I didn't get any autographs. The lines were slightly longer than I had anticipated. I drank beer at St. Louis instead; that's where I learned that Alex Rios had been put on waivers. Shocked and chagrined, I tried to confirm the validity of the text message I'd received (thanks, Kiener). I learned a valuable lesson Friday evening: I need a BlackBerry data plan. Because I don't pay Rogers enough already.
My favourite part of Friday night's mostly underwhelming pre-game ceremony was when all the guys gathered in front of the mound, around The Cito, pictured above, for an orgy of back-to-back World Series championships love. A special manager, and his two special teams. Definitely worthy of some group hug action.
Seventeen years later, Dave Winfield still wants noise. Once again, we were more than happy to oblige.
No matter how many times the Toronto Blue Jays finish in fourth place, nobody can ever take 1992 and 1993 away from us ...
As for our beloved Rios, it's a non-story, really. Alex said it best: "Who gives a fuck?!?!1" Sure, I kind of lost my shit when I heard the breaking news, but apparently everyone and their mother goes on waivers. The 90 percent of baseball execs who think the Jays should dump Rios? Forget about 'em.
You don't dump an asset when it's trading at its lowest. (What is this, the Toronto Maple Leafs?) Fuck cutting your losses; I'm going down with the ship.
We'd all love for Rios to perform at a higher level, to justify the $60 million that remains on his contract. Out of all American League right fielders who've played more than 100 games, Rios's .742 OPS ranks second-last. Believe me, nobody wants that number to be higher than I do. But it isn't all bad: among AL RFs Rios ranks fifth in hits, with 113, fourth in doubles, with 25, second in the base thievery category, with 19, and fifth in RsBI, with 62. Make no mistake about it: Alex Rios is the most clutch hitter the Toronto Blue Jays employ. His .283 AVG with runners in scoring position, and .346 AVG with runners in scoring position with two outs, might have something to do with that.
It's one thing to dump an underperforming asset to get out from underneath a brutal contract (see Wells, Vernon). It's another to trade an asset and get something of value in return. Don't listen to the fearmongers; Rios' contract isn't that bad.
I don't think there's ever been a better time to say it: I believe in Alex Rios.