Friday, December 31, 2010

How will you remember 2010?

Addressing a week's worth of inactivity - sorry friends. Between Christmas and holidays and kids and seasonal illness and mandatory visiting and.... well, you get the picture, I assume. Believe me, I'm with you - hoping Tao returns sooner than later to end this amateur-hour shitshow I've been (sporadically) running.

I mean.... I could have addressed the Octavio Dotel signing, musing (ineffectively) that Dotel is just a low-rent version of Kevin Gregg (is that even possible?) - a one year Type-B hedge until a more worthy, long-term, homegrown solution at the almighty closer position can be found. David Purcey? Josh Roenicke? Zach Stewart? Asher Wojciechowski? Remains to be seen.

Or I could have arrogantly pointed out that this is what happens when you let the market "sort itself out" before jumping into the fray.

But no, it is what it is, and perhaps Dotel will borrow some of that magic pixie saves dust that allowed Gregg to wriggle out of so many nervous ninths. Or maybe he completely implodes and loses the closing job by June. Either way, it's a one-year deal for reasonable money that gives Anthopoulos & Farrell another year (yeah, I know...) to find The Guy.

But enough about that
Let's talk about 2010.

Is there any reasonable argument against calling the calendar year set to expire an unqualified success for the Blue Jays organization? For the fans?

2009 ended with many among us in the depths of despair - Doc was gone and so was much optimism. A new GM, another rebuild - er, "build" - a system whose best prospects had just arrived in trade, and a lame-duck season by a manager not looking to do much of anything new.

But then.....

The rotation, opening the season full of questions, closed the year full of possibility.

Jose Bautista never cooled off and blew shit up for 162 games.

Vernon Wells had a nice season.

Bargain-bin free agents John Buck and Alex Gonzalez both became best-case scenarios: outstanding play for 2010 parlayed into future assets.

The organization as a whole continued to get stronger, to the point of being ranked #4 (from #28 - h/t Bob Elliott) by Baseball America in their upcoming Prospect Handbook.

As a team, the Jays hit more bombs than any other. Sure, a few walks and singles here and there would have been nice....but HOW MUCH FUN WAS THAT?

A new manager with a much-respected pedigree bought into The Plan and came aboard, promising to change the same-old way of thinking from the bench.

.....and as we stand today, not much has changed from the major league roster. Good thing or bad , take your pick. But make no mistake, the organization is well-positioned. The debate as to whether or not the mother corp will allow for the next step (playyyyoffffs) is for another time..... but for now, bring on 2011.

Can't wait.


Navin said...

Happy new year, mate. All the best. Cheers.

William J. Tasker said...

Happy New Year to you Ack and to Tao, wherever he is, and to Navin and all the Blue Jays fans.

Good post. 2010 was a good year for the Blue Jays and they are indeed well positioned. I look forward to seeing what happens in 2011.

Anonymous said...

My New Year's wish for the Blue Jays? A season full of promise that convinces AA and PB to go to Rogers and open up the wallet for Jose Bautista and... one Albert Pujols. PB has stated that when the Jays sign free agents, they will be "significant like CC Sabathia." While Pujols would likely cost upwards of $300mm over 8-10 years, it would be worth it as he would likely mean an extra 8-10 wins for the first 5 years of the contract and also help attract other talent. It would also make him a Jay as he begins to approach all-time records. With Gonzalez and Teixera manning 1st at the Evil Empires, the Jays should be right in the mix for the big man. Now that would give us something to look forward to entering 2012!

Happy New Year!

Darren Priest said...

Well said, Ack. Not much to do but watch it unfold. (Unlike before when I was actively engaged in improving the team -- /rolleyes)

Happy New Year.

Peter DeMarco said...

Happy New Year!

I have a funny feeling that many years from now I won't be able to decipher between 2010 and 2011 in my memory banks when it comes to the Blue Jays. Lot's of solo home runs, nervous ninth innings, frustrations with the development of some players (take your pick between Lind, Snider, Romero, Hill, Drabek, Cecil, Morrow, Escobar, etc.), and a slightly better than .500 finish.

Roberto said...

Pretty much my sentiments re: Dotel. He'll drive us crazier than Kevin Gregg ever did, for sure. But it's not about what Dotel will do for the noncontending 2011 Jays... it's about what a second round draft pick might do for the 2012-17 Jays.

Happy New Year, and thanks for all the insights in 2010.

Anonymous said...

This was the year the team turned the corner. A much needed house cleaning with more exciting players coming to the team.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's just this this team, but why is it that the people who close games at the lower levels in pro ball don't end up as closers when they make the big team (at least here)? Is it because the big arm is always slotted to start and closing games is a fallback for a pitching prospect? On the current team Frasor has done it, and Purcey looks like he might be able to do it part time. Dotel might be top man in a committee. But no one has that nasty Henke stuff we need.