Lost in all the hoopla yesterday of an impending MLSE sale and a rather unfortunate Leafs crapping of the bed in a 6-2 loss to Tampa (the nail is in the coffin, just has to be hammered down folks), came three separate pieces of Jays news.
Since the pieces are considered very minor (unless you are related to the parties involved), you can be forgiven for missing them.
But here is an upper deck Clint Eastwood take on the news – what I have termed The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Good – Gregg Zaun Joins Rogers Sportsnet
Rogers Sportsnet officially inked Gregg Zaun to a two-year deal to be their baseball analyst yesterday. The deal comes on the heels of Zaun’s retirement from the game, and appeared imminent amidst much speculation and rumour.
Gregg will be paired with Jamie Campbell in the studio, a role in which he has excelled the past five postseasons. According to Drunk Jays Fans, there is a good possibility that Zaun will split time between radio and TV – and don’t be surprised if we hear him in the booth once or twice.
Personally, I think this is a great move for Sportsnet because Zaun brings colour and flare. I have quite enjoyed his postseason appearances and have always hoped that he would take on a full-time role with the station when he finally hung up his cleats.
If there ever were any lingering doubts about my faith in him, they were squashed yesterday on Prime Time Sports when Zaun told a story about about sipping beers on his porch while talking baseball. Beers? Sold.
The Bad – Dustin McGowan in Relief
This can really only be considered bad news when you remember how good McGowan was (albeit briefly) as a starter. The flashes of brilliance he showed in 2007 / 2008 were enough to make Jays fans salivate. Unfortunately injuries have destroyed his career – his last pitch was thrown in July of ’08.
The fact he is throwing again is nothing but good news, but with the word yesterday that any comeback he might make will be in the bullpen is mildly disappointing. Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to have McGowan back in any capacity (closer anyone?) but picturing him behind Romero, Morrow, Cecil, and Drabek would be a dream come true.
The Ugly – Blue Jays sign Chris Woodward
Yes, it’s only a minor league deal.
Yes, he likely (hopefully) won’t make the team.
But come on. Chris Woodward? He spent six seasons in a Blue Jay uniform from 1999-2004, accumulating a total WAR of 3.3. In five seasons since (he didn’t play in the majors in 2008) he has accumulated a total WAR of -2.5. NEGATIVE 2.5!
He only has 112 MLB plate appearances since 2007. He is 34 years old. For several years in the early 2000’s he was known more for “Take Your Dog to the Game” day, then for his on-field performance. He was mockingly referred to as Christine by the drunks in the 500 Level.
I’m all for adding veteran leadership or players to help prospects improve. But if Woodward is to be given any playing time ahead of young up-and-coming talent, then I will not be happy. Neither should you.
But until then – welcome back Chris.