Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Whole New World

Well, then.  We've had ourselves quite a couple weeks as Blue Jays fans, haven't we?

Between the Maicer Izturis signing, and then THE TRADE (TM) and most recently the Melky Cabrera signing, your humble correspondent has barely had time to catch his breath.  There's been lots of smart, passionate and well-written stuff put out there -- both online and in the good old MSM -- about what's been going on, and I don't want to rehash it too much here.

So without getting too philosophical about what's transpired, and what might still be coming down the pipeline, I have a few short thoughts.

I've been a fan of this team for a long time, but only for the last, say, six or seven years have I followed personnel changes closely enough to form strong opinions about them.  I was a much younger man in the early 1990s, and the significance of the Joe Carter/Roberto Alomar trade, or the Paul Molitor or David Cone or Dave Winfield acquisitions, or the others that turned a good team into a great one, were mostly lost on me.  I was happy that my team was getting better and ecstatic that they won two championships, but I didn't spend much time thinking about how all that was happening, at what cost, or about whether it would last.  I was mostly thinking about who might be able to get me booze for the weekend without getting carded.

Now, I'm an older, more dedicated, (I like to think) more informed, and more opinionated fan than I was in those days.  I've tried to recognize the team for what it was for several years:  a usually good, never great, fairly entertaining bunch that kept my attention and made me appreciate baseball a little more all the time.  At the same time, I understood and accepted that there was a difference between the way they approached the business of the game and the way teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and other big spenders did.  I could still enjoy them for what they were.

The past seven to ten days may not have completely turned that whole paradigm on its head, but it's as close as we've seen to that happening.  Whether the Toronto Blue Jays, and their corporate ownership at Rogers, now intend to remain a top-5 or top-10 payroll in baseball for perpetuity remains to be seen.  But for the time being, the franchise has cast their lot with the big boys.

The expectations are different now, and they might not live up to them.  And even if they don't, we'd all be well advised to think back to how we felt this week -- this dizzying blend of optimism, anxiousness, hope and a bit of fear -- and remember that it was still about as good as we've felt about this team for roughly a generation.

Best week ever?  Best week ever.


Adrian said...

Org guy - you must be about the same age as myself (how are your knees? Mine are ruined) and my memories of the early 90s are much the same as yours. Although I've subsequently moved very, very far away the last couple of years has seen my interest and knowledge of the game grow in leaps in bounds - and thank goodness. It means I've been able to follow the last week and a half with my heart bursting out of my chest while my Irish fiance wonders what the hell I am talking about. Best. Week. Ever.

Bruno Gerusi's Moustache said...

It's been a pretty surreal week. Maybe about as bizarre as being an accountant at Woodstock when it comes to the Jays and opening the purse strings of late.

It doesn't even seem too weird to think of the Jays and playoffs now. I don't feel like Jim Mora when I do.

DJ said...

And now the manager is... Gibbons?

I think I'm done trying to figure all this out. I'm just going to wait for the season to start and cross my fingers hoping he doesn't deck Reyes.

Anonymous said...

When I heard that the new manager is going to be Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, I was against it. ZZ Top hasn't been relevant since the 80s, so I wonder what Anthopolous thinks in hiring the bearded axe man to manage the Jays. If this is strictly a move to get more hirsute managers in the game, then I think there are better avenues to promote prospector-esque beard awareness.

brainiac said...

well, He's got legs....

Anonymous said...

Is this the Tao of stieb or the Tao of org guy really terribly confused. Fuck Dave it's rhetoric craziest week in jays history since the last parade. Take a hour and give your thoughts or hang em up good sir and say goodnight dick.
Goodnight dick.

Anonymous said...

I suppose one explanation for the lull could be in trying to wrap one's head around the current organizational shift in stockpiling Izturises. It's an easier task than acquiring a gaggle of Molinas. And it is also cheaper. Plus, on average, an Izturis weighs less than a Molina, so the odds of two Izturises clogging the basepaths with their lumbering 'running' style is next to remote.

It's been a good last 9 days or so. I just hope that Gibbons doesn't reclaim Brad Arnsberg from the scrap heap. About the only good thing Arnsberg did was make AJ Burnett tradeable.

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