Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Point/Counterpoint: Ack and Tao's End of Month Digital Chinwag

TAO: Before this season started, I thought that I was going to be washed under in a syrupy sweet wave of positivity amongst Jays fans. And yet, here we are: Each of Alex Anthopoulos' callups/demotions gets crapped on, Farrell's getting little latitude on lineup/strategy decisions, and generally, there's misery and anger throughout the land. What the fuck is wrong with everyone?

ACK: Guilty as charged boss, and I don't feel great about it. Let me start with Farrell's in-game managing and the resulting furor..... I blame twitter. No, seriously. Every caught stealing or botched sacrifice draws instant negative response, and it's like fire consuming oxygen. Or however that works. Me? My blood pressure raises when Dotel gets called in to face left-handed bats, but I'm surprisingly OK with the baserunning. Except for the real obvious blunders. But I'm attributing that mostly to players adjusting to the "aggressive" style on the paths. That should get ironed out.

Now with regards to AA's moves..... I don't want to re-hash my last post, but let me just say that I'm mildly concerned at some of the double-speak we're starting to see. "We're bringing Edwin back to be the 1B/DH. No wait, he lost weight so he's OK at 3B now".... "We're going to let Travis work through his issues.... until he sucks"..... " etc. Just saying, I know someone else (coughRICCIARDIcough) who would and did get killed for that in the past. But yeah, plans change and he's earned the benefit of the doubt, so I'm not interested in killing him for it yet.

TAO: Seriously, though: The fact that we all need to pass immediate judgment on every decision, starting with the afternoon posting of the lineups each day right through to each reliever to enter a game...It just starts to seem like there's so little patience out there. And lord love a duck, if there's one attribute a baseball fan needs to have, it's patience.

Do people actually expect that Octavio Dotel was NOT GOING TO FACE A SINGLE LEFTY ALL SEASON LONG? Come on.

And another thing! Didn't we all castigate The Manager for his unwillingness to switch up the lineup...and now every lineup change that Farrell tries gets written off before the first pitch is thrown. Can't we all just relax and enjoy the games a little?

ACK:.... and on the flipside, The Twitter (as I like to call it) makes heroes out of marginal players playing above their heads. Sam Fuld anyone?

Now that we've established that people losing their shit is making you lose your shit... what legitimate concerns do you have from the on-field product? I'm just going to freestyle this one and wonder aloud why there's no uproar over Edwin's total lack of power. I suppose he does have 8 doubles, but for real - no longballs?

So how about you, Lash LaRue... what's got your spurs jinglin & janglin?

TAO: Funny you mention Edwin, because yeah, we noticed that glaring "0" under the "HR" in his stat line chyron all weekend long. He's not playing terribly...okay, maybe he is. But three or four dingers would do a lot to help us make the case for his defense. Or in his defense. Whichever.

And we're more than a little nervous about what we've seen out of Travis Snider to this point. As much as people want to discount the early poor performance, it's not as though he hit a few balls right at fielders over a few weeks. He was a mess. And though we're very optimistic about the prospects of him coming back stronger than ever, for some reason...lately...we've started thinking a lot about Jeremy Hermida. Perish the thought!

(And as for Jo-Jo, we won't mention it if you won't.)

And yes, you are right to point out that I'm losing it. Just a little bit. But the sunny days are coming, and after a crapload of injuries and some disappointments early on, the Jays are still in the mix in the AL East. And the sunny days are coming soon. Right?

So, blog brother: Sum it up for me. Where we at, and where we going?

ACK: Where we at, and where we going? Well boyo, I wish I knew. A month ago, it felt like we were on the precipice - a rotation filled with young stars already here and more soon on the way. Locked-up impact bats scattered throughout the lineup with the balance to come and soon.
Are we there now? I'd say no, we aren't. Does that mean we've taken a step back? I'll say no again.... but can we call it a step delayed? Some of that is injury related, some is what we hope to be a "temporary regression".... and some is curious decision making. Through these eyes anyway.

One thing I do know is that I'd rather not just watch this team kick around the "mix" until mid season, pressuring management to put up a false front of competing with big at-bats coming from the likes of Patterson, Podsesnick, Rivera, Nix, and Molina.... because I think we all know that's a design fail. Fans should never cheer to lose but if I can steal a line from The Manager, I'd rather lose one know to win two later in seasoning the guys who will eventually do it.
In short..... May might suck but August won't. At least that's the hope from this end.

TAO: And so say all of us!

Wishing May flowers to all y'all.


Brad Fullmer Fan said...

"TAO: What the fuck is wrong with everyone?"

Pot calling the kettle black?

It's not like your the most positive fan to begin with.

Brad Fullmer Fan said...

Also, I think it's only reasonable to expect the a terrible pitcher against lefties wouldn't be used three times in high leverage situations against lefties.

Seems like common sense, but maybe that's just me.

Stedron said...

BFF, you ignorant slut.

Appropriate, and topical to the post's title.

Stedron said...

SONOVABITCH! I missed the tag. I feel considerably less funny...

Tao of Stieb said...

I guess the tongue in cheek thing doesn't really come across. I thought I was laughing at myself for being such a shrieking Mimi.

I'll be more explicit with the self-deprecation from here on out.

Brad Fullmer Fan said...

Tongue in cheek? Guess I completely missed that, but haven't your tweets also been calling for patience with Farrell?

We still need to have our boxing match, Stedron.

Chad said...

Great feature. You guys should do this often, if you can.

Re: Twitter. Great point, Ack. I find I've lost the desire to follow the tweets during games. Too negative, too knee-jerk, and if the recent election showed us anything, Twitter is largely a tempest in a tea pot. Sure, it's a relatively large tea pot, but people on twitter are hyper-engaged and that just skews everything.

#17 said...

I'm trying to contain the rage until late May when Lawrie and Stewart should be up, perhaps a Thames for Cooper switch and the final (hopefully) triumphant return of the Snide. By then, we should be done with the Patterson experiment, Nix will be long gone with a decent-playing Hill and we will be cruising our way to a 80-83 win season on the backs of our future YOUNG talent.

Until then, hell. Pure hell.

#17 said...

Oh yeah and Jo-jo will be released to a great cheer from the blogging crowd.

Darrell said...

A few reasons to look at the glass as half full:

1. Because of injuries, our best lineup has played only once together all year - on opening day.

2. They've had a first month schedule that may have been the toughest in baseball.

Maybe the fact we are flirting with .500 is actually kind of amazing.