I watched the DaVinci Code last night for about the 100th time, I loved it almost as much as the book... the plot twists, countless puzzles and mysteries... fabulous...
It got me thinking that it has a lot in common with current Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
In spite of the fact that I absolutely love that he, much like Robert Langdon, is a visionary person; I can say that I am sometimes awestruck by his smooth raping of other GM's (as evidenced by the Brandon Morrow trade), only to then turn around seeking to astound me with disbelief and sign Kevin Gregggggggggg when it seems we have a plethora of capable arms in the bullpen that could easily handle the job.
But much as the suspense builds towards the end of the movie, as Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu feverishly run all London trying to stay ahead of the psychopath Opus Dei monk trying to stop them from uncovering the mysteries that have remained hidden for generations, the suspense builds for us Jays fans as we watch Alex lay out his vision for this organization.
Ok, ok, ok... maybe it isn't quite that sociopathic, but the premise remains comparable...
AA remains an enigma to most of us. He doesn't speak much in the media. He tends to shy away from the limelight. However, there's no doubt that he's lowered a few booms on us over his short time in power. He's a mystery. No one really knows what he has up his sleeve, or what secrets he hides behind that young beaming smile. He doesn't speak out about personnel moves (unless Cito opens his windpipes before he has a chance to speak, of course), he shies away from rumors and speculation. He likes to play his cards close to his vest and not tip his hand. His stealthy movements may have gotten us the biggest package of prospects we ever could have hoped for in Drabek, Wallace and d'Arnaud in the Halladay trade. (I still get teary eyed over that one...)
Although I don't expect AA to save the world, it isn't far fetched to think that he can't save the Blue Jays. I like what I've seen so far (or is it what I haven't seen?), and I truly want to believe that he will be the hero that saves the day in Toronto, and returns us to days of glory and World Series titles, although, I'd probably be happy with a SNIFF of postseason baseball... i'll temper my expectations a little for now.
I have a feeling he'll be everything we hope he will... we just wont see it coming...
This story tears at my heart strings... ever since the Jays drafter McGowan back in 2000 out of High School, I have been enamored with his ability. I can vividly recall scouring Ebay for bulk amounts of his Rookie Cards (I have a pretty nice collection!) and even sending him a baseball which he promptly signed and returned to me. (What a guy!)
I heard the comparisons as he made his way through the farm system... talk of his electric arm... he had the whole world in front of him to conquer.
A couple arm surgeries later, and suddenly McGowan finds himself at the crossroads. The Jays have begun a building agenda for this franchise that will give playing time to this plethora of young kids that abound our roster. (if Gaston will allow it...).
Where does good old Dusty fit in?
Good question. He's out of options and cannot be sent to the minors unless he clears waivers, which he surely wouldn't. The vultures would be on Dusty like John Daly on a Hooter's doorstep drunk!
Here's how I see it:
If McGowan starts on the DL, then it buys him some time to get comfortable and entrenched in a pitching program to rebuild his stamina. Some have suggested that we place him in the bullpen to start the season and let him work from there until he shows his command and velocity have returned, but I disagree with that idea. McGowan is, and always has been a starter, and unless we want to hamper his development, as evidenced by the career of Brandon Morrow in Seattle, I think we should leave him as he is. The pain-free bullpen session he threw last week MUST have been a HUGE relief to AA and the rest of the organization.
Sure, they're taking the optimistically cautious approach to his return, but in all honesty, AA has to be licking his chops at the prospect of getting McGowan back in the rotation. I get weak-kneed thinking about Marcum, Romero, McGowan, Cecil and either Zep or Purcey launching us into the next season. I'm nowhere NEAR as excited about Litsch as I am McGowan. For some reason I see such parallels between himself and Doc. Not so much literally, as Doc didn't have a few arm surgeries, but he DID come through the system with high expectations that took a few years to come to pass. Now I certainly cannot sit here and unequivocally say that Dusty will be Doc. However, I firmly believe that he does have the potential to have front end starter impact on this team going forward.
That said, all I, and we, as Jays fans, can do, is wish Dusty the best of luck with his return.