Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Jays..

As a Canadian baseball fan, I am of course a Toronto Blue Jays fan. It takes a lot to keep being a fan when your division includes the Yankees and the Red Sox. It takes even more when a fan knows that the Jays record would be good enough to be the Wild Card Leaders in the other league. This season began with so MUCH hope with the acquisitions of Overbay, Glaus, Ryan, Burnett and Molina. Opening day brought even more hope with a 6-3 beating of the Minnesota Twins that included a home run by Bengie 'Big Boy' Molina and the first appearance of BJ Ryan out of the bullpen. The roar of the crowd when Ryan came running out to the mound was something that can't even be explained in words but had to be felt.

So it's September and the Jays are out of the race again and the Old Yankees have predictably gone through injury after injury. Unfortunately, the Yanks used their resources to acquire Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Craig Wilson and had surprise contributions from youngster Melky Cabrera and old man Bernie Williams. The Jays meanwhile have had the same problem they've had since the glory years, only one/two starting pitcher that can be relied upon to consistently win games. This year was suppose to be the year where the rotation would not be a problem with a 5-pack of Halladay, Burnett, Lilly, Chacin and Towers. Worse case scenario...Burnett has arm problems, Lilly is his inconsistent self, Chacin has sophomore yips and we get consistent greatness from Halladay and consistent consistency from Towers.

Unfortunately, the worse case scenario happens plus more...Burnett misses almost half the season with arm problems, Chacin misses half the season with injuries, Lilly keeps being the terrible tease and unforeseen...Josh Towers completely loses it. Which leaves Halladay and...Halladay as our consistent starters. This team was never able to put up a decent win streak, those streaks that allow teams to move into a playoff position. The offense was fantastic but again we shall wait till next year. What will JP do this offseason to attempt to make that final jump? Will Vernon Wells be traded and if so what will the return be like? How many of the impending free agents will be let go in exchange for draft picks? Will AJ Burnett still wear the Blue Jay black by the time the next season comes along? So many questions to be answered...personally I can't wait until they are answered. In the next weeks, I will attempt to draw up what I would like to call the battle plan of sorts, a plan for the off-season which could determine the future of this great franchise

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