The Mysterious Vanishing of Mr. Adams (Or: if you miss the A-train)
No, no…it’s just a song. Nothing but a Jazz standard. I’m not going that far even if I read a million Adams booster articles. There has been absolutely no mention a possible return this year of the once-promising first round pick Russ Adams, except for Jerry Howarth apparently running his mouth off for no reason during a spring training game:
Also of note, Jerry Howarth said that Toronto’s plan was to have Russ Adams start the season as the regular second baseman at Syracuse and, if all goes well, start at second for Toronto sometime this season, with Hill moving over to SS…
(taken from www.bluebirdbanter.com – you can scroll down to read his equally incredulous comment continue…)
In reality, Russ must have thought the Jays were enacting some sort of twisted revenge on him this year when they signed Clayton to take his place, then Macdonald as a defensive backup, then picked up Jason Smith as a rule 5, and finally, just to make sure that it would take an entire bus crash and not just a handful of freak injuries to give him another shot in the majors this year, picked up Ray Olmedo. Down on the depth chart? Try BURIED.
But as recently as before last year, this was still the party line:
The other big debate last season was whether Russ Adams or Aaron Hill was the Jays shortstop of the future. LaCava says there was no debate inside the organization. “We never considered moving Adams off shortstop. We think they are in the right spots right now, Russ keeps getting better each year, he has come a long way and some of the errors he made last year he won’t make this year.”
So what happened? How were they so wrong? There were rumblings last spring training that maybe he and Hill were in the wrong positions and the team steadfastly refused to consider the idea until a couple months in when he was quietly and unceremoniously shipped to the minors to stay. Now it doesn’t even seem like they’re particularly interested in him, and he’s not even getting another look until 2008. Was it mental? Was his arm just not good enough? And why is J.P. acting like it’s no big deal when our current solution to him choking his way out of our long-weakest position is 1) clearly temporary and 2) a big joke?