Friday, February 18, 2011

On the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Jose Bautista

This may sound like gibberish if you don't know an embarrassing amount about baseball, but don't sweat it. Just close your brain and pretend you're listening to a lyrical foreign language.

There's a joke:
A particular place in the world is suffering a catastrophic flood. In that place there is a religious man. As the flood waters rise, a boat comes by and they throw him a lifesaver. But he declines their help, saying, "God will save me." The flood waters rise, and the man is forced to the second floor of his house. Another boat, another lifesaver, another professing of faith in God. Finally, the man is on the roof, and a helicopter comes and lowers a rope. Over a megaphone they tell him to climb aboard. "No thank you. My faith in God is unshakeable. He will save me." The helicopterians feel disbelief, but there is no time for dilly dallying. Left alone, the religious man drowns. Pissed off, he gets to heaven and storms to God's throne. "Hey God! What the hell! I had faith in you; why didn't you save me?"

"I sent two boats and a helicopter. What more do you want?"

I am so relieved this deal happened. The worst case scenario is that Bautista is bad, the team wastes money, and everyone feels a little awkward. Even that is only really bad if that money is significantly stunting the teams ability to make other moves, which may or may not be the case. If the Blue Jays fall flat on their faces over the next couple years, then a bad contract isn't actually as bad, since they would have to rebuild anyways.

Now here are some of the numerous reasons this is a good deal:
If they had brought Bautista back on an arbitration deal, regardless of who won, then if he was having another amazing (or even very good) year, then it would become "a distraction" and he would probably be able to get Jayson Werth money (that's twice as much as the Jays paid). The only way to "win" with a one year deal when there was a possibility of extending a player is if that player is bad.
As has been said before: you need stellar players to win! If the knock on Bautista is that he is risky because he only has one stellar season, therefore we should consider turning him into prospects in one way or another is like trying to take over Asia at the beginning of the game. POOR RISK ASSESSMENT! Prospects are riskier than players who have had super success.
Jose Bautista is our lifeboat (here's hoping that Edwin Encarnacion becomes a helicopter). Take the damn thing! In order to win you need to be lucky and good, and part of being good is being able to see and capitalize on luck. How often does a bench player have a superstar level season? In order to acquire a player like Joey Bats (including the risk of failure to repeat high-level performance) on the open market, the Blue Jays would have had to spend more money. In order to acquire him on the trade market, they would have had to surrender assets.


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