Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Darvish-mas

It occurred to me, as the last weekend before Christmas flew by in a blur of sugar cookies, Bailey’s and Pot of Gold chocolates, that this was likely going to be the last time I rapped at ya for 2011. I’m probably not going to get to a weekend post over Christmas, nor over New Year’s. You’ll have to find something else to occupy yourselves. Family, maybe. I dunno.

(Thankfully our host the Tao has improved his labour practices ever since the Ack filed that grievance over being chained to a radiator and forced to blog every weekend under threat of having his legs crushed the same way Kathy Bates did to James Caan in “Misery”. My punishment for taking the Christmas season off will be limited to a standard bullwhipping.)

Besides, it would be a bit anticlimactic for me to post something on the Christmas weekend when we’re all finding out by Tuesday whether we got just what we wanted, no? The Yu Darvish posting. It’s the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle of this Blue Jays offseason. It’s the one piece of news for which we are all waiting and salivating, like a pack of pathetic dogs.

Of course, there are always a few party-poopers. The rational part of me wants to nod knowingly with those who are trying to warn me about a Darvish let-down.

But the fan part of me – and I am a fan, first and foremost – wants to see the team get better. And this is what has me so conflicted about the Darvish thing. As excited as I am about the prospect of a potential ace joining the Jays’ rotation, the fact that the ace in question is shrouded in such mystery has rendered me somewhat unsure. In my gut, I think the team would be a helluva lot better with Yu Darvish toeing the rubber every fifth day. But I don’t know that.

If the team were looking to add a CC Sabathia (or reacquire a Roy Halladay), I would know, based on reams of facts, that those players would improve the team. I would pencil in a certain number of wins, just based on their expected contributions. But for a player who has never played Major League Baseball, those facts are less copious, and by extension the expected contributions are more of a guessing game. So I have a lot more trouble getting that kid-before-Christmas feeling for Darvish as I might for an established major leaguer.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t loads of fun, though. There’s really no comparison in any other sport to this enigmatic posting system. Yes, for me, the secrecy of the process and the unfamiliarity with the player create a certain ambivalence. But all the same, it’s pretty damn riveting to follow. I didn’t pay much attention to the Daisuke Matsuzaka posting when it happened so I don’t now what the rumour mill was like around that, but holy cripes has this Darvish thing been a hoot to watch – and we still don’t even have a result.

Tuesday is going to be another crazy, exciting day, whether the Jays land the rights to Darvish or not. A hundred different storylines will spring from it, depending on what happens. As a blogger, and a baseball fan, that’s the kind of early Christmas present I’ll always put at the top of my wish list.

Two more sleeps.


Tao of Stieb said...

Oh, sure. Make me out to be the fun-suck.

I'm just trying to get the kids ready. This might hurt if it goes wrong.

Shane Leavitt said...

I'm just trying to get the kids ready. This might hurt if it goes wrong.

I'm all for even handed thinking in anything in life, but why the pessimism? Seems off. The Arthur DJF poster equivalent column set your tone? Arrows seem to be pointing in quite possitive direction, and yet you & Arthur (as of this time of night) seem to just assume some correcting of the MLB universe is coming down. Is this the inferiority complex Canadians say Canadians have? ...Wonders me, a Canadian who doesn't think this way.

Peter DeMarco said...

I personally think that Arthur has identified an opportunity to take a position that no one in the media (Toronto anyways) has taken. If it turns out he is right, which non of us thinks he will, it will give him gloating abilities for years in saying "I was the only one right on Darvish".

The Ack said...

Arthur doesn't seem to be a "gloater". I'm all for the pessimism in this case, I think we need to be reeled in a little.


It will be chaos and pandemonium across the Blue Jay blogosphere and twitterverse.

ps - glad to see the working conditions have improved somewhat, Org Guy. Until you get Clark Griswalded on the Christmas Bonus.

Shane Leavitt said...

Whatever the point of Anthopoulos's winter meetings calming the waters/playing down TO's financial might was, he's not doing it currently. If you're maybe fearful of the public being over zealous and maybe to be disappointed (get crabby) maybe you'd do some press massaging, tempering peoples hopes? He hasn't been doing that. Maybe that would indicate confidence in their bid?

Anonymous said...

Why would AA start commenting on rumours now? For all we know, the Jays bid was $6 million, not $51.1+. We need to stop pretending like we have any idea what that man is thinking. He's on a completely different level and is more mysterious than a game of Clue. If we lose the bid, I'm sure AA will come out, say "I told you so" about the payroll parameters, and we'll all cry.
If we can take an solace from this whole anonymous source business with the Darvish bidding, it's that prognosticators were right when it came to Matsuzaka (though the dollar amount was off) a few years ago. Hopefully that bodes well for us Jays fans.

Shane Leavitt said...

Never pretended or claimed here to know what he's thinks. Quipping. Thus the question marks.

Shane Leavitt said...

@ Anonymous

Today, from Shi Davidi:

"Yet as much as that obvious statement is true, the Blue Jays have done nothing to squelch the building Darvish fever, unlike the steps they took earlier this off-season to cool talk of Farrell bolting to Boston and of a run at free agent slugger Prince Fielder."

Sound familiar?