Wednesday, January 18, 2012

“Alex, its Zaun on line 1”

Today on the 6:45pm segment of Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 the Fan, Bob McCowan was asking Gregg Zaun if the Jays should go after Prince Fielder (or should have during this offseason). I was flipping though the stations on a red light and my ears perked up once I heard Zaun’s voice. I think he does great color commentating for the Jays and can’t wait for the next month to fly by so we can hear him on the radio again called spring training games come February.

Ok back to the car ride, Gregg Zaun was expounding on how he thinks the Blue Jays “regressed last year”. I thought “hey if you’re going to say something like that, at least explain yourself.” He did before my light turned green.

(For the smart readers, you will scroll down and see that a month ago I wrote an article explaining why the Jays would not sign Prince Fielder. But I wanted to talk about Zaun’s comments and well you’ll just have to read on.)

Zaun noted that back in November; he looked through the free agent class of 2012, and saw that the Blue Jays had an opportunity to really upgrade. At the expense of the Red Sox and Yankees as well. He saw the two biggest needs for the Jays as a power bat in the middle of the lineup and a closer. He said that the Jays should have (since no one really knows if Alex is in on ANYbody anyways), been in on Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Madson, or even Heath Bell. They did go out and do what Alex Anthopoulos does best – phones the GM of the White sox and make a trade – grabbing and/or stealing Sergio Santos.

So that takes care of Zaun’s need #2. What was his solution for the power bat? Gregg Zaun laid out his argument for signing Prince Fielder. Bob McCowan put forth the question as to when the Jays would be seen as contenders. In 2012, 2013 or would be 2014? Zaun (as if he could read Bob’s mind) said, “Exactly, even if the Jays don’t contend in 2012, they would still have Prince Fielder locked up for 6-10 years.” This is the one area I agree with Anthopoulos on, and disagree with Zaun. You cannot sign a baseball player who has a larger build than Ray Lewis to a 10 year contract. Its ridiculous. Yes he is only 27, and a top 15 hitter, but you just can’t do that. Now a 6 year deal I would love to see. To get a hitter like this from ages 27-33 is unheard of. Prince could get another deal after, and Toronto gets to see him hit 50+ homers every year for 6 years. I’ll take that all day long.

Gregg Zaun said this signing would solve two problems. Now that’s medium sized thinking. Toronto is not small market (see – population and ownership), nor do they want anyone to think they are big market (see payroll – which is now $70 and a half million, $27 million less than the 2008 payroll – the three years since Alex took over the team). Zaun said this signing would give the Jays a power in the middle of the lineup bat, and solve the mess in left field. No offense to Thames or Snider, but neither of them have put up the Adam Lind Left field numbers (111-34-122 numbers in 800 at bats as a LF).

Apparently Zaun and myself think alike. Sign Fielder and slide Lind over to left. Well maybe Zaun speaks for the thousands of Jays fans who also think this way. Imagine having a 3-4 lineup of Fielder and Bautista. Or a outfield of Lind-Rasmus-Bautista? That’s better than O’s, Rays, Red Sox and pretty close to what the Yankees have on paper in their outfield right now.

Well its still an option. To every Blue Jays fan, well except for Alex Anthopoulos. That is why, I am suggesting that Gregg Zaun ought to call Alex Anthopoulos first thing in the morning and explain on behalf of all Jays fans how this problem of another power bat can be solved.

I know it goes against everything you stand for, Mr. Anthopoulos, but instead of begging fans to buy more tickets and fill up the empty dome – sign someone worth driving down the Gardiner for. Sign Fielder, move Lind to left field. Redeem this abysmal offseason. Compete with the Yankees . Gregg Zaun knows what needs to be done. Every fan does as well.

Thank you Zaun, thank you for telling it like it is and call Alex please.

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