DINGERS FROM THE 6IX
by Quinn Sweetzir
To call the Toronto Blue Jays season a disappointment at this point would be a massive understatement. Several pitchers have underperformed, their defense has declined immensely compared to last season and most of all, the offense has regressed to a level where Justin Smoak hits cleanup and nobody questions it. This has lead to a laundry list of areas the club needs to improve on going into the trade deadline, and quite frankly some of these needs are getting vastly overlooked. As a result of the lack of publicity and discussion these important needs are getting, I decided to break them down for myself, and expose the multitude of weaknesses which currently posses the Blue Jays organization.
Improved Social Media Presence
I’m just gonna come out and say it; the Blue Jays social media presence is weak. All the Jays accounts do is simply state what events which happened, and are already known by the vast majority of the audience they have. If the Jays really want to improve in this regard than some type of deadline move needs to be made. For example, one move the Jays could make would be acquiring the Athletics instagram guy, who made this reply following a sweep of the Yankees.
The price might be high but the rewards would surely be worth it. Plus, we know Billy Beane is willing to make obscure trades after he held out for the inclusion of soda in a trade during the 2002 deadline.
As for twitter, the obvious option would to try developing the Jays current twitter guy, an option which would be largely encouraged by the current Shapiro and Atkins considering their style of development. Unfortunately, the club doesn’t have the time necessary to develop their him/her into a real contributor, and should therefore consider a more Anthopoulos Esque move. One option includes paying a heavy price to acquire the Rockies twitter guy, who probably wishes to upgrade to an account with nearly 5 times as many followers. The price would be steep, but Colorado has shown a willingness to move franchise stars before (Hi Tulo), and the move could have significant short term gain for the Blue Jays. Another option could be to call up the Fisher Cats twitter guy (who's talented, not only young) directly from AA and see if he/she can contribute to the big league account. I asked the Fisher Cats account if they were interested and replied with this.
Although they denied interest in the big league job, I suspect this is more to protect his colleague's emotions rather than a denial of interest. Either option would be solid but no matter what, the Jays have to make a noteworthy move to improve in this regard.
Letters for the Level of Excellence
Have you thought about why the Jays have yet to put Roy Halladay on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence yet? Do you wonder whether Vernon Wells is worthy of being on this esteemed list? Maybe you just know Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are gonna end up on this level someday. If you can’t comprehend why these players aren’t on the Level of Excellence already (even though Encarnacion and Bautista are still active in the MLB), I present the only logical reason for this problem; the lack of letters available.
Sooner or later, they’re gonna have to put Halladay on the Level of Excellence, and the Jays should use the trade deadline leverage other clubs into providing letters of their own. This would allow the Jays to save costs, resulting in increased ability to fully pay the soon-to-be albatross contract of Troy Tulowitzki. Although an opposing team's font may not be ideal on the surface, this would also give the Rogers Center a unique feature which it currently lacks. Plus, none of the future Jays Level of Excellence members played exclusively for Toronto, so some of their other teams would surely be interested in providing their own letters!
Hitting the Cutoff man Lessons for Ezequiel Carrera
It’s no secret that Ezequiel Carrera has struggled with hitting the cutoff man at various points this season. This primary result of this is advancing baserunners thanks to poor these throwing decisions, so the Jays should acquire someone who might have a chance of teaching Carrera how to hit a cutoff man, especially since the clubs internal efforts to do so have been unsuccessful to this point.
Steve Pearce taking over the left field job has largely resulted in Zeke being used almost exclusively as a defensive replacement. If he wishes to become valuable in this area, his throwing decisions are going to have to improvise by a sizable margin. Acquiring the rights to an exclusive defensive tudor such as Joe Carter could make the difference, since Zeke appears to be doing the opposite of what logical defensive coaches have tried to teach him. At this point, every run counts, and the Jays need Carrera to improve if they wish to see a sizable defensive improvement over Steve Pearce late in games.
If I’m being completely honest, there has been some improvement in the commercial department during Jays TV broadcasts this season. In particular, the WestJet commercials featuring Aaron Sanchez have been adorable, especially the one which with the cute puppy.
However, these improvements have been largely offset by a handful of creepy, disturbing, and annoying commercials which are a significant detriment to the broadcast. In past articles, I've spoken against the infuriating Sportsnet Now commercials, so instead I’m going to discuss another particularly cringely bothersome advertisement; the new Dairy Queen commercial featuring a rather awkward finale. The beginning of the commercial is rather forgettable, however the end includes a teenage employee who replies to the notion that he’s filled with kindness with the quote “actually I’m full of chicken strips, just got off break”. As a fast food employee of a similar age to the actor playing the commercial, I can insure you that 80% of us would reply with a simple thank you. The other 20% would wither giggle and blush excessively or terrifyingly run away having been creeped out. Also, never in my time as an employee have I told, or seen someone tell a customer what they had on break, exposing further inaccuracies in addition to the obviously disturbing nature of the commercial. It could be worse however, we could have the BMO talking ball commercials from the Raptors games. I don’t even care about the return, if the Jays can manage to get rid of these DQ commerciale, it would make the broadcast significantly more pleasant for the fans.
A Better Wardrobe for the Broadcast Crew
Last among the Jays big trade deadline needs is a serious improvement from a fashion standpoint among members of the television broadcast. For example, Arash Madani’s suits always appear to be far too big when I see him on the television, especially in the shoulders. Buck Martinez also needs to add something to his wardrobe besides a plain, pale, pink, dress shirt. However, my complaints on the outfits of these members of the broadcast pail in comparison to my views on the wardrobe of Gregg Zaun.
If you need evidence of Gregg Zaun’s awful wardrobe, look no further than his Canada Day getup, which honestly speaks for itself.
*WARNING: Scrolling down may cause permanent blindness, a desire to throw your phone at the wall, and severe mental trauma*
If your eyes still work well enough for you to continue reading, then let me just say that this isn’t exactly a one-off irregularity for Zaun. Earlier this season for instance, he was heavily criticized for wearing a bright pink suit while accusing Stroman of attracting too much attention to himself and being unsportsmanlike. This obvious hypocrisy is further exposed with regular viewership, as Zaun regularly wears deliberately outfits in effort to become a baseball version of Don Cherry. Unfortunately, sports television is generally moving away from the big personalities, so perhaps the Jays could trade the rights to their limited games of Matt Devlin’s play by play for a functioning microphone and a suit to be named later in effort to rationalize Zaun somewhat.
That concludes the trade deadline moves the Jays need to make this deadline. Although many these needs have fallen under the radar somewhat, the is an instrumental need to improve in these areas. The needs range across a wide variety of Blue Jays related components, almost all of which have struggled throughout this season and if the Jays want to become a premier franchise both on and off the field, some of these move should be made. If nothing else, it would make your fans very happy to see deadline decision of the sorts.