Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vacation Catch Up

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Well everyone, I'm back! After a brief hiatus, it's good to be back blogging about my beloved Blue Jays once again. Last week I was on my honeymoon in Disney World, and needless to say my baseball intake was minimal during the week.

I found out very late last Monday evening that Jose Bautista was in the finals of the Home Run Derby and sprinted my way from the front desk of the resort to my hotel room to catch Bautista's final round in the derby.

Also, I spotted a few Blue Jays caps around Disney World. There is in fact some Blue Jays content at Epcot at the Canada Pavilion. During the "O Canada" film, there was a very brief clip of Joe Carter's home run from the 1993 World Series.

Anyway, enough about me ... I guess a lot happened in Blue Jays land during the last week, so here are some thoughts on the myriad of Jays news.

Sergio Santos: Damaged Goods?

When the Blue Jays announced that Sergio Santos was to undergo surgery and would not return for the remainder of the 2012 season, it wasn't really all that much surprising. Here's a bit of an eerie excerpt from a post I wrote back at the end of April:
This is just me thinking worst case scenario here, but what if something is really wrong with Sergio Santos? This now marks the first time he's even been on the disabled list in his Major League career. Could it be that all those innings have finally caught up with him?

If Santos' injury extends behind the projected four weeks that the Blue Jays think it might take for him to get back, then I might start to get a little worried.

Again, this is just yours truly being extremely paranoid, but I would hate to see Santos go down in year one of his tenure as the Blue Jays closer.  
Conspiracy theorists would believe the Blue Jays knew Sergio Santos was damaged goods all along. This would certainly explain why the White Sox sold so low on their closer after signing him to a three year contract extension plus three club options.

I'm sure the Blue Jays did their homework and likely knew there was some inherent risk to bringing in Sergio Santos. But by no means do I think their scouts knew for certain that Santos was destined for an injury.

Sergio racked up 115 innings in his first two seasons as a Major League pitcher, so perhaps he was more prone to injury than say your ordinary pitcher who has thrown a baseball all of life, as opposed to a position player converted to a hurler.

If Sergio Santos was going to go down to injury, I'd rather it be the first year of the deal at $1 million salary than a $8 million dollar club option later on.

Ex-ex-tension Ex-ex-ex-tension

This is a bit of old news, but congratulations to Edwin Encarnacion on his contract extension. Quite frankly, I'm a little surprised the deal was done mid-season, but Alex Anthopoulos has proven in the past that contracts don't necessarily need to be inked exclusively in the off-season.

I think the Blue Jays either needed to sell high at the trade deadline with Edwin or lock him up for the next few seasons. Having a little more stability in the lineup  certainly makes the picture a little clearer for the next few seasons.

The Encarnacion extension really does reflect the exact same situation the club was in a few years ago with Jose Bautista. Were they prepared to let him walk, or sign him long term? The Blue Jays either needed to be all-in or all-out.

My fear now is that Encarnacion may turn into a pumpkin once again and return to his pre-2012 streaky form. However, if the Blue Jays weren't confident that Edwin hadn't turned the corner, then I don't think they would have signed him in the first place.

The Rogers Centre Fan Experience

This really has nothing to do with what happened on the field the last week or so, but more so about what happens in the stands and on the concourse with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The one thing I really noticed during my stay at Disney World is that they really have their stuff together. No expense is spared and there is an incredible attention to detail at the park. From the moment you step through the turnstiles, it's all about making it a pain-free experience.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Rogers Centre.

It really pointed out some deficiencies at the Rogers Centre; from the food to just the overall fan experience. I'll be delving into this issue much further in an upcoming blog post, but needless to say the Blue Jays could really take some notes from Disney World on maximizing the fan experience.

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