Are any of you wondering why?
That was a rhetorical question, of course. Just the other day, reader JB21 expressed what, for all I know, could be a widely shared sentiment:
It's spring training and there's no talk about the Jays, no round ups, no game reports, no anything. Just previews about other teams in the MLB.... Can we step it up a bit around here??
Now we all know that Unpaid Volunteers (!!) can sometimes get a little testy when their efforts are called into question. So were the e-mails flying back and forth between roster members, past and present?
Well, not so much, actually. However a wide range of views was still expressed, ranging all the way from:
... what is wrong with this? He's expressing disappointment and frustration.
...when people start sending in checks, then they can damn well start complaining about content.
My own response can roughly be summarized as "Hey, I'm BUSY!"
But today I'm not so busy. And today I'm thinking "the man has a point."
So what is there to say about the Blue Jays, here in the spring of 2006, as we await a season full of... promise.
Well, there's the problem! There is nothing - buggerall - of interest to talk about regarding the Blue Jays. Really. Not yet, anyway.
Let us count the reasons. All spring training games are meaningless, but some are more meaningless than others. Early spring training games are especially meaningless. This is largely because they are overrun with players destined to spend the year in AA or AAA. We already know that John-Ford Griffin (or Gabe Gross, now that I think of it) can hit minor league pitchers.
No one's interested in reading about intrasquad games or off-field workouts, much less writing about them. The action on the Florida diamonds these days is cut from that same cloth.
And this year's games are even more meaningless in light of the fact that several regulars aren't even with the team yet. This also applies to most of the teams the Jays are playing.
Well, what about the battles for jobs? Shouldn't we be paying attention to that?
You bet, but there's nothing to pay attention to. The Toronto roster was pretty much set in stone before camp opened. Consider:
C - Molina, Zaun
INF - Overbay, Hill, Adams, Glaus, Hillenbrand, McDonald
OF - Rios, Hinske, Wells, Johnson, Catalanotto
SP - Halladay, Burnett, Towers, Chacin, Lilly
RP - Ryan, Frasor, Speier, Chulk, Schoeneweis, Downs
That's 24 of the 25 roster spots.
So that leaves the one big question of the spring: namely, whether the Jays try to sneak Guillermo Quiroz through waivers so they can carry Pete Walker as a 12th pitcher. Or Dustin McGowan. Or maybe even John-Ford Griffin as a sixth outfielder.
It says here that they will. However, they'll wait until the very last moment, when the other 29 teams have already settled on who their catchers will be going into 2006. Then they'll try to get Quiroz through waivers and add Walker to the 25 man roster.