A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Adam Lind

Just back from injury, Adam Lind didn't make too much of an impression in his first game. He was 0-3 with a strikeout, but that second game... sometimes, all it takes is a can of WD40 on the old rusty joints, and the body responds, and respond it did - 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs and 3 RBIs, and his batting average is up to .326. Nice production for a Toronto Blue Jays team that refuses to fold at 1 game over .500 (30 and 29).
Granted, the offensive charge is still being led by Jose Bautista (.348 with 20 jacks), but it's nice to have runners to knock in other than the solo shots that look good on highlights reels, but do little else (Bautista has 40 RBIs at this point). That said, Rajai Davis, Yunel Escobar, Juan Rivera, and Corey Patterson aren't exactly playoff bound guys, but they're trying - even if they're not always as good as can be expected (on that note, Patterson and Escobar are currently over-performing, so we have to give them credit for something).
The pitching staff... well, that's scary. We already talked about Jo Jo Reyes winning for the first time in years, but he won again. Kyle Drabek, a key part of the Roy Halladay deal isn't materializing yet, and the pitching staff is all about Ricky Romero, who is over-performing with a 3.16 ERA and a 5-5 record. You've gotta believe, especially when your closer is Marc Rzepczynski (spell that quickly, spelling bee champion wannabes - I know I can't - I went out on mackerel in the 6th grade (2 Es not 2 A's)).
And 1992 and 1993 are light years ago. The Joe Carter home run off of Mitch Williams, a first class idiot that we still have to deal with on MLBTV, is still a great memory - even if the 2 years north of the border by Roger Clemens have become steroids inflated mirages. And there hasn't been much that was good. Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green went packing to other teams as the great hope, but then they vanished, too. And somehow, every player that ever had upside left. The grass was always greener somewhere else. They could have stayed in Toronto and gotten on the all star team in obscurity, but they went for the big money and the big sag in production (Vernon Wells (4 home runs - .183), Alex Rios (4 home runs - .199)).
So if Adam Lind has a good game, we want to believe .305 in 2009 is real and not .237 in 2010 (roughly the same at bats per year - the strikeouts went up as the homers dropped from 35-23 as well).
We want to sing and extol the virtues of the Blue Jays and we want to know what the future can be for a team with a chance, but that said, in the division that they're in, it's going to take more than a few players having career years above their average status. Jose Bautista can't do it all on his own - even if he's so much better than I ever give him credit for (I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry).

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