Happy Blue Jays Opening Day, One And All!

I’ve been fairly quiet here lately, only popping in to post something quick now and then or to leave a comment on one of Carin’s guide dog training journal entries. Those entries are actually why I’ve been quiet. A lot of people are interested in them, many of whom aren’t regular readers. So I figured what I’d do is shut the hell up for a while and let them stand out on the main page for as long as possible so everybody can find them easily. Besides, they’re much more interesting than anything I might find or have to say. it also works out because when it comes right down to it I’m a lazy prick, so doing less things for a little while is right in my wheelhouse.

But that said, I wasn’t going to not wish all of you a happy Blue Jays Opening Day. It’s too important an event to ignore. So important is it that in spite of our newfound home distance, the Shoe Thief is making a pilgrimage out here to take in the festivities with me. He’d better not leave with any souvenir footwear this time, though. It’ll be a lot harder to recover now.

This is going to be one interesting year for the Jays. I refuse to jump on the book your playoff tickets early and start planning the parade bandwagon I see so many folks merrily riding along on right now, but it’s fair to say that my hopes are high. On paper, how could they not be? We’re heading into the season with a team that looks almost nothing like the one that began and especially ended last year. From the coaching to the prospect pool, things have been blown up and rebuilt. For the first time in quite a while there’s a real buzz and sense of hope around this team, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

But at the same time, I’m both a Toronto sports fan and as much a realist as possible. Fortune is a funny thing, and I know things can derail for any number of reasons. Games aren’t won and lost by teams that look good on paper and cost lots of money. If the wrong people get hurt or if the team doesn’t come together the way we all expect, this could be another long year. it wouldn’t be the first time a favoured team has spectacularly shat the bed, and in the back of my mind I’m quietly trying to prepare myself for that. The rest of my mind, meanwhile, is going to sit back and enjoy the ride for as long as it can.

A couple of quick things.

Sending Romero down was absolutely the right move, no matter what was stated publicly or what may or may not have been promised to whom. I was shocked when they pulled the trigger on it and I feel for Ricky, but trotting him out there start after start when something was clearly either mentally or physically wrong with him wasn’t doing anybody any good. If you want to help somebody return to form as his fantastic self which you should, the regular season in the AL East is absolutely not the place to do it. Unless things are worse than anybody realizes, I expect Ricky will come back as good as he ever was, possibly better. If you don’t believe me, I’ve got two words for you: Roy Halladay.

I’m going to miss Alan Ashby on the radio broadcasts. Of all the people who left during the offseason, he’s the one who’s absence I’ll likely notice the most. I’ve really enjoyed his well thought out annalysis the last several years, and I appreciated his honesty and willingness to point out mistakes. You can’t help but learn more about baseball by listening to him. He’s up there with the best players turned commentators I’ve ever heard, in fact he may be the best. I can’t think of anybody else at the moment that I’d put on his level. Good luck back in Houston, sir.

And with that out of the way, I suppose all that’s left to say for the moment is Ok Blue Jays, Let’s Play Ball!

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