52 home runs. And counting.
98 walks. And counting.
An OPS of 1.021. Not a typo.
If you're anything like me (and pray to your God that you aren't), you still can't get past the ridiculous numbers Jose Bautista is putting up. He's the clear cut, no doubt, why bother talking about it MVP of the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays, and there is no debate.
But take a look just down the Jays' leaderboard (I know, it's a deep dark chasm between JoBau and the next), and well now, what do we have here? That would be Vernon Wells having perhaps the quietest season falling somewhere between solid and spectacular in recent memory.
Before the year began, I mused that Vernon might have a season reminiscent of his 2008 campaign in him (It's true! I did so! Look it up!), and it appears that indeed he did:
2008: .300/.343/.496/.840 - 20 HR, 78 RBI
2010: .271/.330/.516/.846 - 30 HR, 83 RBI
While it's the nice juicy round 30 HR figure that catches the eyes (The Manager inclusive, obviously), it's the return of the OPS to the comfortably above average .840ish range that is perhaps most impressive statistical development.
(side note - I'll let the more advanced of you commenters discuss defensive metrics - it's an offseason project of mine - so I'll just focus on the offense....OK? OK.)
And maybe it should come as no surprise that Vernon is having the season he is while playing second fiddle to the monster that is Bautista. Vern's never seemed like the lead dog to me, and the weight of The Contract has always been heavy on his shoulders. With the team struggling, the $20M+ paycheque placed the target squarely between the numbers for the centrefielder, and it's difficult to argue that the onslaught of boos affected his play.
(....quick break while we reflect in quiet sympathy for ol' Vernie)
So is Wells back? Can we expect similar numbers for the next few seasons as the franchise inches it's way towards contender status? Difficult to say, and I'm scared to admit which side of that argument I'd lean on - but one thing seems certain: the emerging young (and old) stars on this Jays team should continue to keep the focus off of ol' #10 (and his contract) - and for everyone's sake, that's a good thing.
Random weekend quick-hitters
The talk of improved clubhouse harmony in the post-Halladay era refuses to go away, 150 or so games later, and quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it. Love you, Blue Jays rotation, but.... enough.
Adam Lind has taken 38 walks.... while striking out 139 times. I didn't realize it was that bad, and now I'm depressed.
Brian Tallet leads all Blue Jay relievers with 74 IP. Brian Tallet has also posted the highest ERA (6.32) among active Blue Jay pitchers. This is not all on the goofy hipster longman. It's his use that's, uh, "confusing"...to be polite.
... John Buck hit his 20th HR yet?
Do you know what I would do if I was somehow able to attend the Cito Gaston Tribute Night? I'd stand and applaud the man(ager) who delivered two World Series titles to the city of Toronto, and who played a part in providing numerous & immeasurable baseball memories for this supernerdfan.
(Because I'm not really an asshole, y'know. I just sometimes pretend to be one on the internet.)