Inching towards mediocrity.


A doozy of a weekend wrap-up. (Now with 100% less J.P. Ricciardi!)

Well.

Quite a packed little weekend for our Jays. Last series of the season (they were swepted), mutiny in the dugout,  and of course…the official end to the J.P. Ricciardi era. And it’s been a long time coming.

Baltimore’s like the new Boston, or something.

So let me get this straight…we sweep the Red Sox in a three game series at Fenway…and then lose our final series of the year to the Baltimore Orioles? Seriously?!?

I missed Friday and Saturday’s games because I was busy touring wine country this weekend (dead serious), but managed to catch Sunday’s game to watch Vernon Wells give up at the plate one final time (seriously, dead.)

Incidentally, when I typed “Vernon Wells” into Google image search, this came up:

vernon wells

"John...I'll be ready for you, John."

Apparently the villain in the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Commando” was played by some dude  also named Vernon Wells. Interesting. Unlike the REAL Vernon Wells, this guy didn’t mess around. Sure, by movie’s end he was killed by John Matrix in hilariously dramatic fashion, but at least you can’t say he didn’t give it his all!

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

Cito-Gate

cito gaston

"Old school? Who's old school?!? Now finish that delicious cigarette and hand me that medicine ball!"

Next up comes news that the players are none to happy with their current manager. This came as a surprise to many; most notably, their manager, Cito Gaston.

The player’s complaints are common, and to some extent, understandable: they don’t like his old-school approach, he’s to negative, he’s not hands on enough, etc, etc.

They claim that half the team or more are upset with Gaston and his managerial style, and they want to speak with president Paul Beeston about it. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen – is there some semblance of truth to these claims, or is it just media speculation that’s been allowed to run rampant? Most of the players are tight-lipped about it. Vernon is deliberately vague, Hill remains diplomatic, and Roy Halladay straight up refuses to talk about it outside of the clubhouse. Hill himself has said that he believes the relationship between team and manager is salvageable. Wells and Lyle Overbay, however, without going into any real specifics, seem less positive.

Could the accusations be true? It’s hard to say. To me, it certainly sounds like Gaston’s style – and that’s not saying anything bad about the man. I have the utmost respect for Cito Gaston, but times have changed. He’s never been a real player manager, and his past with the Blue Jays more or less proves that. People continuously throw the “back to back World Series” trump card in your face whenever discussing Gaston’s worth as a baseball manager, but that’s meaningless. No disprespect to Cito, but as my dad always says: anyone could have managed that team they had in ’92 and ’93. All Cito had to do was show up, make a line-up, and let ’em go. It wasn’t rocket science, and as they were a team of mostly veterans (and well payed ones at that), they didn’t need a lot of hands on work from their manager. They just did what they did.

Regardless, the situation looks grim. Despite what you think of Gaston’s managing either way, there can not be division in the clubhouse. If the players don’t like Cito, whatever the reason, he may have to go. Hill may feel that they have room to work with. But if they don’t, there’s no point in holding on to him for much longer. He came in and it was a huge boost for morale. But he hasn’t lived up to expectations, and we can’t continue to cling to the past like this. It sends a clear message to the fans that Roger’s has no intention of creating a winning ball club. And the more they keep trotting out those Back2Back alumni just reinforces this. There is a future for this team; let’s try looking there for once.

Meet the new boss/same as the old boss…

j.p. ricciardi

Off to Boston with you, then.

Finally, some good news. J.P. Ricciardi has been fired. Some might say a few years too late. But whatever. He’s GONE.

So now we have a NEW general manager to look forward to! A bright young man by the name of Alex Anthopoulos, who used to be…

J.P. Riccardi’s assistant?

DAMMIT!

To be fair, though, I’m assuming this is an interim position until they can find someone to replace them. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

Also to be fair, I don’t know a damn THING about this kid, so maybe he truly is the Jay’s savior. Or, maybe he’s just J.P.’s RIGHT HAND MAN, which almost seems like a step backwards somehow.

Perhaps not quite backwards…I suppose, technically, it’s more like a step to the side.

In any event, he appears to have his work cut out for him, and I’m curious to see what happens in the coming post season. There are a lot of free agents on the team right now, and I’d like to see a number of them back. (Especially Barajas and Johnny Mac.)

Again, I’m not to familiar with the management side of baseball, so I’m not 100% sure what’s in store for Anthopoulos, or the team at this point. All I know is that they have a lot of mending ahead of them for the time being. Whatever the case with Gaston, whatever the case with the free agents, whatever the case with Roy Halladay, I just hope they handle them right, and with a lot more class than Ricciardi was known for.

The team seems to be starting over, or trying to. We’ve got some of the right pieces in there, and with the right moves, I think we could really have something here.

Just as long as we learn from our mistakes, which is something J.P. had trouble doing, so hopefully this kid didn’t inherit that.

And don’t get me wrong; it’s perfectly okay to f*@% up –

Just so long as you don’t f*@% up the same way twice.

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