Posted tagged ‘injuries’

Josh Donaldson: He brought the rain and it was magical AF

September 3, 2018

Josh Donaldson’s tenure with the Blue Jays was a blessing. The events surrounding his departure really, really, REALLY suck. However, this is not as tragic as some have made it out to be.

Josh Donaldson was not going to finish 2018 in a Jays uniform. I made peace with this notion well before the season started. Unless the team was a legit contender for the second wild card spot, this was it for the Bringer of Rain.

I prayed he would be traded during the off-season. Prayed the Jays would get a king’s ransom in exchange. I get why they waited for the middle of the regular season – contending teams would be increasingly desperate to land Donaldson’s services and therefore, empty their shelevs of young, developing talent.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Josh gingerly walked off the field in May, never to return wearing a Jays uniform; his value drastically fell.

Who’s to blame? Nobody.

Donaldson didn’t intend to miss a significant chunk of the season. Mark Shapiro, Russ Atkins and the rest of front office didn’t anticipate something like this to happen, nor would they want it to happen.

Of course, social media is more than happy to point fingers.

On social media, Shapiro and Atkins have screwed up everything!!!! Some have claimed they have set the team back by decades. Others have filed a non-confidence motion. Heck, if Shapiro and Atkins saved 1000 orphans from a towering inferno, they’d still be villanized.

So let’s take a breath.

The Blue Jays are rebuilding. It has been evident for a while. Whether you like it or not, they are a team in transition. Keeping Josh Donaldson would be counter-productive. A player of his caliber and age – if healthy, obviously – would naturally yield younger, developing talent. It’s not a perfect formula, but it only makes sense to collect several “prospects” in exchange for Donaldson and hope some – if not all – live up to their full potential.

The only mistake Shapiro and Atkins made was not trading Donaldson before the season. An error that defines the concept of hindsight.

Here’s something else to consider: Do you really believe Donaldson wanted to be a Blue Jay after 2018?

Think about it. He’s in his early 30s and about to become a free agent. He wants to win now. He expects to win now. Why would he stay in Toronto and endure a rebuild that doesn’t have a definitive timeline? Donaldson has earned the right to play for whoever he wants; so the Jays might as well get something for him, even if it’s unfortunately not a king’s ransom.

While Donaldson and Atkins have both paid the appropriate amount of lip service post-trade, we may never know what actually happened behind the proverbial closed doors. Maybe there were diagreements. Maybe feelings were hurt.

There will be some who desperately need to know what occurred for their own agendas. But for me….I just don’t give a damn.

When I think about Josh Donaldson, I won’t think about his departure. I’ll think of the man who told the world that this was the “get it done league.”

I’ll think of the man who dove into the first few rows at Tropicana Field to catch a foul ball.

I’ll think of the man who crushed a walk-off home run at the final home game of the 2015 season, sending the crowd into a frenzy; including yours truly from my right field seat in the 200s.

I’ll think of the man who knocked in the tying run in game five of the 2015 ALDS, setting the stage for Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip.

I’ll think of the man – who I witnessed from my perch in section 525 – dive gracefully across home plate, clinching game three and an ALDS series sweep in 2016.

Damn right his name should be added to the level of excellence. He was the American League’s most valuable player in 2015. The only other Blue Jay who won AL MVP is already on the LOE.

Josh Donaldson was the glue, the missing piece, the magic tonic. He brought the rain and it was MAGICAL! His unfortunate departure will never overshadow his impact.

I really hope things work out for him in Cleveland and of course, with the Blue Jays’ long-term plan. Seeing a popular player get traded is never pleasant.

Just remember: It’s going to be okay.

ER

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The Hurler’s Prayer

July 25, 2018

Coach in Heaven,
Fuel my strength.
Protect my arm.
Protect my shoulder.
Protect my ulnar collateral ligament.
Allow my pitches to find their targets, with the force to move mountains.
May flyballs land in gloves.
May ground balls stay in the infield.
Help me fool the opposition.
Fuel my strength.
In Cy Young’s name,
Amen.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts about the fugly start to the regular season

April 17, 2017

Wish I could tell you it will get better. But the truth is I can’t. There are few guarantees in baseball, so I can only hope for the best and be positive.

The Blue Jays will either figure it out or they won’t.

You can push as many panic buttons as possible. You can demand they fire Gibby. You can beg for Rowdy Tellez to be called up. You can curse Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins for all entirety. You can refuse to purchase tickets. Just understand one thing: We have no control over the fate of the team. Like it or not, we have to let the process work itself out and show some – here’s a word you might not like – patience.

Gregg Zaun sometimes criticizes certain fans for wanting instant gratification. It’s a theory I subscribe to as well. We live in a society that values anything quick and aggressive, while discarding items that are slow and can’t instantly capture attention. Baseball clashes with this kind of society; in the game itself and with the length of the season. The adage of the regular season being a marathon and not a sprint certainly applies to the Jays’ situation.

The consensus couldn’t be clearer: There’s nothing fun about how this season has gone so far, especially after Sunday’s 11-4 dumpster fire loss to Baltimore. Greater concern is Aaron Sanchez’s blister problem and J.A. Happ’s elbow; issues that are incredibly alarming. Can’t forget the nightmarish offensive production either. So as much as it sucks – and it really does suck – there is nothing we can do, but to simply let things breathe. It might be painful, but it’s the right course of action.

If that won’t work for you, consider this: If the worst thing in your life is a 2-10 baseball team, then you have a pretty good life.

ER


Episode 49: Last year’s May was much better

May 28, 2015

May has been an overall frustrating month for the Blue Jays and their fans. However, things appear to be getting better.

Ian Hunter of BlueJayHunter.com joins DNJT to discuss Jose Bautista’s shoulder, Roberto Osuna’s performance and John Gibbons’ tenure.

Episode 49 Direct MP3 Download

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To all base runners: Never make a fuss with Russ!

To all base runners: Never make a fuss with Russ!

Re. Marcus Stroman

March 11, 2015

I’m still in shock.

I don’t need to tell you how awful the news was. I don’t need to tell you about the ramifications. I don’t need to tell you how Stro’s injury affects everyone and everything.

So, there’s options: Norris, Sanchez, Estrada, Albers, Francis (eek), Santana (yikes).

I’d pick Norris and Sanchez for the final two spots. Good potential and looked good last season. I had Sanchez pegged for the bullpen; even got into a Twitter debate about that on Sunday. But things have changed and possibly, so has Sanchez’s role with the team.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of a trade. That would be helpful for Dioner Navarro. But I doubt a trade will take place.

So…take a deep breath. These are the cards that have been dealt to the Jays. Unfortunately, they will have to play without their most promising starter.

ER

Padre Morrow

December 19, 2014

Upon learning that Brandon Morrow signed with the San Diego Padres, a feeling of sadness swept over me.

Not too long ago, Morrow was expected to be the ace of the rotation. It seemed that prophecy would come true, as long as he stayed healthy.

And there’s the keyword: Healthy.

When Morrow was healthy, he was phenomenal. But when he was playing hurt or spending time on the DL, he was ineffective. This ineffectiveness is what ultimately disqualified him from the long-term plan.

My mind has stored a few Morrow memories. Of course, there’s the near no-hitter he tossed in 2010. But the majority of fond recollections come from the early months of the 2012 season.

Morrow was outstanding. It seemed like he finally found that perfect balance between velocity and accuracy.

I remember watching him dominate Seattle one April afternoon. From my perch in the 500s, I watched textbook off speed pitches that left the Mariners dumbfounded. If Morrow was a painter, then that game was a masterpiece.

He had a bright future, but it all came crashing down just a few months later.

It was June, 2012. Morrow was on the mound as the Jays began a three-game series against Washington. In the very first inning, he tore his oblique and was removed from the game.

That one single moment changed everything. He was never the same after that injury.

Foolishly, I wonder what would happen if I built a time machine, flew back to June 2012 and changed the – as Wilner calls it – space/time continuum. That means finding a way for Morrow not to get injured. Maybe things would’ve been different.

But that’s just crazy talk; and I apologize for that.

I do wish Brandon all the best in San Diego. Perhaps pitching in the National League is the missing piece of his MLB puzzle. And I hope he starts too.

It’s just a shame his time in Toronto had to end this way.

ER
 
 

Stay classy in San Diego, Brandon.(Photo: BlueJays.com)

Stay classy in San Diego, Brandon.(Photo: BlueJays.com)

Episode 38: Intermission

July 17, 2014

Going into the second half of the regular season, the Blue Jays are 49-47 and currently sit second in the AL East.

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – looks back at an up-and-down first half and shares his thoughts on the major concerns surrounding the Jays.

Episode 38 Direct MP3 Download

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