Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Sports Report

Jays = 5th place in the AL East, .506, probably 3rd in your division, 4 back of the wild card.

2nd in home runs
5th in RBIs
3rd in runs
17th in batting average... there's a problem. Although 7th in OPS

3 of our 5 starters are injured. Within a 2-week span. 2 of our past starters have been out the whole season so far, so there goes depth. AA pitchers have been rushed up to the bigs.

Our closer? Sucked and is injured. Luckily Janssen has stepped into that role easily and incredibly.

The pressure on the remaining two starters is looking like it may be too much for them. For young Alvarez this isn't a surprise, but Romero should be better than that.

What more can I say? If we don't get some healthy pitching up front, call this season done by August.

Maybe Hutchinson and Morrow are back by then.  Drabek and Litsch are gone for the season. McGowan? Who knows. In Anthopoulos we trust.

At least the games have been largely entertaining.

But the Leafs... oh boy. My Leafs.

Here's the thing - a Nash, or Parise, or Jagr wouldn't help this team. They're not what they need. Also, they do nothing to make the team attractive to other players. We need a centre. Is there one? Not really. If there was, we don't have much to offer for one. Getting Van Riemsdyk is nice, especially at the cost of Schenn. But he's not fixing anything.

We need goaltending. Maybe Reimer comes back healthy and confident. Maybe Scrivens is ready for the bigs. Maybe nobody gets clocked in the head 8 games in and loses their season. That's a lot of maybes.

Luongo. I don't give a rat's ass if he wants to come here. That's the sort of player the team needs - a proven goalie is a sign to other players that Toronto is serious. That they have someone who can win and steal games for them. That they'll at least make the playoffs. It hides defensive deficiencies. He gives the forwards more freedom. He attracts interest. He's not going to win the Cup on his own, but if the Blue and White see more than 82 games, he'll be a hero to the city.

Will he end up here? I doubt it. Gardiner isn't going anywhere, and that's who everyone wants. If Burke can fool Vancouver into taking a Kadri, or some draft picks, or Komisarek, or some other combination of "potential" and crap, then it's a steal. Of course, Luuuuu has to give up on living in Florida for a few more years for that to happen.

Of course, he Bobby does go the Panthers, Theodore wouldn't look too bad in a platoon with Reimer. Not ideal, but at least proven.

No... my prediction for who the Leafs get? Jason Arnott. He's the typical Leafs free agent grab.

Recognizable name, past his prime, and will get paid more for longer by the Leafs than elsewhere (my guess, $4 mil over 2 seasons), and will do very little to help the team on the whole. Will be brought in as a "leader" and role player. But some people will foolishly think he's a 1st line centre. That or Langkow, but he lacks the cachet and probably won't take the pay hit.

What hurts the most is watching our conference get better while we stand mostly still. The piecemeal approach being employed - a winger here, a 3rd line centre there... that's great when you have core players in all your zones. We have wingers, some decent d-men, a second-line centre, and $12.5 million in cap space.

Hopefully we also have a GM with a trick or two up his sleeve... or a rabbit's foot.

1 comment:

Shrike said...

Burke and Gillis will play chicken for a while. Canucks need to trade Luongo but Canucks can't just give away a true #1 goalie for peanuts. Look how much Jeff Carter brought back in trade (similar contract; not as good a player) twice in past year - Leafs have to come up with similar compensation to get a deal done. Plus, Leafs could easily save Burke's job and make playoffs just by trading for Luongo; this means Burke is going to have to swallow hard and give up some good prospects for the goalie he desperately needs.