Monday, January 14, 2008

The New and Improved Toronto Blue Jays

IF Rolen's Healthy, Blue Jays Better

reluctanty lifted from the Globe and Mail, Toronto:

Since everybody admits there's no other body part - oops, make that shoe - to fall, trading Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus seems to be one those six-of-mine-for-a-half-dozen-of-yours transactions.

But the reason the Toronto Blue Jays believe they will be a better team with Rolen at third base is that if ... he stays healthy, he is a better all-round player than Glaus. Injured, either one of them is a liability. So the race is now on: Which team has the better doctors and medical staff, the Blue Jays or the St. Louis Cardinals?

As one of the Blue Jays' baseball people said: "Rolen plays with a lower centre of gravity. He'll get to more balls than Troy. Healthy, we think Rolen is better. Healthy, we think the sum total of a left-side infield of Rolen (winner of 7 Gold Gloves at 3rd) and [shortstop] Dave Eckstein (also just traded from St. Louis) is better offensively and defensively than one of John McDonald and Troy Glaus. It's that simple."

Like everyone else, the Blue Jays also know that Rolen has feuded with Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa for the past two years. LaRussa has an ego to match or exceed even the best-paid superstar, but Larry Walker said in his short tenure with the team, most veteran Cardinals simply rolled their eyes at his quirks and moved past them, because LaRussa was a winner and made sound fundamental baseball decisions.

We'll see. I am personally disappointed in the St. Louis Cardinals for this trade, as a result of the owners' non-stop kissing of His Majesty, La Russa's tail end. Like Walker, all we fans have rolled our eyes alot in the past three years at some of genius Tony La Russa's decisions on the diamond.

Last year, the Blue Jays went 83-79, 13 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals were 78-84, 7-games behind the NL Central winners. Watch the wins increase for the Jays, while the Cardinals will uh, head south, with the new left infields for each team.

In the case of the individual numbers, Glaus outhit Rolen and batted .262 to Rolen's .265 in 2007(about 115 games apiece).

So goodbye, Scott Rolen, you are off to a better place.
Me? I have to go bite the heads off some nails after this.

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