Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quickly on a Sunday: end of Juan

If "Who is Juan Rivera?" was the question on Jeopardy, then the category had to be "Obvious Blue Jay DFA's" (with apologies to Jayson Nix, natch).

And so it ends, the Juan Rivera era. Through minimal (ok, some....) fault of his own, he just never seemed like he was long for the organization; a placeholder until management deemed the younger bats were ready, or more likely, until there were no further excuses readily available for not handing all those at-bats to players who could be the future. Travis Snider handling his demotion to AAA with grace and implementing all the changes asked of him, plus Eric Thames producing huge in his limited major league life had to be the final nails in the coffin.

For the record, I never find joy in a player losing his job. It's part of the reason I sometimes contemplate quitting The Twitter - it's just soooo easy to say shitty things about people - people! - you know nothing about other than a glimpse into what you want to believe that person is like viewed through a three hour window of baseball nightly. I'm sure Juan Rivera isn't a loafing loner who cares nothin' about nothin' "in real life", even if I've backhandedly expressed as much in 140 characters or less. That makes me the asshole, not him.

But Juan is gone, and gawdammit... I'm pretty excited about it.

Not (so much) because I wanted him off the team, but rather, because we're getting closer to the team we (if I may be so bold) all wanted to see coming out of spring. But is it false hope?

Do we risk having our collective dreams shattered if these baby Jays - with everyday at-bats given to the likes of Snider, Thames, Arencibia, and eventually Lawrie - go out and massively disappoint in the second half? Then what?

That's part of religiously following a baseball franchise, maybe (probably?) moreso than any other sport. The best team always seems to be the next crop coming up.

Let's just hope this version of the club is the one that keeps our attention on Toronto and not Las Vegas.


Ian - BJH said...

Ack, I realize Rivera wasn't exactly tearing it up in Toronto, but I'm a little surprised they decided to DFA Rivera in lieu of Patterson or even sending Perez down.

Paul said...

It's not like you or I losing our jobs. He still gets his full salary, doesn't he?

Sure it's a blow to his ego, but I'll take $5 million not to play for the Bluejays.

mankle said...

I share your feelings. I never felt that Rivera was nearly as bad as most people did. He just wasn't named Snider or Loewen or Lawrie or Thames.

He even had some great moments, but I bet that if he'd not pulled a VW and come out of the gate hitting well, he would be more missed.

He is a guy that will easy to forget. The media didn't report what he said much, he just went out and played whichever position Farrell asked him to play as best as he could.

I never heard a complaint, I never heard a grumble, even when the fans were calling for his head back in May. Juan Rivera seems like a classy guy.

On whether this team can compete with the kids -- I think there's a feeling in this town that mirrors those from the mid-80s. Starting around 1983, when the Jays were getting good. This team feels like that. With a lot of good young talent bubbling under the surface, stars in Bautista and Lind, and a couple of potential stars on the mound (Romero's been pitching like an ace, while Morrow shows flickers of dominance).

While The Ack seems to suggest that the grass is always greener in Vegas (somehow that metaphor seems very stretched with that locale), I think there's a general feeling that the return of the good times are coming, sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

you mention Snider coming back after "implementing all the changes asked of him"... funny because greg zaun was pretty adamant on PrimeTime yesterday that he sees absolutely no swing change from Snider and was equally adamant about not being impressed with Snider's 3 doubles...

so, who's right?