August 09, 2009

Reflection Eternal




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 ...



Back-to-Back.


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.

10 comments:

looshV said...

Just a side note: Pogge traded to Anaheim and yes, baseball players are put on Waivers all the time. I also believe in Alex Rios.

Mattt said...

I'm on the fence as whether to keep him or let him go. Depends if a trade can be made to get something of value in return. He's got the potential, but my fear is he's like Joey Graham-all the talent in the world but never putting it all together consistently...

Michael Harrison said...

I've certainly always noticed those stats with RISP and have been really quite surprised. I wouldn't probably just want him to walk without anything in return (with basically only Travis Snider as an outfield prospect in our system) but moving Rios and hopefully Lyle Overbay would be a good step in terms of the Jays rebuilding...

William said...

That was a cool moment for Cito and had to be special to see in person. You should have waited in that line!

As for Rios, the odds are against him going anywhere for just the old "player to be named later" gig that usually happens in a waiver deal unless JR is really being pushed to dump salary.

eyebleaf said...

@ Loosh: Who's Pogge? And I'm glad you believe in Alex Rios.

@ Mattt: Let's never compare Rios to Joey Graham again!

@ Michael: Letting Rios walk without anything in return is not a possibility. It is absurd. Only Ken Rosenthal would think that's a good move. The key question, Michael, is: Do you believe in Alex Rios?

@ William: It must have been nice for Cito, especially considering the weak lineup he's trotting out there everyday this time around as manager. And Rios isn't going anywhere. All of a sudden, he's raking. Him and Wells.

Mattt said...

It wasn't a comaprison as much as a fear...

William said...

I noticed Wells is starting to hit. But he's still listed in the Severe category. :)

eyebleaf said...

@ Mattt: The comparison actually kind of makes sense. So much potential, and lots of teasing. Good Joey, Bad Joey, and Good Alex, Bad Alex. We definitely need more Good Alex.

@ William: Wells is owning the month of August. I thought about bringing it down last night; if he has a good series in NY, it's happening.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I'm with you on the 'we can't give him away for nothing' category. I'm not opposed to moving him for decent value, but seriously, who's willing to trade 'value' for him right now? I doubt we're contending this year but I think the hope for Wells and Rios is that if we add another bat to take the pressure off of them, they would return to higher levels of production. That, coupled with Snider hopefully breaking through, would at least give us a fighting chance.

Hungry Leafs Fan said...

Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek is the truth!