Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Welcome home Chickenhawk

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

So the Toronto Blue Jays roll into Fenway tonight – seemingly healthy and rid of dead weight mistakenly referred to as the “Big Hurt” (unless that was directed at Frank Thomas destroying buffet tables). Things should be looking up for the team Hazel used to cover – but they aren’t. The Blue Jays are in the midst of a 1-5 road trip with the likelihood of finishing 2-7 or 1-8 if Roy Halladay doesn’t get it done tonight against Jon Lester.

The talk of the town over the weekend was that Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi (forever to be known on this page as “The Chickenhawk”) would have left Manager John Gibbons’ (aka Boomhauer) “ace” in Kansas City had the Jays been swept. The Jays won the final game of the series, but the feeling is that this team is “too good on paper” to be playing this poorly and a change is needed – guess getting rid of an over the hill DH who was hitting .167 wasn’t enough of a change.

For once, Blue Jays fans are right about the situation their team is in – they need a change, a major one, one much more meaningful that simply getting rid of a manager that (depending on what you hear) the players may or may not like. A sweep, or even a series loss, in Boston could very well result in Boomhauer being relieved of his duties with the standard sound bite from the Chickenhawk –

“it’s a competitive business, and its tough to keep up with teams like Boston and New York with those payrolls. Gibby did a good job, but we’ve got to do something to shake this team up and start playing like we can. It’s not Gibby’s fault though.”

Yes, it isn’t – as a matter of fact the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Chickenhawk – the chief architect and builder of the perennial also-rans. Ricciardi’s bad decisions on free-agent signings have netted the Jays’s fans a big fat zero and Ted Rogers’ chequebook a whole lot of red ink. The Jays are a team without a defined identity – they are a patchwork of underachieving veterans like: Wells, Burnett, Rolen, and Stewart, past their prime (if they had one) guys like Zaun and Stairs who are taking up valuable playing time from younger players who could have some upside, and decent players who are overvalued and overpaid by the Chickenhawk, see Ryan, Overbay and Ecsktein. Sure he signed Rios and Hill to extended deals – which should be good ones – but for every deal like that, there is a Frank Thomas, an AJ Burnett, a BJ Ryan, a Rod Barajas, a David Eckstein – pieces to the puzzle that never quite fit.

It seems like Chickenhawk’s goal is to field a competitive team – which has meant finishing third and pointing to the big boys and their big payrolls. The original plan was to gut the Jays and build a winner – mission one accomplished, mission two – impossible. His track record would suggest that the Jays are doomed to have an average team; one that may tease for a month or two, but in the end, never really be a threat. Maybe its time the Jays take a good hard look at their GM and realize that it isn’t going to work out, not now, not ever. The Jays, being the classy organization they are, could thank the Chickenhawk for his services by dropping him off in his native New England…right after they get swept by Boston.

A split yesterday, thanks to a sub-par performance by Habs G Carey Price; oh well, back at it again with a few more suggestions:

New York over Pittsburgh (hockey) – this has been a home team series this year, and it should stay that way with the Rangers playing for their playoff lives. Lay $100 on the Rangers - $145.

New York over Pittsburgh (baseball) – Santana over Snell was one of yesterday’s picks, I’ll keep the pick. Lay $100 on the Mets - $170.

Los Angeles over Oakland – you have to think the Angels will get back on track after getting pounded last night by the A’s. Lay $100 on the Angels - $135.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world.

I’m Out!


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