It's Canada Day, goddamnit! Time to get yo draaaank on and feel vaguely superior because, you know...we're not Americans. (With due apologies to our American readers. Sometimes, our patriotism comes at your expense. Though your loyal blogger is not of that sort.)
Wave a flag, raise a brew, and let's get on with it. Tweetbag into the weekend!
First up, @mstoreshaw asks: Who's next year's backup catcher? Hard to dislike 2011's Molina, but is 2012 a younger guy's turn? What's your Canada Day beer?
There's a question, we suppose, as to whether is José Molina will break down physically by next year to the point where his best attributes (notably, that smile, his great haircut and his well groomed facial hair) will fall into question. Molina has been perfectly serviceable, and we think he's been a good mentor to J.P. Arencibia, though really, how the hell would we know such a thing?
There's a question as to whether if Travis d'Arnaud will be ready by next year, or if Brian Jeroloman might be the catch-and-throw guy in 2012 or 2013, and whether if the Jays are ready to go with two younger catchers. We don't think that such a thing will send the rotation into freefall, given that Arencibia has already shown some impressive growth in his defensive and game calling abilities. If it were Molina, we'd be fine with that, but if one of the youngsters is ready, then we'd be happy to see the (stop us before we say it) Catcher of the Fut...Urgh. Just barfed in the wastebasket.
Speaking of which: Beer choices! We were going to rock the Kronnenbourg 1667 for Canada Day (Mais oui!), but given that we should show some damn patriotism, we'll be scarfing back some Propeller Best Bitter (Halifax! What up!) and some other local Ontario beer that we can't remember, but that we picked up in Merrickville a few weeks ago. We'll tweet the name later.
@infieldflyrule asks: Does the warm reception Doc's sure to get hold throughout Saturday's game? Should it?
Oh sure. Why not. It should be fun for people to see Doc again, and get to appreciate what he brought to the team for lo, those many individually glorious years.
(Though, if Toronto fans seem so determined to boo every cat who comes back, why would they heap scorn on Lyle Overbay? Especially since his worst crime against the franchise was, you know, being Lyle Overbay...Meanwhile, Halladay pretty much engineered his exit and limited the Jays' potential for maximizing their return by insisting on essentially one destination...But nevermind that.)
Here's what we suggest: Get misty-eyed in the first inning when you see Roy in another team's uni, standing on the Rogers Centre mound. And then, when the Jays light him up for ten runs (it could happen!), hit your feet and root root root for the home team. Halladay was a special player, and deserves a nice ovation. But let's not lose track of where our allegiances lie.
And another thing! @timmyd_ asks: Best guess: DFAd or traded (or neither) by July 31: Rivera? Patterson? EE? Nix? Hill (gasp)?
Is this sorta like that Fuck/Marry/Kill game? (And BTW, doesn't that game end up in a pretty grim place? Like, couldn't it be Fuck/Marry/Completely Ignore? Just to be more civilized?)
To the point, though. We'll call this game "Here/Released/Elsewhere", and we'll extend the timeframe to August 31, because some of these sorts of players probably only get dealt after the deadline, and closer to September 1st. And here it is:
Hill - Here
Nix - Released
EE - Here
Rivera - Elsewhere
Patterson - Elsewhere
Another! @blandy12 asks: do you think Davis's faith issues were really a problem, or using it as a crutch?
(For those who are wondering about this question, there's this article from John Lott at the Post that is a fairly intriguing look into Rajai's headspace.) I'm not even particularly sure that what Davis had was a "faith" issue per se, but that's how he's defining it, so who are we to judge? ("Crutch" sounds pretty harsh here.) Suffice to say, Davis is going through stuff, and it is taking away from his ability to perform his duties on the field. That's all we really care about.
However it is that he thinks he's going to make amends or adjust his behaviour in order to get back on track, that's his deal. We just expect him to perform.
Onward! @GrubersMullet asks: seeing Thames hit his 1st big league HR live last night was a thing of beauty. What kind of player can Thames be for the Jays?
The more we see of Thames, the more we like. We don't figure him to really be a right fielder, so the sooner the Jays can move him back to left, the better. Is he above the Mencherson Line(TM)? Certainly. We see him as an .800 OPS guy, maybe contributing along the lines of the later-era Shannon Stewart. (After he stopped running.) And you know, that's not half bad.
Last one! @Starbyson asks: Isn't doing the same thing over & over expecting a diff. response textbook insane? (re: starting Aaron Hill)
Hill's actually looked as though he's stopped swinging for the fences, and he's still playing good defense, so we're not sure that replacing him with Johnny Mac or Jason Nix at this point makes sense. Hill's never going to be a great on base guy, and dialing back the home run swings in favour of some singles and doubles might lead him into a .320 OBP/.400 SLG territory that could be okay at the bottom of your lineup. We just have to adjust our mindset and not think of him as a Silver Slugger who's having a bad year. He's an okay hitter who had one great year.
Okay! That's it! And of course, it only took us all day to get around to this. That's okay. You'll have all weekend to comment!
Have a great Canada Day weekend, and we'll see you back here...er...eventually.