Blue Jays Make Drastic Changes
In the time honored post-opening day tradition, Toronto sportswriters have taken a glimpse at the Blue Jays season to come using the latest in statistical tools- and it’s not what you might expect. “I really thought we had some power on this team,” drawled Jays skipper John Gibbons. “Boy was I wrong. We’re a speed team now. Stole two bases in the first inning against one of the best catchers in the league, so we’re going to go with that from now on. It’s a different look, but we think it can help us go 162-0.”
In other developments, rising star Lyle Overbay was moved out of his new position in the 2-slot to take over the cleanup role from the struggling Frank Thomas (who is on pace for 300+ strikeouts this season). “I think it’s too early to talk about whether I have a chance to hit .500 this season,” quipped Overbay, “but someone has to get more than one hit a game, and it looks like it’s going to be me. Right now, I feel great. There’s absolutely no reason I can’t continue this pace.”
Other adjustments included a new-look starting rotation of Halladay-Janssen-Downs-Frasor-Ryan, the instant release of Gregg Zaun and Aaron Hill, the addition of Royce Clayton to the level of excellence…
Ok, I’ll stop. This isn’t really going anywhere. But it hurts every year. The media has been feeding on scraps for the last month and a half, stretching reports about A.J. Burnett’s big toe to fill a page or two. Now there’s a whole GAME to draw conclusions from, and even though they know they shouldn’t, there will be unwarranted, silly extrapolations. They might be subtle (if Clayton can continue hitting, the Jays won’t have to worry; Overbay looked comfortable in his new role, etc.), they might be self-consciously over the top (a la Bengie the Best after his opening day homer last year), they might even be philosophical (beating the defending AL champs in their own park to start the season sends a message…), but get ready for a deluge of silliness as every drop of blood is wrung out of the season opener over the off-day.