Thursday, July 16, 2009

Billy Wagner To Mets' Fans: "Expect Absolutely Nothing From Me"

Sometimes the smallest stories are the most hilarious.

Take for example, the "news" that Billy Wagner could make his return from Tommy John surgery later this season.

Which is nice, until the New York Post asked Wagner what the chances of that actually happening are, and Wags starting making with the excuses, in descending order of bleakness:

- He doesn't think he'll be setting up Francisco Rodriguez this season.

- He insisted he won't be a bullpen cure-all when he returns.

- He doesn't believe he's headed for a major role with the Mets, and will probably be used sporadically.

- He's only thrown to hitters about "eight or nine times" since last September, so even if he comes back, he'll be rusty.

- He admitted he won't be able to help at all if he can't bounce back well from the surgery.

- He's still waiting for the Jax-from-Mortal-Kombat bionic arm implant to come in the mail.

Ok, I made that last one up. I can't blame Wagner, really; who would want to come back and pitch for the trainwreck that is the New York Metropolitans?

As awesome as a Wagner/J.J. Putz/K-Rod bullpen would be, the chances of it ever coming together is a longshot at best, especially when you consider that the Mets are fourth in the NL East with eight teams ahead of them in the Wild-Card race.

Still, I'm looking forward to Wagner's return, if only for the inevitable "See, I Told You Not To Expect Anything!" stories come September, just in time for the Mets' annual collapse.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

B.J. Ryan Released, Fans Rejoice

Amidst the Roy Halladay trade buzz/impending apocalypse, a ray of sunshine warmed Jays fans' hearts today, as former closer/current pile of crap B.J. Ryan was given his unconditional release.

It used to be when Ryan entered a ballgame, the reaction was: "Fuck yeah! This game is OVER!" But this year every time Ryan came in from the pen, fans were more like: "Ah fuck. This game is over."

The Beej underwent Tommy John surgery in '07 and has looked like a husk of a shell of his former self since. Ryan was openly frustrated about his role this season, and felt he needed frequent work to regain his rhythm.

Cito Gaston clearly wasn't buying that load of B.S. from B.J.

The team will still have to pay Ryan (wince) $10 million for 2010, but it's a number I'm willing to eat if it means never seeing this fucko pitch for the Jays again.

Replacing Ryan on the roster is current closer and our Lord and saviour Scott Downs, who looks to be recovered from his obsessively-reported toe injury.

Some positive news on a day where the Jays could drop to .500 for what feels like the first time since April. There's hope yet!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

J.P. Ricciardi Wants To Ruin The Jays Franchise

Yes, it's early July, and yes, the Jays are pretty much out of the playoff race again.

Six games out of the wild card at the All-Star Break isn't insurmountable, but given the usual gaggle of teams the Jays would have to jump ahead of, it's a much bigger deficit than it appears.

And today the last shred of good will that the team built up from its hot start was erased today, as GM J.P. Ricciardi publicly stated that the team would listen to offers for Roy Halladay.

Ricciardi can cover his ass all he wants with the "We're just listening" statements, but what he's really saying is that the Jays are giving up, and headed towards seller mode.

I don't blame him for being realistic, but trading Halladay would be the worst thing to happen to this franchise in at least 10 years. I don't care what kind of package he gets back; nothing short of the sun, moon, and stars is enough for a pitcher that many consider to be the best in baseball (especially everyone in the A.L. East).

If J.P. can find some sucker to take Vernon Wells and/or Alex Rios off the Jays' hands, by all means do it. But over the past 2-3 years, it's become pretty apparent that no other pitcher on the Jays' roster is at all reliable, and sending away Doc would condemn the team to an ever lower level of mediocrity than in recent years.

I was a big Ricciardi guy when he got here, but since then he has done everything possible to make me dislike him, including the whole saga with my boy Adam Dunn. This would be the final straw.

He's been GM for almost eight years (!) and has virtually nothing to show for it. Second and third place results don't count; I know that's not very Canadian, but fuck that, we haven't won shit.

It's time to let someone else take the controls, before he does the unthinkable and blows this franchise sky high.