Saturday, March 8, 2008
I got issues
So as you can probably guess from my last post...whoever "you" are since no one has looked at this blog from what my sitemeter says, I'm already tired of spring training. I'm looking out my window at a half-blizzard, and baseball is being played on some faraway planet that I can't even watch because I hate paying for stuff on the internet. I thought watching the Hoyas today would ease some of my anxiety, but I kept wanting to flip the channel over the ball game. Of course, if there was a game to switch to, I would have gotten annoyed watching Joey A-Ball getting bombed by Bobby Bush-League and flipped the channel back to being annoyed by Georgetown lazing away another turnover. Best to be annoyed by just one game at a time. I don't always sound like such an asshole, I promise.
Have i become jaded? Maybe. I was pumped about spring training when it started, but now I want it to be over. It's like the first act of a movie or the first chapter of a book that you know and you've seen already, and you want to skip ahead to the good stuff. Obviously, I don't know how the season is going to shake down, but I know that what's going on right now is hardly "the good stuff." There are just two many intriguing stories and questions with the Jays this year that won't be told and won't be answered in spring training. Sure, someone might say, "spring training's where it all begins, it sets the stage, blah blah blah.". To which I say, "Bullshit." Who were the Jays 3rd, 4th, and 5th starters coming out of the spring a year ago? Sure not the same guys who finished the season there. Don't get me wrong, spring training is a necessary evil for teams to get in shape and try out players. I get this. I guess I'm just tired of all the noise and excitement that surrounds these most meaningless of games, when there are so many stories for the coming season. Here are the ones I'm thinking of, in no particular order.
1. Young guys looking to improve on last season's success: McGowan, Marcum, Janssen and Litsch all have something to prove this season. Litsch might be proving it in Syracuse, depending on how the Beej situation shakes down, but he should get a few starts in the show even if he doesn't break camp with the team. Is McGowan going to start his ascension as the heir apparent, or is he going to burn out from overuse? Will Marcum keep defying logic and keep getting hitters out? Janssen doesn't even know where he's going to be when the season starts, but it's probably safe to say that if he starts in the bullpen, he'll be in the rotation at some point this season when the Beej is eventually back(more proof that spring training is about a lot of hyped up bullshit competitions).
2. Injured guys coming back: Wells, Overbay, the Beej, Johnson, Rolen-who knows how all these guys will respond. Johnson might not even end the spring with the team. Rolen hasn't been healthy since Gregg Zaun last wrote a blank cheque, Wells' shoulder wasn't an excuse for swinging at pitches over his head, and Overbay wasn't lighting it up before he got hurt last season. For this story, and for the young guys story, chances are not all will fail, but they won't all succeed completely either.
3. Rios-is he gonna break out this season, or is he going to be just another 25-90 guy who gets a lot of chicks? It's weird to think he's only 2 years younger than Wells. By the time Vernon was his age, he'd already put up an MVP calibre season. Rios hasn't done so yet, although he does have the infection excuse. This is a put-up or shut-up year, I think(and hope)
4. Old dudes-Matt Stairs squeezed an improbable season out his ancient Jasper-like bones last season. What's he gonna do this year? I have a bad feeling he's going to regress big-time, and the Adam Lind era might begin sooner than planned, which would be fine with me. I like Matt Stairs, but last season seems to defy all logic to me. He'd be a great pinch-hitter though. Frank Thomas creaked through as well last season with a semi-successful one, but again, one year older often means one year crappier at his age. He's a better player than Matt Stairs ever was though, and doesn't have to play the field, so I'm thinking with the extra preparation he's apparently doing this spring, he'll have a similar season to last, although maybe with higher numbers after getting better prepared for early-season play.
5. Managerial hotseats-If the team falters early, is Gibby gone? Or as my daughter says, is he Gonzo? Is Japes gonzo too? Who knows. Would they really hire Ernie Whitt as a replacement during the season? Would he get his own pre-game buffet table?
6. Jamie Campbell-with his hair, when is someone going to nickname him "Pubes?"