't know what to tell you. I wish I had a peppier view of things right about now.

Ian H. said...

Welcome back to civilization, Tao. You sure picked a hell of a week to go on your wilderness retreat. I can imagine your head must've almost exploded when you heard about everything that happened last week.

Yes, well done Ack. It was a seamless transition between Tao and yourself.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Tao.

Hmm, I think you've nailed it on pinpointing the era we're in. And I'm okay with hoping for a convergence of health, luck, and discount free agents. The other possibilities, like the Marlins model, just seem so, um, heartless - but then, I guess that makes me a sucker for intangibles.

Heart always,


QJays said...

Welcome back Tao.
I was going to comment, but I'll wait for your Halladay piece. Everything is so unsettled (in my mind, i mean).

Layth said...

Listening to Halladay today at the All-Star game he sounds like a guy completely defeated and ready to move. It was quite depressing. I almost jumped out my office window. Of course my office is on the first floor of the building so I am not sure what good it would.

The Ack said...

I'd appreciate the symbolism of it all though, Layth.

Did not hear, but read the comments, and they did come across as a man ready to move on & resigned to his fate elsewhere.

Unrelated (but kinda related), Ricciardi should immediately flip the bird to any of these teams in pursuit of Doc who put forth these bullshit lists of "untouchable" prospects. If Halladay goes somewhere and the return doesn't include an org's best prospects, we'll know it was a move mandated from somewhere else besides JP's office....

Balls Deep said...

You're father-in-law sounds like a prick.

Alex Rios' Cock Cheese said...

"I think I speak for the readership when I say good to have you back. No - great to have you back."

You don't speak for me. Ack > Tao.

Anonymous said...

cock cheese can be funny like that

eyebleaf said...

Welcome back, Tao, and a well-deserved standing O for The Ack.