Three games against Tampa in Orlando. Our eyes might be 51% on another Toronto team in Orlando tonight, but the goings-on on the diamond could have lasting implications for the Jays season.
I suppose cutting Hurt was intended to nip in the bud a situation that, from JP's perspective, had the potential to spiral out of control. The danger is that the decision might simply accelerate the downward spiral rather than averting it. A couple more offensive bed-shittings like Monday's and the whispers will start:
(1) this team can't hit;
(2) yet they cut the guy who led them in every meaningful offensive category last year;
(3) they also cut a fan favourite who is now playing every day with an .808 OPS;
(4) to replace him with a noodle-armed has-been with a .589 OPS;
(5) and they put out a lineup the other day featuring three average/below average shortstops and two average/below average catchers (Razzer's point)
All those semi-colons might add up to the conclusion that these guys don't know what they're doing.
This way of thinking is similar to the analysis that draws a connection between the Thomas situation and the Lilly and Hillenbrand situations. Each is a unique circumstance and, taken individually, the team may arguably have been in the right in each situation. But when the "random occurrences" start to pile up and repeat themselves, the understandable knee-jerk reaction is to worry that this is a permanently sinking ship.
Three games against Tampa. Three righties starting for the Rays. With 2 or 3 wins and a decent offensive output we can change the narrative. The ship will be righted, Lind and Rolen will ride in on their white horses in a few days' time, and the decision to cut Hurt will in time seem like the right one.
But if we lose, and do so with the same degree of offensive impotence and ineptitude we showed on Monday, I worry that the wheels could fall off (I know, it was a ship a couple of pargaraphs ago. Now it's a car. Deal with it).
I never thought a mid-April series against Tampa could be so damn meaningful.