Saturday, July 26, 2008

Zen Dayley: It is possible we haven't seen Kevin Wench's black magic?

Five wins in a row, but...

What was that about how other teams' good moves can be seized upon to criticize Godcciardi, almost by rote?

It's safe to say that the combination of the Blue Jays GM's stubborn loyalty to his guys and Rogers Communications' habit of conspicuous consumption would never allow for a move like the Cleveland Indians' trade of overrated Casey Blake to the NL West-contending L.A. Dodgers for two minor leaguers. Eating the salary of a regular in order to get two players the casual fans wouldn't even know how to find information on? That never happens in Ted Rogers' neighbourhood, even if one of them (a catcher named Carlos Santana) does share his name with a famous rock guitarist.

It's hard not to feel a sense of envy that Cleveland, under GM Mark Shapiro, is thinking for itself instead of being slave to Toronto sports fan groupthink.

(Update: Fire Joe Morgan, by the way, has destroyed the trade from a Dodgers perspective.)

Cleveland's been closer to winning something of consequence with the group it has (93 wins in 2005, seven-game loss in the ALCS last season). They're willing to gut the place and renovate. J.P. Ricciardi would rather go shopping for some second-hand furniture -- proven hitters, he wrote, with disgust -- than take a chance on someone with room to grow.

Carlos Santana is an athlete-first, ballplayer-second who might end up being great for a team who can carry a defensive catcher. (He's hitting .323/.431/.563 in the California League, but it's his third year of Single-A ball.) The right-hander, Jonathan Meloan, has a power arm, even though his potential is obscured by his 4.97 ERA in the high-scoring Pacific Coast League.

The Jays, though, they like their low ceilings, even when they need to renovate. Maybe Molean and Santana might not amount to anything. Still, it means feeling jealous of the fans in Cleveland. It's come to that.


  • Our man Andy Grabia at The Battle of Alberta had a nice post about the World Junior Baseball Championship, which opened last night in Edmonton. It probably won't get 1/100th of the media attention given to the World Junior Hockey team's summer development camp (which won't even decide who makes the team!), but there are several future major leaguers playing in the event, including Milwaukee Brewers first-rounder Brett Lawrie. Canada opened with a 7-0 win over Italy last night. It gets a little more serious tonight vs. Taipei.

    (Canada can do no better than fifth at the World University championship in the Czech Republic. That's too bad.)
  • Ichiro Suzuki is 1-for-10 vs. the Jays (he got a single his last time up today to avoid taking the collar two days in a row). That 3,000th hit might not come in Toronto.
Damn, the Jays

  • Dustin McGowan is going to have season-ending surgery next week.
  • Drunk Jays Fans reports that there was a Vernon Wells sighting at the MLS All-Star Game. Perhaps he will be the Obama-like force who finally effects a truce between baseball nuts and footy fans.


Rob Pettapiece said...

Canada can do no better than fifth at the World University championship in the Czech Republic. That's too bad.

You may or may not have noticed a draft about that at The CIS Blog. Since the competition looked really weak, and the tournament seemed to have this sketchy air, I nixed the post. To quote a friend, "There is a depth to which one can go where even I almost completely lose interest in baseball"

Looks like it was right not to draw attention to the tournament. Finishing fifth (at best) in a six-team pool--seven if you count Lithuania but you shouldn't--is never good. Especially when it's baseball, and there aren't any Latin American teams. Geez.

eyebleaf said...

man, you really hate Ricciardi, eh?

sager said...

Actually, I don't ... I'm commenting more on (a) all the negativity in Toronto toward the pro sports team and (b) the frustration that the Jays haven't been able to get 'er done.

The ownership is the real problem. They'd rather spend $100-million on a thoroughly mediocre team than put $50 million into signing blue-chip prospects.