Kudos to Gregg Zaun! The Jays TV commentator was remarkably honest last night when he stated that for the Blue Jays to compete next year, they had to go out and get two good starting pitchers and one more big bat. Not pitchers who “might be good one day”, he reiterated, pitchers ‘who can get the job done now.” It was refreshing to hear anyone associated with the team or its parent company (Rogers) admit what was obvious to us fans by now: the team has potential but hasn’t got anything close to the pitching that will allow them to compete for the playoffs for years at best, and still is on the whole not enough of a run-scoring machine. The Star’s Cathal Kelly more or less raised the same point this morning in that newspaper, in a column headlined “Time for Rogers to Open Vault for Jays.” He argues that the fanbase is growing impatient and that without being a massive spender, a ball team can’t hope to prosper.
The latter is a weak argument to put forward, this year especially when Milwaukee , Atlanta and Arizona are all set to make the playoffs, ranking #19, 18 and 23 among all MLB teams in payroll according to sports Illustrated numbers. Of the number 4, 5 and 6 teams on that list, only LA (anaheim) even stand to hit the .500 mark— we all know about the Mets and Cubs. Toronto, with an approximately $65M payroll, 25th out of 30, is thus doing remarkably well. But, it is also obvious that a rotation of , say , Romero, cecil, morrow, Perez and either Drabek or Alvarez and the same hitting lineup in use now isn’t going to gain any ground on the Yanks or Red Sox and is likely to lose more ground to the Rays.
So listen to your TV guy, Rogers… two good veteran starters, one big bat (maybe a new power hitting outfielder to play across from Joey Bats) , and I might add a proven closer of a reliever. Don’t think of the money you spend… think of the money you’ll gain from all those sold out playoff games and increased ad revenue from TV games.
As I mentioned yesterday, the Star had a contest to design a new team uniform for next season. Below are my suggestions; apologies for the less than perfect Photoshop job…
As you can see, I agree with a large number of people who took time to take part in the contest, favouring something fairly traditional for the jays, reminiscent of the glory years but a bit updated.
I chose to start by going to an actual blue jay and utilizing some of the blues and grays on it for the team colours once again. I found a font similar to, but more modern looking than, the original team’s for the lettering and gave it an embossed look. I kept the popular red maple leaf on one sleeve to symoblize Canada’s team, but otherwise pretty much excised red out of the scheme. I’d use two ball caps, one the traditional 1980s era blue and white one with the old logo, the other a two-toned blue one with the current “bird head J” logo, rather like I depicted here weeks ago. The alternate logo would appear on the sleeve of the uni ; ie, when wearing the old hat, the new logo would be on the sleeve.
For the road uni, I chose a colour falling somewhere between a traditional ball gray and the old-school powder blue that was briefly resurrected in ’09.
and for the third jersey, the dark blue one, I added in a traditional logo on the front , a throwback to the 70s but updated, and suggest a new patch for one arm including the World Series trophy and reference to 1992-93 champions. I didn’t quite finalize that design as much as i’d have liked, but I think you get the idea: