Forward Thinking Please
Enough already. Enough with the endless Summer of ’93, the endless Flashback Friday.
If one of the most used sports cliches of the modern era is "I'm just trying to move forward," why is it the Jays are seemingly stuck always trying to move backward?
What didn’t work for the Argos with Don Matthews and didn’t work for the Maple Leafs with Cliff Fletcher clearly hasn’t worked for the Jays with Paul Beeston and Cito Gaston.
Basic rule in sports. Going back never works, so why try?
Beeston looks prepared to move on. Gaston should. The opportunity available right now for Anthopolous won’t come along again, the opportunity to start with a fresh slate, with his own people, with all the pointless ties to the greatness of another era dismissed because today is today.
This is a franchise that has insulted the intelligence of its fan base repeatedly in recent years and now needs to put something on the table that looks new and sets the tone for a different era.
Sadly, the suggestion you here most is that the Jays should now bring Pat Gillick back as some kind of senior advisor. Again with the back-to-the-future stuff. Gillick is different than the others because he has gone on to have all kinds of success in his post-Jays career, but the symbolism of bringing him back, even if he were willing, would just further amplify the sense that this baseball organization lacks new answers to new problems.
Assuming he won’t sign, Roy Halladay must move on. The notion of bumping the payroll up over $100 million next year and trying to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox immediately doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
The club needs to take a step back, build a base around Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, and generally become a more resourceful type of team. When J.P. Ricciardi arrived eight years ago, the idea was that this would become Oakland East, that the Jays would become one of those franchises who played the game the right way, invested in youth and gradually become consistently competitive not through money but through ideas and commitment to those ideas.
That was before Frank Thomas. And B.J. Ryan. And A.J. Burnett.
Well, this is another opportunity to get back to that way of thinking, or establish another new approach. Anthopolous didn’t have to sell his ideas to the organization – is there a reason the Jays didn’t look around for replacements for Ricciardi, by the way? – so it’s difficult to fully understand right now how his approach may differ from the Ricciardi years.
Most important, however, is that Anthopolous must make it clear he has no more interest in endlessly trying to replay 1992 and ’93 again.
Gotta cut those ties for good.