The baseball hotstove is a blaze right now with the possiblity that the Toronto Blue Jays are about to land the hard throwing Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. I’m pretty excited about the possiblity as well to tell you the truth. My excitement has nothing to do with Chapman’s ability to throw 100 mph or that the Jays might actually have a new young stud to build their rotation around now that Doc Halladay is toeing the rubber in Philly. (How do you say Doctor in Cuban?)
My excitement stems from the fact that the increasingly and seemingly irrelevant Blue Jays are at least relevant again (at least for this moment). It’s been a long time since the Jays were in on acquiring talent ahead of the Red Sox, Yankees and any other deep pocketed team. Having the Jays be the clubhouse leader (I actually hate this term of clubhouse leader. It’s not like Chapman and his agents are sitting at home waiting for an imaginary clock to tick while they rank their favourite destinations and when that clock strikes 12, they joyously scream out “Toronto wins”.) is pretty exciting to say the least. It makes me feel harken back to the World Series years of 92/93 when the Jays were able to pick up free agents at will to fill out their roster.
I’m so happy that the Jays are at least in the conversation of acquiring this player that I’m not all that concerned whether Chapman is the next Dave Stieb or if he’s next Roy Lee Jackson. For me it’s really inconsequential because the sports landscape has changed so much over the years that the Jays have become not only also rans in the standings but they have become B listers when it comes to acquiring talent. It’s become common place for only a handful of teams to be able to attract any type of free agent talent. This stage is usually meant for the Yankees and Red Sox to battle on.
So if the Jays are able to win out on this one and have Aroldis Chapman select Toronto as his team, I say mark yet another check mark in the Pro’s side of the ledger for new general manger Alex Anthopavowels. If he doesn’t sign with the Jays I hope he becomes the next Hideki Irabu for whatever team he toils for. Yes folks I’m pretty fickle.