Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's only 4 games, but I'll take it

Of course, I'm not so ridiculous to believe it'll last for any length of time,'s the weather down there, Boston? Any better from where you sit, New York?

OK, grade 7 catcalls a mere four games into the schedule aside, fans of the Jays have to appreciate the good times as they come. And good times they have been. Vernon Wells playing superman. Adam Lind validating his extension. Solid starting pitching from Marcum, Tallet, and Romero. Promising outings in relief (Kevin Gregg!). Three wins in four games, two coming in the nailbiting fashion the team was frequently on the wrong side of last year.

Things will go sour. On a young, rebuilding ballclub - they almost always do. But right now, even the signs of trouble hint at optimism:

Travis Snider - penciled in as a future leader of this ballclub - looked completely lost and without a plan at the plate in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Texas (0-4, 3 bad K's)....then rebounds as the hitting hero in Friday's 7-6 comeback win over the Orioles (doubling off of lefty closer Mike Gonzalez to drive in the tieing run, eventually scoring the winner).

Brandon Morrow seemingly confirmed our worst fears in his first start as a Jay, walking four and hitting a batter - in the first inning! - before settling in to dominate with his fastball before tiring in the fifth.

This is how the season is bound to go. One step (hopefully two) forward, one step (hopefully not two) back. 2010 is all about progress. Wins are gravy. But hey - who doesn't like gravy?

Vernon Wells is good people
Nevermind the hot start (but hey, how about that hot start!), opening week has been a welcome reminder that Vernon Wells is a good dude. Fans booed him lustily last season (pricks!) as he failed to live up to his outrageous contract, in part - in my opinion - because Vern carries himself with a seeming emotional detachment to his struggles on the field.

But maybe that's just who Vernon is. Maybe he's a guy who realizes that no amount of gatorade cooler bashing or temper tantrum throwing can alter the course of an infield popup (goddamnit!) or swinging strikeout (on a slider down and away). And maybe he's also a guy who realizes that struggles on the field don't compare to everyday struggles off the field.

I know, I know....some of you don't give a shit, and all that matters to you is what he does for the Jays on the diamond. But maybe think about who The Player is "in real life" next time you decide to ride his ass for his latest 0-12 slump.

(aaaand, I just sprained an ankle jumping off my soapbox)


Darren Priest said...

Hey, as a proud owner of Jason Frasor in my fantasy pool, I feel the need to point out he had back-to-back saves before Gregg showed up.

I agree on the Vernon thing. I think some guys flip out in the dugout to avoid being confronted about their shit performance. "Ohh, look how mad he is. Nothing we say will make a difference." Bullshit!

I am kinda neutral on Vernon but I don't need to see him follow up a K with some grand display of cooler bashing. And if he plays himself into a position where someone actually picks him up off waivers (yeah, right) then we all win.

Ty said...

Travis Snider's devastating high five to Cito Gaston after scoring in the 9th yesterday was seriously my favourite thing ever.

This team has been running out some of the weakest-looking lineups I've seen in quite a while, but they've been a TON of fun to watch so far.

Matt C said...

Not sure because I have been in a flu induced haze for a couple of days, but I think I heard Buck Martinez speak the sentence "And he takes a high hard one and strokes it into the dugout" in one of the last two games.

Leaker said...

I'm happy with the start. I do wish Cito would find some ABs for Ruiz, especially as I'm typically underwhelmed by Overbay and his chump .071 average, with no hits off any lefties. I respect Cito, but his stance on Overbay is puzzling. I thought the purpose was to win games, not make Overbay feel good about himself. I understand the Jays may have been hoping for a hot start for Overbay so they could dump him at the trade deadline, but I'd rather get wins than pump up the enigmatic first sacker.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad to see Vernon hit the ball well again. I wasn't impressed with the "playing through the injury" thing, even though we all like to see it in hockey. As for the hot start, I believe that this may is a bit of a mirror of last year, and I'm reigning myself in accordingly. The "cough up that lead like a 10 pound hairball" thing yesterday was hard to watch, and my TV has a thick hide from me screaming at it, but all's well that ends well.

Anonymous said...

WHY THE FUCK HASNT RANDY RUIZ PLAYED...its discouraging to him, the fans and everyone else involved. Thanks Cito

Gil Fisher said...

I'm sure Ruiz is plenty discouraged with breaking camp on a 25-man roster for the first time in his life, especially since the Jays likely didn't sit down and explain to him what his role would be (at least) early in the season.

I'm sure.

Leaker said...

The way Cito talks about keeping Lyle's spirits up makes it seem like Overbay has the mental make-up of a 9 year old girl. I got news for Cito and the Jays, any player who is batting .105 and hasn't done anything to shout about since 2006, ought to be looking over his shoulder. I don't know if Ruiz is the answer, but down the stretch in '09, he was a lot more fun to watch than Lyle Overbay. Enough is enough, Toronto, time to move on!

eyebleaf said...

@ Leaker: The Jays are moving on. This is Lyle's final year, and surely he's being shopped. He'll be gone soon. And you know what? You'll miss his defense when he's no longer with us.

The Orioles suck. God bless 'em. And that Gregg fellow looks pretty fucking nails so far, doesn't he?

How's your ankle, Ack?

Rhys said...

I don't think everyone ever criticized V-Dub's life of the field, but when you make the money he does, he better perform on the field.

If he's not a good ball player, but a good baseball personality, maybe he should take over for Cito and coach. The easy going mentality of V-Dub may be good for the young 'uns!

Jeremy said...

Agreed. Clap, clap ... well done! We did this last year, so I'm not jumping for joy yet.

Vernon is a good guy although the casual doesn't know that. I never booed him, but I often imagine what would happen to Vernon if he had signed that kind of contract in New York post 2003.