Jays need Darvish for a whole lot of reasons
So you’re all up on this Yu Darvish thing, right?
The Japanese pitcher who is in the “posting” process (Griff’s got it all laid out here so we can all understand) and the Jays are in on the bidding. In fact, there are “sources” who say they made the highest bid and will get a chance to negotiate with him after Tuesday, if in fact that’s true.
If I read that he’s got some magical gyroball up his sleeve, I’m gonna be quite skeptical of his talents.
(Go google that one, non-seamheads).
Anyway, the thing with Darvish, from this angle at least, is that it is exactly what the Blue Jays need in so many different ways, landing him would be the biggest boost for the franchise in I don't know how long.
He is, by all accounts, a singularly gifted pitcher who would fit perfectly with Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow at the top of the rotation and would hasten the TOD's rise to American League prominence.
But it's more than that.
It would be a signal, a much-needed public signal, that, yes, Alex Anthopoulos is able to spend oodles of money on the right guy at the right time. Forever, we've heard that ownership would spend when it had to and that story's been getting old. Fans see the Yankees and Red Sox and now the Angels spending like drunken sailors and wonder when it might happen here.
If it does? Well, those complaints will stop if they win the right to spend upwards of $100 million on a piece they so desperately need.
There was some angst when AA came back from the winter meetings without having made a big splash. Everyone expected something, it seems, and got very little.
This? This would be huge.
I don't know if they'll win the posting battle -- suggestions are that they have -- and, if they do, they simply have to find a way to get a contract signed, almost regardless of the cost.
The Jays seem primed to do something good with an excellent young group; this will be the message the fans need to hear.
There is a guy we shall call Mr. X and he gets to see almost every minute of every Raptors practice unlike we grunts who see a whole lot of the third-floor concourse at the ACC and a whole lot of free-throw shooting each day.
Hadn’t talked to him in a while but ran into him the other day in a private moment and I’ll share the start of the conversation, almost verbatim:
Me: How’s camp?
Mr. X: It’s really good, everybody’s working hard, getting a lot of stuff done. Don’t know how good we’ll be but they’re really working.
Me: Oh yeah? Who’s been the best?
Mr. X: Hmmm. Amir’s been good, Jerryd, Jamaal’s been banging people. Best guy in camp? Andrea.
Me: Andrea? Bargnani? Tall kid?
Mr. X: Seriously, I know. Yes. He’s at least trying to play defence and rebound, he’s banging people, he looks really good.
Now, I can hear you scoffing and snickering already but if in fact what I’m hearing is true – and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, Mr. X has been known to rip a player or two privately over the years – that’s got to be good, right?
Before you all start laughing, let me say this for, oh, the billionth time: Andrea is not going to get 10 rebounds a night; hell, he might not get seven. But if he can be a better help defender, box out more effectively and simply be more engaged on the defensive end, he has a chance to be a huge part of that team.
Whether he does or not is entirely up to him but it would appear – and, again, this is from someone who often provides brutally frank assessments of players – that he’s working at it harder than perhaps he ever has.
And that’s what Dwane told us the other day discussing Bargnani’s play:
I think age has something to do with that, maturity, understanding when you can get in there and how you can get in there. I think that has a lot to do with it …
I’m going to stay on him, he’s going to get tired of me telling him to go rebound but until a player decides to improve that area of his game at this level … it’s on him. I do believe he’s going to make an effort to do that …
I told him we need two (rebounds) a quarter, you’re up to eight and you can fall into a couple more. That’s our goal with him and he’s made a concentrated effort of doing that, we had diner the other night and we talked about that extensively.
We, as they say, shall see. This is training camp, after all; it’ll be a whole different ball of wax starting Sunday. The enigmatic Bargnani has teased coaches, teammates, writers and fans before, I have no idea whether this time it’ll stick but there are those who think it will.
Driving the Smelly Ford Focus down the highway to practice, passed a car with – get this – faux antlers sticking out of the windows.
Don’t they get in the way of the Leaves flags?
Hey, remember the movie scene from the other day – Lost In Translation as a response an Irregular’s list request?
Where’s this one fit?
Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.
Chris Paul gets traded and one NBA mess seems cleared up at least and that comes a day or so after, or maybe on the same day since they all seem to meld together, there are breathless reports and Dwight Howard is off the market.
Peace in our time?
Hold your horses, cowboys.
Now the story is that, yes, Dwight still wants out this is going to hang over the Magic and the league like the stench from a stinkbomb until it’s resolved.
Personally, I hope it drags on right until the trade deadline in March because it’ll make the all-star weekend in Orlando a whole lot of fun.
Speak of the devil …
Walked into the end of practice yesterday and who’s standing there? Alvin Williams. Was in town for a chat with the bosses, heading back out to do some scouting soon and quite likes the fact he’ll be on the road a bit doing some NBA scouting because player personnel is where he sees himself ultimately ending up.
Ho, ho ho.
It’s that time again.
(Thankfully, there are more than enough ditties to get us through another week or so).
This one’s kinda catchy if you can get past the 1980s hair.
Yes, I know, the subject matter is a shame and the world has lost a great one but this is a very good and, um, entertaining obituary.
And for a guy whose two must-reads in the magazine world are The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, the fact Christopher Hitchens will no longer grace the pages of the latter is a shame.
Seriously, all I’m doing is sitting around puttering on some mail when ace photographers walk by and suddenly it’s picture time.
Randy Risling’s one of the best; kinda captures me, don’t you think?
Okay, have to monitor practice (Cathal’s got the writing duties for tomorrow unless something big happens and we need two guys) and then do a chat with the wonderful Irregulars (noon, be there or be square) and then roll on down the highway Niagara-bound for a Super Grandpa thing (hello, Mick and Angelo’s, will stop by and pay my respects for a minute).
There’s always time for mail.