Friday, February 22, 2008

Reed Off Leadoff

Reed Johnson knows that Reed Johnson won't be the Jays' leadoff man this year, barring something unforeseen, like Eckstein slipping between the cracks of a sewer grate. But Reed Johnson is okay with that, because Reed Johnson is a team player. "I'm not frustrated," Reed Johnson says. "We're trying to make our team better. Any time J.P. has an opportunity to make an upgrade at a spot, he's going to do that. He's basically made an upgrade at the leadoff spot, and that's the decision that they've gone with. I'm going to do my best to fill in wherever they want me."

Translation: Reed Johnson is not a selfish man.

Whether he's being sincere or just swallowing his pride and saying what's expected of him even though he wants that leadoff spot and starting LF job more than life itself, it's gratifying to know that there probably won't be any strife originating from that platoon situation, and that wherever Reed Johnson is put in the order, he'll do what he can to contribute.

I like Reed because, barring the unfortunate chin adornment, Reed's pretty nice to look at on the field, from a uniform perspective anyway. The high socks, the baggy pants, the frequently grass-stained uni. Very nice. The uniwatchers approve. Also, whereas I already dug me some Reed, he endeared himself even more to the Bottom of the Order braintrust last year when, in his first game back from injury, he made a flat-out, game saving catch in the ninth to secure Doc's victory in the only Jays game I was able to attend last year (it was also my infant daughter's first full major league game). It looked pretty damn good from up in the 500s.

But here are the guys over at The Southpaw suggesting that the Jays forsake Reed and the Canadian guy in favour of another Canadian guy (admittedly a guy with a career 130 OPS+, who comes relatively cheap to boot). Their caveat is if the Jays find themselves in contention come the deadline, then they should consider acquiring Bay, bearing in mind Godfrey's past comments about the bankability of a Canadian-born star. Here's my question: without a hefty contribution from that LF platoon - Stairs and Johnson, with a side of Lind and possibly some Scutaro - can the Jays find themselves in contention? And if those guys are contributing, will Bay prove to be worth what the Pirates will be asking in return?

Well, probably, yes. Like I said, I like Reed. But Jason Bay is a better player, without question. But Reed being Reed, he'd probably be alright with Bay's addition, and the decreased playing time that would come with it (assuming he's not a part of any package designed to land the Pirate). After all, Reed Johnson is "going to do my best to fill in wherever they want me."

Atta' boy, Reed Johnson.


t.u.g. said...

I think we should just go out and get Bay right now. I'd offer Litsch and Lind. They both have promise, but are unlikely to be anywhere above average. Maybe.

/a said...

But wait! Shannon Stewart might be the answer!