Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jays: What else can go wrong?

Update: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail sees things much the same way I do: that's some validation!

That baseball injuries list I posted yesterday seems to have been ominous: news came out late yesterday that Blue Jays' third baseman Scott Rolen fractured his finger in a fielding drill. Perhaps it was bad karma, coming on the same day as the Jays finally decided to end the controversy in left field by cutting Reed Johnson.

As the Globe's Jeff Blair pointed out, this injury is a severe problem for the Jays and their strategy for the year. "And now it's all out of whack: the lineup, the defence (Rolen's range at third base was supposed to offset the net defensive loss of having David Eckstein start at shortstop over John McDonald) and the karma, for what that's worth," he wrote. "Bad day, indeed — and there's still six more to go before it begins counting."

Dustin Parkes from the always-excellent Drunk Jays Fans has more on the woes that have hit Toronto this preseason. "In no way do I believe in religion, mysticism or any other made up thing, but I'm willing to go out on a limb to suggest that Jesus has an enormous voodoo doll of the Toronto Blue Jays and really gets a kick out of plunking it with needles that he sharpens on the hooves of Beelzebub while God claps," he wrote. "The evidence is fairly irrefutable."

Parkes makes a good point: it's tough to think of what else could have gone wrong thus far, as this spring training has bordered on the ridiculous. Thanks to Rolen's injury, Marco Scutaro is now the starting third baseman. Thanks to A.J. Burnett, many fans have learned far more than they ever needed to about nail salons, their magic potions and the effect said potions have on curve balls. Thanks to Casey Janssen, those fans who never took anatomy now know all about the labrum and the dire effects of tearing it. Thanks to B.J. Ryan, many more people know Tommy John solely for the surgical procedure named after him, rather than his solid career (3.34 ERA and 288 career wins, spread out over 26 seasons). Thanks to Frank Thomas, we now know he starts slow even when he comes to camp early. Thanks to David Eckstein, sports columnists have run out of synonyms for "small", "scrappy", "gritty", and "plucky". It's this kind of stuff that might drive us all to become drunk Jays fans.

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