Well, as I write this, about an hour before game time, Wednesday evening, our Jays are a mere half game behind Tampa… and could jump over them, into third place, later tonight. The Rays have had better pitching than I expected this year, but all in all are the also-rans I figured they’d be without Carl crawford , Carlos “all or nothing” Pena, and their entire ’10 bullpen.
Obivously, this is good news for me, and most other Jays fans. Third place is an improvement, and if in third, at least we can look up and dream of catching either New York or Boston. But it’s got to be a bit of an unwanted dilemma for Alex A and his crew at Jays head office— if the Jays keep winning and moving up in the standings, do they scuttle their plans and try, or go ahead with their game plan and risk alienating all of us , yet again?
No secret the Jays would like to bring up a number of young kids to try them out (Brett Lawrie, henderson Alvarez et al) but if the Jays are ahead of Tampa and , as the Jefferson’s would say “movin’ on up”, can he really risk losing fans by denying the likes of recently hot Rajai Davis at bats and shutting down young pitchers on hot streaks ?
I say go with the hot hand; keep the kids in the kiddy league. But I’m not Alex Anthopolous… and that’s why they pay him the big bucks. Until they stop doing so, which might well be if the crowds drop right off again this year due to disinterest.
Good on Jo Jo Reyes , now a Baltimore Oriole. He didn’t quite cut it here (5-8, 5.40) but he seemed a classy, unshakeable individual and in Baltimore an ERA of merely 5+ might have him in the running for the title of “staff ace.” Truly a good fit for all involved.
Good on Rajai Davis, who last night, despite getting thrown out once by the good arm of Kelly Shoppach, still managed to aggravate Tampa pitching and steal his 33rd base of the year. In doing so, he managed to become the Jays top base-thief of the century… last guy to have more in a year was Shannon stewart, with 37, back in 1999. Party on, Rajai!
Well, as Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes dwindle, so too do those of ex-jay Lyle Overbay, designated for assignment… which is to say “thrown into the trash” by Pittsburgh. A five million dollar mistake for the Pirates; a “told ya so” for five million Toronto fans.
One of the best, and best-selling, non-fiction books of the past decade is “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. All about trusting your gut instincts, how first impressions tend to be right and not needed to be over-thought.
David Purcey was for years, the “can’t miss, sure thing” first round draft pick uber-star in the making for the Jays. Yet he posted lousy numbers as a starter and was shaky and unpredictable as a reliever in his “second career” as a Blue jay. Yet yesterday the Detroit Tigers gave up on him and released him, the third team this year to rid themselves of him.
Point is– my first reaction to Purcey was that he was far over-rated, didn’t have the ability to fool big league hitters and somehow seemed arrogant… resilient to change (not too suprising maybe given that so many around here told him he was the next Randy Johnson). Never had confidence in him. Now he’s thrice passed over in four months. But-my real point is this… I have exactly the same feeling about Kyle Drabek, he of an 8.00 ERA in the minors after being demoted by Toronto; the kid the team is so quick to mention has “great stuff” and that he’s still “the ace of the squad in waiting.” I could be wrong. I did expect Cleveland to be in last place this season (hey- over 50 games left, they might still be!)… but something tells me in a “Blink” I’m right on this. About five years from now, it will be Drabek being passed around like a stinking hot potato by team after team, and the Jays will be doing everything in their power to make people forget that he is what they got for Roy Halladay. Who will, in all likelihood probably still be winning about 18 games a year at that point.