From the very start, I thought it was pretty silly to believe that the Jays were going to — or really trying to — compete for a wildcard spot this year. But now that the injury bug has hit (and come on…how unlikely was it when you’re relying on a 3 through 5 that have never thrown anywhere close to 200 innings in their life?), Toronto fans are being presented with — and swallowing hook line and sinker — a false choice about what can be done:
a) Hack and slash the cream of the farm system for a one-year rental.
b) Do nothing.
Rogers is so beholden to the short-term bottom line, so committed to not investing one red cent until the team is in the World Series, that this blinkered viewpoint has spread over to the commentators, fans, and media. Tough break, but that’s just the way it is, they parrot. Time to throw your hands in the air and run Jamie effing Moyer out there (as a “classy distraction” — BARF), who at this point is nothing more than a feel-good story that the current trash of the league, the Rockies and Orioles, has realized has zero actual baseball value at this point.
I call B.S. There’s a c). It’s called building a fan base. It’s called generating a little goodwill. It’s seeing the big picture of what you’re trying to do here, and ‘wasting’ a little cash to show your fans some respect. It’s what real teams do, and are rewarded for in spades in the long run.
Here’s how it works: you find some team that really has a good reason to have given up for the next few years and has a contract for a veteran starter that they want to get rid of. And you take it on. It is not good value. It might be really, really, terrible value. But you only have to ship some joke of a prospect to get some rotation filler. The team almost certainly still misses the playoffs. But it doesn’t get ugly. I mean, offering up a AAA rotation ugly.
It’s only a ‘waste’ if you don’t consider any of the intangibles. Maybe you get a vet to help tutor the kids. Maybe you get the kind of decent middle-of-rotation guy you’re going to need in a couple of years anyway that you trade-and-sign. Maybe you just get a little hope for the second half and some draft picks when he walks. Maybe the team actually sticks around in the hunt for a while and the Dome isn’t a ghost town in September.
I’m not saying it’s ‘time to get desperate’ and just spend willy-nilly, but taking on payroll is not even being thrown around as an option — as if putting some of the mythical 120 million dollars that we keep hearing is coming ‘just around the bend’ towards fielding a product worth watching on the field once every five days is going to throw the team into a financial tailspin.
Going from comically over-the-top “IT’S OUR TIME” swagger to waving the white flag in the first half with a winning team, hot bats, fan-interest and a reachable wildcard, all because a bunch of injuries that were waiting to happen happened is a joke. It’s not AA’s fault — the guy is an absolute genius to do what he’s done with such little financial support. It’s not the team’s fault. It’s not the trainer’s fault. It is the fault of a passive, uninterested, thinking-small group who makes the financial decisions at the very top. But hey, as Toronto fans we’re used to that — right? Far too used, I say.