Jays at Royals, 29-31 July
Monday, July 29 2019 @ 02:00 PM EDT
Contributed by: Magpie
Two teams with identical, and identically awful records? It's the Toilet Bowl, folks!
And with the Tampa thread closing in on 200 comments...
While it's not yet official, it seems to be an open secret that Bo Bichette and Sean Reid-Foley will be joining the team in Kansas City. Freddy Galvis is still on the team, but Bo didn't come all this way to sit and watch. Presumably Reid-Foley takes Stroman's rotation spot. Reid-Foley's not as good as Stroman, but really - what difference does it make? The team went 8-13 in Stroman's starts. Maybe they would have gone 6-15 if Reid-Foley had been on the mound. When the team is this bad...
And that's a new experience for all of us. Atkins, with what I have to assume is Shapiro's blessing, seems now to have fully committed to the Astros-Cubs model of team building. Tear it all down, bottom out, and start from scratch. (Yes, he waited too long to get on with it, but there were exigent circumstances.) Anyway, this is very interesting to me, because it's not the Blue Jay Way. That's never been tried here. The Jays have always resisted bottoming out. When the 1992-93 champions, the culmination of more than a decade of quality teams, started to go bad in 1995-96, what did Gord Ash do? He signed Roger Clemens. The whole justification for J.P. Ricciardi was that he could build a contender on the cheap, like the guy he'd worked for in Oakland. Alex Anthopoulos endured two mediocre years with John Farrell and promptly swung for the fences with the Marlins trade.
In the NBA, I think they call it the Mediocrity Treadmill. Never good enough to contend, never bad enough to land a superstar in the draft. Baseball is quite different, of course. It's much harder to project the future of high school kids in this game. Baseball players take much longer to develop. It's a more difficult game, it requires a different - and arguably superior - kind of athleticism. (Basketball players generally aren't quick enough to play baseball. Well, have you seen how big they are?) Bottoming out is risky enough in basketball. It's Very Risky in baseball. It takes much longer for the payoff to appear, and ownership groups and fanbases have only so much patience and time. Consider tonight's opposition. The Royals were the original Model Expansion team. They put together a great team in their first decade of existence. That team never won a championship, but they stayed competitive and eventually won a title with some of the remnants of those original great teams still around for the fun. But they went bad, too, a few years after that. From 1995 through 2012 they had one - one - winning season out of eighteen, and their 83-79 mark in 2003 was such a surprise to one and all that Tony Pena was awarded the Manager of the Year. There isn't always a payoff.
But we're in for it now.
Mon. 29 July - Pannone (2-4, 6.39) vs Keller (7-9, 3.95)
Tue 30 July - Reid-Foley? (0-1, 3.55) vs Montgomery (0-1, 7.71)
Wed 31 July - Waguespack (1-1, 5.63) vs Junis (6-9, 5.03)