Those of us Jays fans who are Canadian are enjoying our Thanksgiving today, so it’s the perfect time to give thanks for some of the things the Jays have done of late. Here’s the Jays Journal list, feel free to add to it in the comments!
Jays Journal Gives Thanks For:
- The Acquisition of Brett Lawrie: As much as Shaun Marcum was a great #3 pitcher, getting a cornerstone player like Lawrie on board solidified the every day lineup for years to come. This was probably the best trade Alex Anthopoulos made, aside from our next thanks…
- The Trading of Vernon Wells: Sure, we loved Wells, but getting out of that contract was just too important for us to not take note of how much it frees the Jays to acquire what pieces they need in the near future.
- The Top 3 Minors System in all of MLB: Alex Anthopoulos preached building from within and not over-bidding on free agents when he joined the Jays. He began by overhauling the scouting system and placing a premium on getting top-notch talent on board. Since he has been with the Jays, there is arguably no team that has improved its system more than the Jays who now have a no-doubt top 3 system in all of MLB.
- The Colby Rasmus Acquisition: Sure, it muddles up the future OF picture, but his acquisition increased the competition in the OF to the point where the Jays have to sit a ton of talent while getting to play the hottest bat.
- Alex Anthopoulos: Without him, we wouldn’t be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel most of us can currently see! In AA we trust!
- Jose Bautista: When was the last time the Jays could brag about having one of the top 3-5 hitters in all of MLB? If you can’t give thanks for that, and the fact that he’s a good RF defender, then you are not watching the Jays enough!
- Yunel Escobar: We’d like to thank the Braves for giving up on a SS stud. How many teams do that?
- J. P. Arencibia: Aside from Alex Avila, JPA was by far the best rookie catcher in all of MLB. And, he may very well have the most powerful bat of ALL catchers. The Jays will have some very tough choices to make when Travis d’Arnaud joins him…
- Ricky Romero, The Ace: When Roy Halladay left, I don’t think anyone predicted that Romero would step up his game as much as he has. Not only that, but he has taken on the task of building friendships within the pitching staff that has made them a stronger group overall. Now the unquestioned Ace of the staff and under contract for quite a while, he is ready to help any youngsters, such as Henderson Alvarez and Drew Hutchison, make that next step into a full-time MLB role.
- The Rays and Tigers: Sure, they get a big thanks as well. The first for proving that small budget teams CAN make it to the playoffs in the AL East and for leaving the Red Sox out of this post-season after trying to buy their way in, and the second for ousting the Evil Empire. Between the two of them, I can now rest easy knowing that neither of the top 2 spending teams get to the league championship series, and that makes me very very thankful.
- John McDonald and Aaron Hill: Sure, they’re no longer with the Jays, but we’re still very thankful for the hard work they put in as Jays players over the years. They deserve a nice big thank you.
- John Farrell and the coaching staff: It’s been a while since the Jays had a Manager we could envision leading the club for another 3+ years, and such is the case with Farrell who seemed to learn quite a bit in his first season at the helm. He seems to fit in very well, and although 2012 will be his first big test due to increased expectations of fans and the brass, I do expect he’ll rise to the challenge and finally put to rest questions about Jays leadership in the manager position. The rest of the coaches have all been outstanding, so we gives thanks for their hard work!
- Aggressive Work: Finally, we give thanks for the new aggressive attitude the Jays have taken on from the 2011 and will take forward with them. From running the base paths more aggressively to their approach at the plate, the Jays are now keeping opposing teams on their toes. With many athletically gifted prospects coming up through the system who can add to that, the Jays will likely get even more aggressive in the future, which is not only fun to watch, but also leads to more creative ways of scoring runs and more wins as a result!
There’s a lot more we could list here, but we’ll cut it off at this point. The Jays are not part of the 2011 post-season, but it was a fun season to watch and be a part of, and everything it looking up. From the list shown above, you can see that there’s plenty to be thankful for as a Jays fan, so take it all in as we await 2012 spring training and see what AA decides to add or take away this off-season.
More than anything, we give thanks to our families, friends, fellow Jays fans and bloggers and the opportunity to enjoy the greatest game on earth, which is baseball of course!