I've been rather quiet, I know. Roy Halladay going down to injury, followed by three consecutive losses at home to the Florida Marlins, will do that to an emotional, youngish lad like myself. Have I told you lately how much I hate Interleague play? Fuck.
There's also that Vernon Wells guy, adding to my misery. He continues to be a thorn - a HUGE thorn - in the side of all Blue Jays fans. Democracy might arrive in Iran before Wells becomes a productive hitter again.
Speaking of V-Dub, check out this great post from The Tao of Stieb: You'll Never Love Vernon Like You Loved Carlos. It's great, and The Tao is probably right. I miss King Carlos.
June was to be a crucial month. Ideally the month where the AL East, or at least the wild card, was won. Instead, the Jays are floundering; 5-and-7, with 12 games left against the National League, including six against the defending World Series champions. As if playing in the AL East wasn't hard enough.
Wells hasn't helped the cause. In fact, he's falling apart. In 42 June at-bats, Wells has four hits, for a whopping .095 batting average. His .170 OBP and .337 OPS make me want to assume the fetal position and have a good cry. Or have a drink. Many drinks. Wells is no longer batting fourth in The Cito's lineup, but he shouldn't be batting third, either. What happened to our Vernon?
There's been some chatter as to the optimal location in the lineup for Wells, with some even going as far as saying he should be at the top of the order. Not that Marco Scutaro hasn't been a revelation, but for the Jays to succeed (read: make the playoffs!!!1) they need production out of Wells. Any production.
With runners on base (131 at-bats), Wells is batting .198, and slugging .298. With runners in scoring position (74 at-bats) the numbers are even worse: a .149 batting average, and a .284 slugging percentage. Clearly, he's no RsBI machine.
While I shudder to think of Wells as a leadoff hitter, the numbers suggest I perhaps shouldn't be so afraid. According to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, when leading off an inning, in 62 at-bats, Wells is batting .306 with an .890 OPS. With nobody on base, in 125 at-bats, Wells is batting .288 with a .792 OPS.
I'm not sure how one justifies moving Scoots out of the leadoff spot, but I'm all for it if it means Vernon gets on track. Of course, this post is useless, because there's no way it happens. Not in Citocity.
All of a sudden, the Tampa Bay Rays are tied with Toronto for third place in the division. The Red Sox have jumped five games ahead, and the Yankees hold a three game advantage on the wild card. Sadness.
On my sullen walk to work this morning, Nas came through on the iPod. I, too, took a trip down memory lane, through the first 41 games of the season, when the Jays were 27-and-14, and the talk of the town. Those were good times.
One last thing: I believe in Vernon Wells. I have to.