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The Jays reacquire Zach Jackson
A few things
have been happening the last few days in Jaysland. Today, Toronto reacquired lefthander Zach
Jackson from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later. Some sources are saying the player is
infielder Russ Adams who has become even more expendable than he already was
this week when the Jays acquired Brian Bocock off waivers from San Francisco.
originally drafted by the Jays as a sandwich first-rounder back in 2004 and was
dealt to Milwaukee in the Lyle Overbay deal in December of ’05. Jackson was then dealt to the Tribe in ’08 in
the C.C. Sabathia deal. Jackson has yet
to stick at the major-league level and has struggled in the minors as well, but
the Jays are hoping he can regain his college form with the organization he
started out with.
Alomar, Blyleven not going to Hall…yet
disrespect to Andre Dawson, who definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,
but how did Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven not get in? Sure, I may be biased in both cases what with
Alomar being one of the greatest Blue Jays of all time and Blyleven being the
greatest Dutch-born player in the game’s history, but they both deserve to be
in the Hall now, not a few years from now.
I can see
Blyleven not being a first-ballot HOFer, but this was like his 8th
or 9th year of eligibility.
He finished his career with 287 wins and was 5th all-time in
strike outs. Yes, he lost 250 games in
his career but there’s no doubting his longevity. As MLB Network analyst Sean Casey pointed out
the other day, no one pitches 21 years in the bigs who doesn’t deserve to do
so. Blyleven kept his team in every game
and could bear down and be outright dominating.
If he doesn’t get in next year than there’s something wrong.
Alomar, he was probably the best second-baseman of his generation. Defensively, there’s probably never been
anyone better. Based on his numbers and
performance alone, he is without a doubt a first-ballot HOFer. My theory is that he’s not in there because
he retired sort of young, and also because of the John Hirshbeck thing. As for the that incident, many players
contend that Hirshbeck used a derogatory slur before Alomar snapped. Regardless of what actually happened, Alomar
apologized profusely and eventually made up with the umpire, joining him in a
campaign to raise awareness about ALD, a disease which Hirshbeck’s son died of. I’ve always thought people overreacted about
that incident and have always seen Alomar as a class-act. Him and Blyleven need to get in next year.
Chapman being pursued by Jays.
have entered the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes.
The 21-year-old Cuban lefthander who can hit triple-digits with his
fastball has been pursued heavily by the Angels, Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox, and
others but reportedly only the Jays and Angels remain in the chase. Toronto surprisingly offered Chapman a
$23-million deal. This would be a huge acquisition for Toronto; Chapman is
at most a year or two from being a top-of-the-rotation talent. Let’s hope the Jays get him. Just think: Drabek AND Chapman. The future would indeed look bright.
It’s no secret. I’m not the biggest fan of Blue Jays GM J.P. Riccardi. Sure, I went through the normal honeymoon phase when he first got here in ’02. He traded for Eric Hinske who went on to win AL Rookie of the Year, he made deals for Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus seemingly out of nothing. Unfortunately, none of these things panned out in the long-run and although the Jays are perennially mentioned as a team “on the cusp,” the season always ends in the same way. MEDIOCRITY.
The fact of the matter is, J.P. has run his course with me and I’m no longer a fan. We need fresh management with fresh ideas. I applaud ownership for giving J.P. a real chance and having patience as he tried to execute his plan (something that has all but disappeared from sports these days), but enough is enough. How many more years of mediocre teams will ownership take before they decide Mr. Riccardi is blowing smoke up their ***** and has run out of ideas. No, the Jays aren’t a bad team, they haven’t been in a long time, but I’m sick of middle ground…I’m sick of 3rd place (or now 4th with the emergence of the Rays). It isn’t good enough anymore and it’s time to move on.
One last thing before I get to the point (and there is a point): J.P.’s smooth-talking. I’m tired of it. We know you’re plan with the Jays has failed…just admit it already. If you listen to Mr. Riccardi it sounds like waiting until 2010 has been the plan all along…the jig is up, sir.
That isn’t to say that J.P. is all bad. He has done some good things and has managed to build a team that has some of the pieces it needs to be a true contender, but the fact is: it isn’t one. J.P., I appreciate you’re services, but we need to move in a new direction. That’s right, I just fired him…I can do that…’cause no one cares what I think…nor should they.
ANYWAY…the point is: J.P.’s first draft pick as Jays GM was a middle infielder by the name of Russ Adams (14th overall in 2002). It appears as though the Jays have finally given up on him after they designated him for assignment today to make room for 28-year-old minor-league pitcher T.J. Beam who was claimed off waivers from the Pirates. Although Adams did enjoy a 63-RBI output in his rookie season in ’05 he is a terrible defensive player and has apparently forgotten how to hit. By the way, players taken in the first round after Adams?
- Scott Kazmir
- Cole Hamels
- Nick Swisher
- James Loney
- Jeff Francoeur
- Joe Blanton
- Matt Cain
Knowing the Jays, they’ll likely take this opportunity to ink Adams to a 6-year, $100-million contract extension.
I will say this though, if Riccardi can pull off signing Kevin Millar, I’ll give him a little temporary love. I refuse to cuddle afterwards though.
One more thing: The Yankees ’09 Preview is done and will be up tomorrow.