After a 2 and 8 road trip and being swept by Seattle and Tampa, the Jays sit 7.0 games back of the wild card, and any chance of a playoff berth seems painfully slim if not completely over. Clearly this isn’t what I had pictured this season. Given the signing of Darren Oliver, the trades for Santos and Frasor, more at-bat’s from Lawrie and Rasmus, a rejuvenated Adam Lind, I had hope for meaningful September baseball. Alas, it appears not to be. The injuries have brutally hurt the team, and now with Lawrie, JPA, Bautista and Lind on the DL, the pitching staff is not the only area of the team to be decimated.
As for all the dim-wits that I read about or hear on Jays talk that suggest that AA should be fired, or that he’s no good, they should have their head examined because even though this season is lost, it doesn’t mean the Blue Jays aren’t on a path, or don’t have a plan to proceed. Even for me, I’ve suggested including Gose and Sanchez in a package to acquire some MLB talent, but Anthopoulos has shown an unwillingness to part with his premier prospects. Perhaps this is for good reason because, lets face it, as a fan I have no idea what these prospects look like or what a reasonable projection of them might be, but seeing Gose and Hechavarria on the tube now, I do see lots of potential even though they are currently figuring out how to hit a big league change-up. Sure, there’s growing pains to be had, but with 2 months of playing time, it will give them a taste of ‘the show’ and hopefully make them more prepared to make more meaningful contributions in 2013.
Winning with home-grown talent is CLEARLY the way to go about building a franchise. The Tampa Bay Rays are the model to follow: build from within. However, a big difference is that the Jays will have the resources to hold onto that talent unlike the Rays whom I predict will lose Evan Longoria after 2016. Anthopoulos has already been planning ahead to help make next year’s team that much better with severe strikeout out guys like Lincoln and Delabar to help in the pen, and if Rogers is willing to dish out a little bit of money, I ‘d like to see Brandon Lyon brought back (have you seen his K rates?) and sign (or trade) for another No. 2 or 3 arm to help with the starting staff.
So where does this leave us now? How about watching the kids play and actually enjoying the game of baseball. Many fans, if you can call them that, have to quit with all the pessimism, and actually show some loyalty and trust in the team we love. As another blogger aptly put it, the joy is in the journey, not the destination.