"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around"
No Game Of The Week this week, for I am suffering from a common ailment known as Lazinus Disinternos. The doctors say it's mild and I'm expected to be fully recovered by next week. For now here's this.
In all my thirteen years of following the Blue Jays I've never experienced a season as deflating as this one. There have been seasons more horrible (2004) and seasons more disappointing (2004 again. Man that year sucked.) But I've gotta say I've never seen this fanbase go from "We're the asskickers of baseball forever!!!!1!111" to "This team is useless fire everyone BLOW IT UP!!!!111" in the span of just two months. Two months, people. I've been as discouraged by this team's miserable play as anybody but the problems are not as bad as they might seem. We're not the Marlins or the Astros and I still believe this team can be dangerous during the next few seasons. The only real issues seem to be: starting pitchers can't stay healthy, our infield defense without Brett Lawrie is awful, and J.P. Arencibia. Aside from that hey, things could be a lot worse. Look up the 2013 Marlins on Baseball Reference and I'm sure you'll feel much better.
Anyway, I'm here today to remind you of the good, enjoyable things about this season. This is baseball after all, this is supposed to be fun. If we put the nightmares of horrible injuries and Arencibia behind the plate aside, there are lots of entertaining things about this team right now. For instance:
R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball
He hasn't been consistent and he hasn't been completely healthy, but boy is that knuckleball fun to watch when it's working. Even when it's only working a little bit. You won't see good major league hitters take such pathetic swings at too many other pitchers on the planet Earth.
I'm not convinced this guy is even real. The crouching outside the batters box, the way he seems to flail his entire body as he makes a throw from shortstop, the JAPANESE!!!!!!! This guy is like the little kid who's just so happy to get a chance to play that his excitement comes out in adorably awkward ways. He also must be one of the few professional baseball players who appears so 100 percent genuine: he's not putting on a face for the cameras because who could or would choose to behave so abnormally?
Oh yeah, he's also a very useful major league baseball player. A solid defensive infielder, good baserunner who makes contact and I'm sure he's had five times as many good at-bats this season as Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia put together.
This has really been the only strength of the team since Day One. The top four of this bullpen (Janssen, Cecil, Delabar, Loup) has been phenomonenal, not to mention solid contributions from Esmil Rogers and Darren Oliver. With this depth the injured Sergio Santos has become a forgotten man again (sidenote: this is hindsight of course but people wanted Santos to close instead of Janssen? Really?) What I love about this bullpen though is how different each of these pitchers are: Aaron Loup slings frisbees onto the corners; Steve Delabar hides his vicious splitter like a magician, pumping fastball after fastball until at last unleashing the beast once the batter seems to forget it exists; and Casey Janssen is not so much a pitcher as he is a sculpter, carving away at the strikezone with any tool at any time until his work is complete.
Edwin Encarnacion's Bat
That's all I've got for now. Has there been anything about this season you guys have enjoyed so far? Big things, small things, Colby Rasmus hair things? Please do share.