Having now reached that not-so-important eighth pole of the marathon that is the MLB regular season, the Toronto Blue Jays are one of many teams floundering around the .500 mark, their true identity and worth still undefined. That’s not to say there aren’t any early observations to be made, so fear not, dear reader. What follows are some random truths and musings from their play so far.
The Running Man
The 2011 Toronto Blue Jays will send runners in motion whenever they damn well feel like it. They don’t care about the situation- outs, count, score- these are matters that do not concern them. All they want to do is disrupt and distract, keeping pitchers and defenses perpetually on edge, to the brink of paranoia even. If they also happen to steal a ton of bases this year, then consider that a happy by-product.
It has been some time since the team had the requisite number of speed demons to pull this off. New manager John Farrell can hardly be blamed for the aggressiveness on the base-paths when he has the wheels of Rajai Davis, Corey Patterson, and Jayson Nix at his disposal. With Scott Podsednik recovering from injury, he will only be another weapon in an arsenal of fleet feet upon return.
An Unbalanced Rotation
When you lose a starting pitcher of Roy Halladay’s caliber, the ensuing hole left behind can appear to be a yawning chasm. It should be no surprise that the Jays’ rotation is experiencing such a void. The good news is that Ricky Romero, who had a solid 2010, and Kyle Drabek, the primary man for whom Roy Halladay was traded to Philadelphia, appear to be a viable 1-2 punch.
However, that is where things get a little murky. Brandow Morrow is now back from injury and his track record would suggest that he could reliably fill the third spot should he stay healthy. Youngsters Jojo Reyes and Jesse Litsch have been inconsistent and expect GM Alex Anthopoulos to tinker with those final two slots should continue to be frequent hiccups.
First Base Conversations
Ever wonder what those first basemen talk about with runners? For the curious, here is an entirely imagined conversation with Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind and Yankees speedy outfielder Brett Gardner.
AL: Can you believe they call that garbage a hit?
BG: They all count, don’t they?
AL: Whatever helps you sleep at night, pal. I wouldn’t be proud of a little bloop single like that though. That bloop single gives bloop singles a bad name. You know what I mean?
BG: Sometimes they fall in. Better than the ones I hit hard right at someone.
AL: Listen Brett, I don’t want to scare you, but these are the Yankees. They’re not paying you for bloop singles. You will be shipped out of there in a New York minute. You get me? Unless you can hit a bloop home run, of course. Can you hit a bloop home run, Brett?