Monday, August 9, 2010

A storybook weekend

We'll confess to be a little overly obsessed with "the narrative": The ongoing story of the Blue Jays, which is written page by chapter by volume as every game, series, and season goes by.

The narrative, of course, is really only clear in retrospect, and a large part of what we spend our days doing around this blog is an attempt to anticipate or divine what the moment we're immersed in presently is going to mean for us a week or a month or a year onwards. Is this a turning point? Is this the moment we recall where the team's fortunes changed? Is it merely a spectacular moment, or is it something more?

We're not so bold as to assume that we know what this past weekend - and indeed, the entire week of series wins against the Yankees and Rays - really will mean in the grander context, years down the road. Maybe it doesn't need to mean anything at all, and we should all just savour the moment.

But how can you try to be measured and rational after performances like those? We can't remember the last time that we were so giddy from watching our team. From the brilliant Friday start from Brett Cecil, Saturday's otherworldly debut from J.P. Arencibia and Brandon Morrow's nearly perfect Sunday, it felt really great to be a Blue Jays fan this weekend.

You should celebrate the other J.P., too
In the midst of Arencibia's brilliant Saturday, a number of hacks felt the need to make an obvious joke at the expense of the former general manager: "You love this J.P.! You hate that J.P.! Ho ho!"

And yet, as we looked around this weekend, we saw a team whose foundations were laid by J.P. Ricciardi: Arencibia, Snider, Hill, Lind, Cecil, Romero, and Marcum were all drafted by the former GM, while Bautista, Overbay, Downs and Frasor were all acquired by him along the way.

We don't doubt that it was time to move on, and we think that Alex Anthopoulos has done some very smart things which would not have been undertaken by Ricciardi. But as this team starts to turn itself around much more quickly than many imagined, keep in mind that the team and its farm system were left in fairly good stead by the former GM.

25 comments:

Mark said...

Re: JPA. Best baseball game I've ever been to. Just a special day in all respects. The Future!

Re: JPR. Bang on. I've always thought that the amateur scouts and draft team did a great job in that era. What really undid JPR were the bad FA acquisitions.

Vito from Woodbridge said...

I think maybe you just don't get the joke. See, this new guy, his name's J.P., and we like him. And the old GM, his name was also J.P., and we didn't like him. So now it's funny, cause they have the same name. Get it now?

mike in boston said...

word is the Sox aren't keen on meeting Beltre's expected asking price (fucking Boras) and will let him walk. he's only 31, and has the right ethnic profile for this team.

anyone interested in Beltre at 3B for your '11-'14 Jays?

Ty said...

I like Beltre, but I don't know how I feel about 32-35 year old Beltre, especially on a Boras-sized contract.

Anonymous said...

Just say no to Beltre. What is missed in the Morrow story is the awesome play of Escobar that went 1st to 3rd. He wouldn't have scored otherwise.

Anonymous said...

the Wells bloop single came with 2 outs. Esco is going on contact and scores easily from 2nd, especially given that the ball lands between 3 fielders. None of them have a clear line to home plate for the throw.

Ty said...

Alright, Mr. Party Pooper Anon 11:22, it was still a really impressive display of heads-up baserunning.

Anonymous said...

it's a video game base running move, and it violates the cardinal rule of not making the 1st or 3rd out at 3B if you can stay at 2B. you only take that base if they're giving it to you. the throw nearly got him.

on another note, it was hysterical to watch Hill running interference on Escobar on the 2nd pop up to Overbay. his act is going to get old as soon as the team loses 3 in a row. hopefully with a new manager and another year under his belt he'll settle down.

Ty said...

It's pretty obvious, Anon 12:02 is Bobby Cox.

Tao of Stieb said...

Escobar is all about breaking cardinal rules. He plays the game with gusto, and sometimes, that's going to offend the sensibilities of more conservative types.

Voodoo_Matt said...

Anon 12:02: He didn't make the 3rd out at 3rd base, so he broke no cardinal rules. (He doesn't even play for the Cardinals!) If he had been caught, then he should rightly catch shit from the manager.

Apparently Johermyn Chavez is having a pretty good year in high-A, and League's ERA is under 4, so maybe the Brandon-Brandon trade isn't completely terrible.

Nelly said...

The other thing we mustn't overlook is the Jays gave up 11 runs on Saturday and could scrape up only one run on Sunday.

Accentuate the negative!

Martinez' Buck said...

There is in no fuckin' way I will give J.P. any credit for what this team is accomplishing now. The fact is that JP could not build an environment conducive to winning. The little pieces which make winners have been filled effectively by AA and allowed this team to compete. Drafting cannot be completly credited exclusively to any GM either. JP was on a real short leash near the end of his tenure and who knows what trades would've been completed had he had the freedom AA now possesses. All in all what I'm saying is fuck JP and any success this team has in the future he should not be given credit for and won't be by myself.

Ty said...

Well, that's just silly.

eyebleaf said...

Long live J.P. Ricciardi.

Randy said...

Not to worry. JPR will give himself plenty of credit.

Fdot Lover said...

Martinez' Buck may be a little silly, but hidden in his goofiness is this: this team has a fun spark with Lewis & Escobar batting 1-2.

PW said...

How can we get a linup with Lewis, Snider and Bautista in it? I don't think Lind will get more than a handful of starts wrapping up the year.

Anonymous said...

Stedron here having some login issues.

Since I live at work and most sites are blocked.....anyone want to be a dear and tell me who the Fisher Cats are running out Saturday in Altoona? I doubt I'll have the good fortune of seeing Drabek, but a boy can dream...

PW said...

I meant to say that Lind will only get a handful of starts at 1B. and therefore, how, given that Bautista has not been spending time at 3rd recently, can we get those other guys in the same lineup?

Parker said...

"...keep in mind that the team and its farm system were left in fairly good stead by the former GM."

Fuck all that. I'm with Martinez' Buck on this one. Lewis and Escobar brought all the intangibles that allowed this team to compete. Bignose Bigmoutherson was a complete and abject failure as a GM.

Bitey said...

I think this past weekend has been the high point of being a Jays fan for the past 15 years. I mean, really, it can only go downhill from here for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out if the last part of the post concerning JPR was meant to be funny or not.

I musta missed all those seasons that the Jays were really close to contending. Or the years wasted while we had the best pitcher in baseball. Or the over paying of a certain reliever who had only one good year previously.Or leaving the Jays with what was considered one of the worst farm sytems in baseball ( I think all of them with losing records). Few prospects rated in the top 100(Snider excepted).The leaking of the Halladay trade at the deadline and saying that Halladay requested that trade.

Even a blind squirrel finds nuts.
Even JPR found a few ball players.

I don't think he was horrible but he definitely isn't the architect of a contending team.

Radar

Martinez' Buck said...

I don't mean to be so negative towards JP but he fucked this team around enough over the years. Even when they were "close" there was always a significant piece or two missing that would've made them real deal contenders, which he would try to fill with wash ups and guys he had mancrushes on years ago.

The clubhouse always seemed to be in dissarray and I really believe JP to be responsible for this as players roles were never clearly defined and his shitbag attitude towards the team and city filtered down into the clubhouse.

The Rolen trade is in no such way JP's work in my opinion(again no evidence) this was around the time he had that leash on tight and picking successful first rounders can be done by half the guys on these blogs, I can't seem to think of any succesful late round gems in the draft but I'll have to check just to make sure.

The recent little "spot" on ESPN just made me realize again how much of a douche bag this guy was by trying to insinuate that pastornicky(sp) and the circus midget were some sort of studs in the jays farm system, as a person this guy just really bugs the shit out of me...........fuck him. A little harsh yes but really what the fuck did he do that was so monumental that entitles him to be such an ignorant fucktard?

www.muebles-en-arganda-del-rey.com said...

It will not truly have success, I feel like this.