“Of all mankind, I care only about one man: myself.”
Growing up in a family with an older sister who somehow managed to always grab the television the moment before anything I wanted to watch came on and a father who bought pretty much every movie that came out on…
Rewatched the last harry potter movie, and remembered voldemort is pretty shitty at killing kids. This led to us reimagining the whole series with a far more effective british villain with a ridiculous accent.
“One mind can think only of its own questions; it rarely surprises itself.”
- Orson Scott Card
Pitch Perfect surprised the hell out of me. I was expecting a below average to decent movie that would give me an excuse to watch Anna Kendrick for an hour and a half. Instead,…
Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.
- Edward Abbey
Here in Toronto, there are really only three options for cheap coffee: a) McDonalds, b) Tim Hortons, or c) make it yourself. Since options C is quite frankly ridiculous and is only…
The Toronto Blue Jays have ONE thing to be happy about this season.
I’m sure a lot of people will consider this Jays season an unmitigated disaster. Well, they’re right about the disaster part, as the Jays will finish 4th in the AL East, double digits below .500, and with more uncertainty than ever going into next year in terms of what kind of players they have now. However, it’s hard to lay the blame entirely at the feet of Alex Anthoupolos or on the inexperience of the team as people have recently. A lot of this season can be blamed on plain terrible luck.
First of all, let’s go over what were some problems that we can’t blame on the baseball gods. Kelly Johnson is just plain bad. While Aaron Hill had himself a great year (.305 avg, 26 HRs, hit for the cycle again), Kelly Johnson had a 4 month drought which dropped his average to .225 with a horrendous .313 OBP and a whopping 159 Ks. The best thing you could say about him is that he was a less expensive version of Dan Uggla, and that he’s pretty much out the door in 2013 with his contract expiring. Adam Lind hit rock bottom this year, complete with an embarrassing trip to Triple-A and his future with the Jays becoming ever murkier. Ricky Romero’s luck finally running out midway through the season resulting in a soul-crushing losing streak of historic proportions leaves a rather big question mark where once stood our rotation’s ace. And finally, the sullying of the Jays brand with the whining to the umpires culminating in the Lawrie helmet throw and the completely avoidable Escobar eye-paint scandal added further fuel to the fire pointing to the perceived trouble in the locker room.
However, Kelly Johnson and Adam Lind being garbage would not have been totally unbelievable if you were told before the season started, but to blame the Jays for underachieving without the proper context would be unfair. Consider the week of death, where in a single stretch through the rotation, three of our five starters all went down with injuries, two of them for the entire season, the other to Brandon Morrow who had to that point looked like a sure All-Star. Then Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, JP Arencibia, Jose Bautista, and Adam Lind all get injured at the same time, many missing for a seemingly endless period. I was at a Jays game earlier this season and saw them field what was essentially the Las Vegas team, with the middle of the infield from opening day being the only starters from Opening Day and the only ones with any extensive MLB experience.
Yes, a lot of players didn’t live up to expectations. Yunel Escobar did not look good at any point during the season with the bat, although he still played stellar defense. The revamped bullpen was nearly as atrocious as it was last season, with the unexplainable loyalty to Francisco Cordero made watching the game through to the end a quick path to a heart attack, made worse by the inability of the starters to get past 6 innings. Ricky Romero was terrible, even during his 8-1 start, and the way he lost games, by giving out walks with nary a fight, made it that much harder to watch.
However, expecting Brett Lawrie to be some offensive juggernaut in his rookie season after a brief MVP-like spell last season was a bit unrealistic. At the very least, Lawrie’s running mistakes are the kind that can be ironed out and the enthusiasm that led him to almost leap to his doom in New York is nothing but a positive (something I haven’t seen since Reed Johnson left town for the aged / cheaper Shannon Stewart). His defense, which was a question mark for the former catcher / 2B, was remarkable, ranking 2nd in the league this year in Range Factor and got to some impossible grounders. Bautista, despite not exactly lighting the world on fire like he did last year, still had great power numbers and led the league in HRs at the time of his injury. Expecting him to get those ridiculous numbers he had in 2011 is unrealistic. I’ll take 27 HRs just after the All-Star break any year. A lot of these expectations were from the Jays’ incredible Spring Training record where the ran through teams and the whispers that the Jays were the Dark Horse pick out of the AL East. The thing about this is that Spring Training is still Spring Training, and Dark Horses still lose to the Studs most of the time. They needed a lot of things to go right this season to even make a wild card spot, but instead everything went the other way.
And hey, there were a bunch of positives to come from all this otherwise abysmal season. Brandon Morrow proved he could pitch, E5 died and was reborn as one of the best hitters in the AL, Casey Janssen sort of made the Sergio Santos deal look unnecessary, and we might actually see some serious speed next year after a decent year from Rajai Davis and the possibility of Anthony Gose showing up next year.
Another season in the can, the inevitable mantra of “next year” on the horizon. Good god, give me some post-season in Toronto already.
Congratulations to the NFL on it’s first ever, TOUCEPTION.
A Vault in Time: Nazia Vengo
The leaked screenplay to the Oscar favorite.
Poster by Suedo Intellectual