Winning and Meaning
Of course a 10-game win streak means something. Of course it means all that was supposedly bad about the Blue Jays is now good.
Well, of course it does, but with one caveat.
If you believe that the Jays have truly accomplished something meaningful over the exciting two weeks, that J.P. Ricciardi deserves to stay and a bunch of players will carry this over into next season, then you also have to believe the opposite.
That is, if the Jays now lose five in a row, Ricciardi et al are bums and need to go.
If that's how you evaluate a pro sports team, by the length of their latest winning streak or slump, then you have to go both ways. Wins mean security and contracts extensions, losing must mean comprehensive change and mass firings.
The smart fan, of course, simply enjoys the 10 wins for what they were, a combination of skill and luck at a time of year when expanded rosters change the elements of the game to some degree.
Beyond that, this streak means no more than the 8-0-2 rush with which the Maple Leafs finished the 2005-06 NHL season.
That wasn't exactly a harbinger of good times ahead was it?
Nor, as colleague Dave Perkins pointed out when the Leafs were putting that season-ending streak together under Pat Quinn, did the 34-18 finish of the '98 Jays under Tim Johnson.
Or the 19-7 finish in '03 that led directly into a 67-94 record the next season.
It's not that winning when the games don't matter is meaningless.
It's just not particularly meaningful.
If Paul Godfrey and Jays ownership have their heads screwed on right, they'll evaluate Ricciardi on the basis of his entire record since 2001. They won't just look at Travis Snyder and marvel at the farm system, but will examine the entirety of the youth and prospects that have been acquired under Ricciardi's reign.
Finally, they'll have to understand that this is a team that has never been to the post-season with Ricciardi at the helm.
Logically, that will be a fact that only the wilfully blind will choose to ignore.