There comes a time in the season where the most ardent supporter, the most “glass-half filled” fan has to just let it go and accept that his team is not a playoff contender. That time has come for me.
The Jays gave it a good run, but ultimately they could not defeat the injury reaper, where every single one of the five starting pitchers spent time on the disabled list. They fought bravely for two-plus months, but eventually suffered from the vertigo that afflicts some teams when they reach heights beyond their means.
It was foolish to believe that a collection of pitchers consisting of Scott Richmond, Brett Cecil, Brad Mills, Brian Tallet and Marc Rzepczynski could provide enough support for Roy Halladay and the emerging Ricky Romero. Folly, yes – but they did perform admirably for the first two months of the season.
Inevitably, though, the Blue Jays just could not maintain the excellence needed to keep up with the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays. Career years by Aaron Hill, Marco Scutaro, Adam Lind have been offset by mega-suckage from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Travis Snider failed to make the most of his first real chance at stardom, and is toiling away in the minors trying to find his form.
And now we are treated to the three-ring sideshow that is the baseball media falling over themselves trying to create news where none exists. I haven’t commented on the whole Roy Halladay thing yet because to me it’s a non-issue. J.P. Ricciardi merely said what you would expect any GM to say when it comes to trade speculation of an “untouchable” player: he will listen to offers. The shit-show that has ensued has resulted in me not watching a baseball game in a week, knowing that my blood pressure could not handle the idle speculation surrounding the best pitcher in baseball.
All I need to put my heart at ease with this issue is to repeat this to myself: f the Jays traded Roy Halladay on a Monday, what would be the Jays greatest need beginning Tuesday? Answer: an ace in their starting rotation.
I realize that his value will never be higher as it is right now, with 1 1/2 years left in his contract, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that trading Roy Halladay is Jays management telling its fanbase that it really isn’t trying to build a winner anymore, a signal much like the one Expos management sent by trading Pedro Martinez.
There’s a case to be made that the city of Toronto and its populace don’t deserve Roy Halladay. Attendance, which is low to begin with, doesn’t see a significant bump when he takes the mound. I agree to a certain extent, but Blue Jays telecasts have seen a rise in ratings this season and that’s because the Blue Jays continue to establish themselves as Canada’s team. I see more and more Blue Jays caps and jerseys here in Ottawa so something is brewing. It would be a shame to punish the rest of the country’s Jays fans for the shortcomings of Toronto sports fans.
As stated earlier, my feeling is this is a whole bunch of nonsense from a media corps that is bored in the dead of summer and wanted to create excitement. When Fox’s Ken Rosenthal wrote that Halladay was “as good as gone”, his brethren finally had something to write about beyond steroids and All-Star voting.
I will continue to avert my eyes for the time being. Roy isn’t going anywhere, and may even sign long-term in the offseason, and we will continue to have faith that Rogers will eventually put a winning product on the field. We’re really not that far away from that, if you look at things objectively.