When You’ve Got Nothing At All Constructive Or Good To Say About Something Or Someone It’s Best To Say Nothing At All Or Merely Just Proffer Up An Opinion ………….
Just like when I listen to many of our Federal legislators such as those from the House of Representative, congressmen and the members of the Senate. I’m simply amazed at times at how little if any knowledge that they allegedly have on a wide variety of subjects. I understand that theirs isn’t a job that requires a specific expertize in a wide variety of topics. But what does it suggest to you when almost 25 % of the federal legislators are in fact lawyers or come from the field of business but actually show no sign of understanding the rudimentaries of either subject ? The same can be said to an extent for the beat writers or columnists when they tend to opine on a particular sport’s topic.
Over the last decade we’ve seen the Toronto Blue Jays as an organization, merely just stumble from one morass or quagmire to another. Why baseball is still being played in Canada is totally beyond me at this point ! It’s not as if the games being played in the Jays’ home venue of Rogers’ Center formerly known as the Skydome , would suggest that what little attendance the ‘team’ now gets , is at best just above the league average, if that. Isn’t ‘hockey’ still meant to be Canada’s sport ? But then again have you seen the now depleting attendance for NHL games around the league ? Which is the lesser of two evils at this juncture ? Attending a baseball game or an NHL game in Canada ?
In the AL East the Blue Jays have to co-exist in what can be described as the most competitive and contested division in all of baseball (MLB). And there you have the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. And were it not for the resurgence of the Rays, we would consider the division over the last two years merely a ‘two horse race’ between the ‘two most formidable teams’ in all of baseball, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Orioles for their part have shown as much visibility and competitiveness within the division as Clay Aiken would be accustomed to being in a room full of hetero-sexual males. It’s not at all environment that either is completely happy in. And the same can be said of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
By Ben Passan , Yahoo Sports
2009 record: 75-87
Finish: Fourth place, AL East
2009 final payroll: $84.1 million
Estimated 2010 opening day payroll: $68 million
Oh, you know. Just a wee little trade.
It took a new general manager, two extra teams and a mighty deep swallow, but the Toronto Blue Jays finally did under Alex Anthopoulos what they wouldn’t under J.P. Ricciardi: trade Roy Halladay their ace, their franchise, their linchpin.
Painful though it was, the specter of Halladay’s impending free agency hanging over an entire season necessitated it, and Anthopoulos ably recognized that when he took over for Ricciardi in early October. Ten weeks later, Halladay was outfitted for a Phillies uniform and handed a $60 million extension, and Anthopoulos, 32, had executed a career-defining deal months into his job.
He will make dozens more moves over his career as Blue Jays general manager, big and small, and none will ever face the scrutiny of this one. His return, in the end, was pitcher Kyle Drabek, infielder Brett Wallace(notes) and catcher Travis D’Arnaud, and while they don’t need to succeed in triplicate, this had better not be a Blake Stein, Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews-type situation, either.
The Blue Jays lasted deep into the Aroldis Chapman negotiations, a sign that the team’s financial landscape isn’t barren. Which is good to see, considering outfielder Vernon Wells is owed – gulp – $107 million over the next five years.
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The Cito Gaston managed team has done the best that it can over the years . But at the height of the organization’s success when they repeated as ‘back to back’ World Series champions in 1992 and 1993. Since then it has been somewhat of a downward spiral for the organization. Gaston at the time was at the helm as the manager for both successes for the club. And he’s still viewed as something of a savior by the fans and the organization.
The club is owned by the Rogers’ family through a syndicated corporate partnership under which Rogers Communications has a large equity stake in the club, as well as owning the Rogers Center. However, to suggest that as patrons of the baseball franchise they’ve been good custodians , would be to suggest that Josef Mengele cared about the patients he exacted some of the most heinous acts of torture ever imagined that one could inflict upon another human being. The Rogers’ family despite their immense wealth are more concerned with other areas of their vast financial empire, than they are with the Toronto Blue Jays. The sole reason why they still own the team is merely to receive the monies afforded to them under Bud Selig’s asinine edict of the tax sharing revenues, that is shared amongst the mid and small market teams around MLB. Anyone who’s still of the belief that they want to build a ‘successful and competitive ‘team’ is in some serious need of psychiatric help.
With the departure of former GM J P Ricciardi . The position has now been entrusted to wunderkind Alex Anthopolous, who now becomes the General Manager as well Senior VP of Baseball Operations. A mouthful by any stretch of the imagination. But clearly he’s being viewed as the Blue Jays’ answer to the Boston Red Sox’s Theo Epstein. The ‘primary architect’ for much of the Red Sox’s success over the last few years. Larry Lucchino may well be Boston Red Sox’s Team President. But it’s essentially Epstein who ‘runs the show’ when it comes to the vast majority of the personnel decisions being made within the organization. There might not be a more astute mind in all of baseball when it comes to personnel maneuvers and decision making – ‘bar none’ ! As to whether or not Anthopolous can replicate the same sort of success attained by his Red Sox counterpart remains to be seen. But it’s being hoped by the fans and the organization as a whole that he will be able to do so.
With the team having traded away their ace pitcher in, Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for some minor league prospects and a starter . All of which was part of a ‘multi-player’ blockbuster trade that saw the Phillies’ Cliff Lee depart to the Seattle Mariners. The trade also constituted cash considerations as part of the deal.
To say that Anthopolous doesn’t have a tough task ahead of him would be to suggest that he’d find it a great deal easier to climb Mount Everest. But that may well be how difficult the task may well be to perceive. The organization is hampered by the ownership’s unwillingness to ‘spend money on the team’ and at the same time the budgetary restraints that’s placed on them by declining revenues from their baseball operations as a whole. And if that weren’t enough the fans aren’t that eager to come and watch a team that isn’t anywhere near as competitive as their ‘main triumvirate’ of rivals within the AL East, the Red Sox , Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. The Baltimore Orioles have now become the ‘bottom feeder’ within the division . A place that was exchanged between themselves and the Tampa Bay Rays over the last decade. But now it appears that they’ll have a new neighbor with regard to sharing that dubious distinction. The Rays for their part held the legacy of having not finished better than first , until they won the division in 2008 and then went on to win the AL Pennant, before making that unexpected trip to the World Series , where they would end up losing to the eventual winners, the Philadephia Phillies. They’ve now fallen back to the pack while the dominance of the New York Yankees seems to be on the rise once again.
And once again as World Series champions the New York Yankees now reign supreme over the baseball landscape. Don’t you think that the ‘Steinbrenner family’ as well as Brian Cashman are entirely happy at this juncture ? When your gross revenues outstrips that of the lowest dozen teams in MLB , then it can be said that you’ve got to be doing something right. Either that , or the imbalance between ‘the haves and have nots’ within the game, is far more than any of us could ever have realized. And that’s what an inspirational commissioner Bud Selig has become. No pun intended . Of course it was, who the hell am kidding ? As in large part, Bud Selig is entirely responsible for the imbalances that we now see within the game !
Former Blue Jays’ great, Joe Carter hits the winning home run that would give the team its second consecutive World Series title in 1993. The losing team on this occasion were the Philadelphia Phillies.
If the Blue Jays are to acquit themselves within the division as well as with the rest of the league. Then it will be down to the veterans such as Vernon Wells, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind , Jose Bautista, Lyle Overbay , Aaron Hill and a pitching rotation that will have to carry the load defensively for this team. That may well be the only way for the Blue Jays to contend as a team within the division. And given the fact that they’re also hampered by Wells’ lack of productivity and a bloated and exorbitant contract that had been agreed to by Anthopolous’ predecessor , J P Ricciardi. A contract that Wells has failed to live up to . You can now well understand why the has been mired in such mediocrity. Ricciardi went out of his way to spend money like a drunken idiot , merely because he felt it was necessary to spend it. Rather than acquiring talent for the organization that would prove to be fruitful. Never mind the fact that the ‘farm system’ is depleted of any real tangible talent. They’ve merely been living on a ‘wing and a prayer’ that they would be able to hit ‘pay dirt’ by uncovering a diamond in the rough within their system. As of now that has been very much a none factor.
As to this upcoming season , it will be very interesting to see how the Toronto Blue Jays fare and whether or not they prove to be competitive throughout the season. If not then once again they’ll just become a bye line for most of the baseball stories that will take place throughout the season.