Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend update/scattered thoughts

I'm here there and everywhere this weekend, with minimal levels of attention span or time to commit to anything proper & decent....

Wait, the kid is Canadian? Whaaaat?
I could have sworn I heard the broadcast crew inform us that Brett Lawrie was Canadian.... but that can't be right. Can it? Why haven't I heard that before?

OK, OK. But seriously now. I'm going to be completely honest with you when I tell you that my excitement for the beginning of the Brett Lawrie era has absolutely nothing to do with his passport. I suppose for the casual fan, it's a nice background story and perhaps a reason to watch his debut and maybe follow the boxscores for a few weeks.

But if you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume you don't fit the "casual fan" label anymore than I do. Can I tell you what I love about Brett Lawrie in a Blue Jays uniform?

(preparing to be crucified in 3, 2, .......)

I love the fact that he plays hard. That's right. I said it. I just threw down the dreaded Reed Johnson defence. I, The Ack, enjoy watching guys play who steamroll down the baselines and don't much care what anyone else thinks of them if they happen to get a touch abrasive.

I mean, think about it. Why do we hate Pedroia so? Is it because he's mild mannered and respectful on the diamond? Of course not. It's because he plays the game with an edge.

Of course, there's an addendum to all of the nonsense above. All the hustle & heart (tm) in the world means nothing if the kid can't play. And it does indeed appear that Brett Lawrie can play a little baseball.

The Brett Lawrie era has begun. Long live Brett Lawrie.

.... but what of Lunchbox?
Jeff Blair makes me sad.

I don't need to read that, Jeff. I really don't.

A few quick "explanatory" comments in relation to my twitter feed....

i. I tweeted that in my opinion, I felt like the (mis)handling of Travis Snider has been the one big misstep so far by Alex Anthopoulos. Perhaps that was a little harsh (but c'mon man.... it was an emotional time), and I will be among the first to tell you that Snider looked lost in the batters box, fooled repeatedly by breaking balls and not squaring up fastballs. And maybe you've heard.... like no walks. Ever.

But the sudden about face - "we're at a point where roster decisions are based on performance" - seems both hypocritical and disingenuous. It wasn't but a few weeks ago that the front office boldly proclaimed that "they had to find out what they had in Snider" and he'd be given the rest of the season to show it. I can imagine Snider's confidence is borderline shattered knowing that he was given so little time to prove his Blue Jay mettle.

Where he goes from here.... I really don't know.

ii. I made reference to my disdain for the "cheering for laundry" analogy. Am I the only one who feels badly for Snider? Or do we all just live in a "HE MAKES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PLAY A GAME AND IF HE CAN'T CUT IT, TOO BAD" world. Because that world sucks and you're rending your organ donor card useless, because clearly you have no heart. You are heartless. Without heart.

(yeah, I seem to have an emotional investment in Young Travis - so what?!)

Is it time to go internal with the closer?
Developmentally, I mean.

Look, I know that the best relievers are made from failed starters, and every effort must be exhausted in developing starting pitchers before shuttling them off to the 'pen.

But given the depth of the minor league system - specifically with pitching - doesn't it make a little sense to convert an Asher Wojciechowski or a Chad Jenkins (just examples for arguments sake) to the late innings now?

Because God help me, I can't take another season of the Jon Rauch Experience at the back end of the bullpen, nor can I stomach another BJ Ryan adventure (contract-wise) if that's the alternative. This "Plan B" strategy has been tough to watch here in 2011.

Then again, it did net us Colby Rasmus. So there's that.


MK Piatkowski said...

I too feel for Travis. It's not just you.

Roberto said...

The simple explanation for Snider's demotion is that AA doesn't give away/release players that have any value at all.

With Lawrie at 3B, the team had 5 outfielders (Rasmus, J-Bau, Davis, Thames, Snider), plus Teahen. Raz and J-Bau aren't going anywhere. Davis and Thames are under contract until the end of next season (and I think AA doesn't want to release Teahen because it looks like a dick move).

That leaves Snider and Thames, who have options. Thames has been hotter... so, down goes Travis.

People are trying to make this about Snider's performance, and to some extent, it is. But a big part of it was that a move had to be made, and Snider was last one standing when the music stopped.

BJ Fledgling said...

My conspiracy theory is that Jesse Litsch is being piloted in the closer role.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Ack. Snidey will quickly make it back to the majors ... but probably not with the Jays. Enjoy watching Lawrie, aka, Gordie Dougie, for the rest of the season.

Alex said...

Henderson Alvarez?

Anonymous said...

A co-worker informed me the Jays have 19 blown saves this year. If even half of them were wins...probably some of them were.

Alex said...

I think they won like 6 of those blown saves, and there were 2 in one game 3 times.

Anonymous said...

The Roberto Alomar documentary “The Road to Cooperstown” brings back so many great memories as a Jays fan. Robbie was a really special player, and will always mean something to the city of Toronto.

Stedron said...

This American is really excited for the Jays to have an American born star...

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