Well, if the season ended today, the Jays would squeak into the playoffs for the first time in almost two decades. Of course, the Orioles would also win the division for the first time since Bryce Harper was a mere glint in his father’s eye, the Red Sox Nation would commit collective hari-kari seeing their team finish dead last and some kid in Atlanta you’ve never heard of would best Greg Maddux’s ERA record for that franchise . Which is to say, this is why we actually play 162 games rather than just have pontificating blowhards like yours truly debate it and play games in our heads!
So, I’ve been busy moving and not quite got the TV hooked up to cable yet so the past week, when I’ve had time to follow the games, it’s been AM590 radio instead of the usual Sportsnet TV. I miss seeing the plays, but do like the radio crew and have been fascinated by the post-game call in shows.
At the start of the weekend, one ever-so-eloquent self-proclaimed expert phoned in to say he was “hatin’ on Colby Rasmus”. He then went on to say he meant “hatin’” in the best possible manner! Nevertheless, he asked the agasp hosts why everyone was so high on Rasmus, and was he really that much better than other outfielders?
Hate is a strong word which should be reserved for child molesters, Nazi dictators and perhaps the majority of Canadian politicians. Rasmus seems a reasonably nice man, certainly not deserving of hatred.
That said, I do agree with the callers sentiments! Rasmus was a failure in St Louis and has been a collossal disappointment since being acquired in a move which is rapidly making the Halladay trade seem not the worst thing Alex anthopolous has done to the Jays. Since arriving with the Blue jays mid summer last year, Rasmus has managed all of a .188 average through 75 games. A supposed sweet swinger has managed 6 home runs in 266 at bats, a pace destined to rank him right up there with luminaries like Wilson Betemit or Trevor Plouffe should he be given ongoing playing time. His .188 average slightly bests his average against southpaws whom he clips for a .184 average this season. He swings at pitches far outside the strike zone and while, yes, he is better in the field than some of the horrors inflicted upon fans last season, ala Corey Patterson and Mike Mccoy (a fine backup infielder but nobody’s centerfielder), he is spotty at best in his ability to make stellar catches or track down fly balls. I have seen Devon White, and the man who’s dropped fly ball yesterday was the difference in the one run loss to NY, is no Devon White.
The Jays manned up on Adam Lind and admitted he just can’t cut it right now. Lind was a player with a storied history in the organization and an all-star past. It’s past time they did the same with Rasmus and shipped him down to Lansing , assuming they can’t find another organization silly enough to buy into the “best thing since Willie Mays “ hype that surrounds Rasmus like a Cosby sweater.
If Rasmus constantly disappoints this fan and makes me question the organization’s scouting prowess, I am excited about the signing of Vladimir Guerrero. A career .318 hitter, who last year in a disappointing year hit .290 with 63 rbi? Right now, if he could duplicate that feat, he would lead the team in batting average and be on pace to match the much ballyhooed Brett Lawrie in driving in runs. Furthermore, he brings a new veteran , mature presence to the young clubhouse … kinda like Dave winfield, an older outfielder when joining the Jays, did back in 1992. An I think we all remember what happened that season. The one thing that has been lacking in the Blue Jays organization lately is an older star wanting one more kick at the October can. Something they had in both of the glory years.
Hope the Fan590 is correct; all week they’ve been floating stories saying Toronto’s AAA affiliate next year will be Buffalo after the Bisons end their contract with the Mets. Las Vegas is a poor fit for the Jays, given the 2500 miles and the league being one with parks so biased towards hitting rather than pitching and Buffalo has always been T.O.’s “American twin”. The Bills already play a few games in toronto and the local PBS station there refers to itself as a “Toronto-Buffalo” station despite the fact that it is public broadcasting only in the united States. Having our minor league farm team there only makes sense . How great would it be for Buffalo to have that additional fanbase and for us to be able to hop in the car and see the emerging stars, ala Chad Beck, Deck mcGuire and Anthony Gose play in a small stadium two hours away? Go for it , Toronto!