July 06, 2009
Back in 1999, the Toronto Blue Jays canned B.J. Birdie. (Is it "Birdie," or "Birdy"?) Ten years later, it seems the same fate awaits another flightless bird, B.J. Ryan.
Seriously, I can't imagine it's worth it for J.P. Ricciardi to use valuable Rogers daytime minutes to call another team about The Beej. He'd be laughed off the phone, time and time again.
As general manager of the Blue Jays, I think Ricciardi has done more good than bad over the years. But in hindsight, which is easy for me to use, pantless from my mother's basement, Ryan's signing might go down as J.P.'s worst.
It was tough to watch Ryan, the $12 million dollar once-dominant closer, come into yesterday's game in the fourth inning, the first man out of the bullpen to try and hold an 8-to-7 lead against New York. He failed. Miserably. Of the five relievers who tossed four-and-a-third innings of relief on Sunday, Ryan was the only one to allow any runs. The fact he walked two Yankees, his eleventh and twelfth walks in only nine innings pitched on the road (a 2.89 WHIP away from the SkyDome, egads!), was the tipping point.
The Beej is finished, yo.
I don't envy the person who had to give B.J. Birdie his walking papers back in the day. It couldn't have been easy. Ryan's remaining salary be damned, someone's eventually going to have to make the tough call on him, too. Delegate to your heart's content, Ricciardi.
The Yankees have had their way with the Jays, and Toronto's now seven games back. Worse yet, Cito's boys are only one game above .500. A game above water. Hard to believe, really. I thought all that .500 talk left town with John Gibbons.
After starting the season 27-and-14, the Jays have gone 15-and-27. From the highest high, to the lowest low, to right back where they started.
Half a season remains, and there's no reason to believe the Jays can't win 27 of their next 41 games. (Actually, that's not the case; there are a bevy of reasons, but fuck discussing them.) Sure, they'll have to do it against better quality opposition, using less experienced pitchers, and with a completely useless David Dellucci in left field, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.
UPDATE: Oh yeah, the All-Star game. Doc and Aaron Hill are on their way. That's not news. We knew they were all-stars a month and a half ago. Scott Rolen and Marco Scutaro, while not officially, are all-stars in my books. Same with Scott Downs. And vote for Adam Lind. He'd vote for you.