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There’s no question that I’ll click over to some parts of what could very well be another wretchedly-boring Blue Jays game tonight just to see how the kids do in their pitching and catching debuts.
With so much hype surrounding the team’s farm system — most of it from fans clinging to the unknown because the known this season is so unpalatable — the chance to see Sean Reid-Foley and Danny Jansen in person is almost too good and important to pass up.
It, of course, heralds the coming era for the struggling franchise, maybe five or six months too late, and might provide some optimism for the long-term future.
But even as we watch just to see what some of the hullabaloo is about, won’t we be wondering what’s up with the true prized possession, the young Vladimir Guerrero Jr. fellow who’s lighting it up at Triple A after scorching at Double A for the first half of the season?
I’ve heard all the explanations for why he won’t be recalled this year and some of it makes sense but what I don’t get is this whole concern with “service time” and when the clock starts ticking on his major-league career with an eye to free agency half a decade or so down the pike.
I suppose it makes some sense and my far more knowledgable confreres don’t seem to be all that concerned about it so the logic would apparently be, um, logical.
But is that good enough for fans?
Do you think the majority them care whether the Jays will have to unlock the vault in 2022 or 2024 or 2025 for whenever it will be for a kid who seems as a “can’t miss” as any prospect the team has ever had?
If the kid’s that good — and there seems to be no reason to think he isn’t — when he gets paid shouldn’t matter because the franchise will want and need to hang onto him.
And if for some strange reason it goes sideways in the next two or three years, the current management crop is going to get fired and it’ll be up to the next group to deal with it and they’ll have some cover for whatever decision they make.
No, my view may be entirely simplistic but I don’t think it’s unusual: Bring Guerrero up as soon as possible, get him used to the major leagues and let the fans have some fun and a sense of optimism for the rest of this season.
Besides, if he gets here now and the smartest of major league pitchers find the inevitable holes in his swing, wouldn’t it be better that he work on plugging those holes at the end of a lost season rather than at the start of next year, when stumbling out of the gate might put a bullet behind the ear of another season?
Anyway, I could be dead wrong in all of this — it wouldn’t be the first time — but as a truly casual fan, I want to see the kid as early as possible and damn the longer-term implications.
And since the franchise has finally waved the white flag and seems intent on turning over some of the responsibility for the final six weeks or so to promising kids, I think going whole hog would be the best thing to do.
So in the last three or four days, we’ve heard or seen or read about:
Someone getting through who knows how many layers of personal and electronic surveillance and security to STEAL AN AIRPLANE from a major American airport. Not just board it, STEAL IT!
And then tapes surfaced Sunday that some political minion was able to serendipitously TAPE A CONVERSATION in the White House situation room? Not some office building, THE WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM!
My goodness. The times in which we live.
My apologies for missing these two in Sunday’s mailbag, I had saved them and then forgot because my mind is mush.
Q: Hi Doug
Great to have you back. Is Jamaal Magloire no longer acting as an assistant coach in addition to his other duties with the Raptors? Thank you.
A: I’m told there’s no change to Jamaal’s role with the Raptors, he remains a community ambassador and a player development coach. He has never actually held the title of “assistant coach” but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t worked tirelessly with the players. So, as far as I can discern by checking with people I know, it’s business as usual.
Q: Hi Doug, hope you are enjoying the summer and recovering from your health issues. I wish you speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing your column back on a daily basis.
My question is do you think if Masai Ujiri had known the trade for Kawhi Leonard would happen, do you think he would have fired Dwane Casey or given him a shot with the new lineup? It’s funny how everything in sports is dynamic and while he felt a change had to take place, it’s impossible to predict what will happen with rosters etc.
A: I’ve been asked this a couple of times.
Regardless of what was possible at the time of Casey’s dismissal, I don’t imagine Masai would have done anything differently. The two are not related; the president made his decision based on his opinion that the group had maxed out under Dwane and it didn’t matter what other summer moves were coming. I will also add that it’s a bit of an unfair question because when Dwane was let go, there wasn’t a single inkling of suspicion that the Raptors could get near a Leonard deal.
And if you want to get early submissions in for next week’s mail, all you’ve got to do is click on email@example.com and we’ll see what happens.
Not a bad showing for Canada at the first junior NBA world championships in Florida that wound up Sunday.
The boys from Brampton got to the international championship before falling to Africa/Middle East; the girls from Welland made it to the international semifinals before they were eliminated.
The U.S. ended up winning both sides — not a big surprise there — but it’s kind of cool that the best 13- and 14-year-olds from around the world got to hang for a week or so and enjoy the competition.
Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps