TMS MLB Preview 2009: Toronto Blue Jays

All through March, Thunder Matt's Saloon will be previewing each Major League team. We'll give you the ins and outs of the upcoming 2009 season, how each team will do, and some other useless crap you'll wish you had never read.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

2008 Season: 86-76 (4th Place in AL East)

SO LONG:
P A.J. Burnett, P John Parrish, OF Brad Wilkerson, C Gregg Zaun

WELCOME: C Michael Barrett, P Brian Burres, P Matt Bush, P Matt Clement, OF Jason Lane, 1B Kevin Millar, P Ken Takahashi

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Marco Scutaro SS
2. Aaron Hill 2B
3. Alex Rios RF
4. Vernon Wells CF
5. Scott Rolen 3B
6. Lyle Overbay 1B
7. Lloyd Moseby LF
8. Travis Snider DH
9. Rod Barajas C

Starting Rotation: Roy Halladay, Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, Casey Janssen, Matt Clement, Mike Maroth, (Dustin McGowan-injured)
Setup: Jeremy Accardo
Closer: B.J. Ryan

Upon glancing at this lineup, my immediate reaction was, "What in the name of Pat Tabler am I going to write about these assholes?" Upon further reflection and as of this writing, I'm thinking the same thing. Even Karl Rove couldn't spin this lineup's deficiencies into a positive. Sure, they'll play out their season due to contractual obligations, but to hope for anything better than a fourth place finish in their division would be delusional, punishable by stoning.

While the rest of the AL East has gotten markedly better over the past 5 years (well, maybe not you Baltimore) the Blue Jays seem content to rock out the same lineup they had pre-9/11. Marco Scutaro? Really? Lyle Overbay? How's that working out for you? Matt Clement, aka the ghost of Dave Dravecky? The quality of their lineup is on par with the announcing skills of former Blue Jay great Joe Carter. Just not good. Like a lukewarm glass of curdled milk.

Roy Halladay is the one gem in this wasteland of filth. Year in and year out, he shows up to work on time, grows a beard, mows down motherfuckers and puts himself on the short list of Cy Young contenders. That's all he does. A case could be made for Vernon Wells and Alex Rios but Lord knows I won't be making that case. I leave the tough cases like those for Ben Matlock. What else? BJ Ryan throws with above average velocity, if not below average tenacity. Jesse Litsch seems to really try hard, God bless him.

Other than that the only thing that Blue Jays fans have to look forward to this season are the home games where they break out those sweet powder blue unis. Crack open a Labatts and get ready for a long season.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: Alex Rios - Rios has always been a solid producer, but much like his non-threatening counterpart, Vernon Wells, he's erratic and can't be trusted. There a chance he could really break out this year. There's a better chance that I'll break out in shingles.

You Say 'Prospect', I Say He'll Be Reluctantly Working for His Father-in-Law's Business in 4 Years: Adam Lind - Who? That's right. You're better off not knowing, as the human capacity for remembering useless knowledge is finite.

The Jonathan Lipnicki Fall From Grace Award: Scott Rolen - Tony LaRussa was right about this guy. He looks like Julia Stiles and hits like her too. Once on top the world, Scott can't even get on top of his own wife at this point. Meaning, she won't let him have sex with her because he's so shitty (at both baseball and lovemaking).

Scott Rolen stretches before a game

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