I can't stress enough how much I love what Alex Anthopoulos has done for the Toronto Blue Jays and the city in general, for that matter. In a sports town that has been dubbed 'Mudville' for its never-ending run in failures across the city in hockey, basketball, soccer and baseball, Tuesday night's news nearly had residents in the GTA thinking parade. This is the best news in these parts in an awfully long time.
In one fell swoop, the Jays' general manager addressed his desperate need for two quality starting pitchers and an all-star positional player who gives Toronto their best lead-off hitter since Devon White. And that's only half the haul.
This is Carter and Alomar for a new generation. That was the deal that finally put Pat Gillick over the top as a shrewd GM and this is the moment that will define AA, whether it works or not. It's a bold move, and I for one like it.
I also don't think there's anything people should regret giving up on in order to land this amount of talent. Sure, there'll be people that will point to the dollars involved, or the possible injury risks, but you can say that about every single athlete that competes in any sport. Injuries are part of the game.
When it comes to payroll, this is the move that fans have been waiting for from Rogers for years - and three of them specifically from this regime. This was a club that was out of time building through the system. The time is now for this team to put its best foot forward and win. The Jays weren't going to win in free agency, so the trade route was the way to go all along. They were interested in Jose Reyes last year and now they have him. Mark Buehrle is a stud who knows the American League, and Anthopoulos has longed for Josh Johnson for at least two seasons now. Besides, this is the beauty of the capitalistic salary cap free system in Major League Baseball. You know, the one NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr raves about. The Jays are one of 12 teams in MLB to have never had a payroll over $100 million. That will change in 2013. Talent costs money. Look at most of the best starters in baseball. They average about a million bucks a win. Is the Reyes contract big? Yes, but it also shows you someone else was more than willing to pay it too. It's the cost of doing business, plain and simple.
Blue Jays President Paul Beeston boasted last winter that he expected his club to be in the World Series title mix at least twice in the next five years -maybe he isn't so crazy after all. Well, there was that comment about how all gamblers are involved in illegal drugs ,which was a kick in the you-know-what for anyone that plays sports lotteries, but I digress. Some are already proclaiming Toronto to be the early favourites in the American League East. If that's the case, you can say that makes them one of the favourites in the American League. It's an impressive rotation now and an order that boasts the likes of Reyes, Bautista, Encarnacion, and Lawrie for starters.
As for the Marlins and Miami sports fans, it's hard to feel sympathy for them. The Heat did it in the NBA in 2010, and when it comes to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, you should've known better. This guy has a horrible track record - just ask Montreal - and elected officials in Miami fell for it at the hands of taxpayers who've been stuck with a sparkly new stadium with dead fish inside.
Luckily, one former Montrealer named Anthopoulos knew Loria's act all too well and Canadian baseball fans are enjoying a good laugh at Loria's expense this time around.
What's that old saying? Karma's a... well, you can finish the sentence.