North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

This ship is sinking, right?

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I have a question for you: I’m an all-star third baseman, I had a three home run game in July 2003, I recently adopted a child and I’ve burned my bridges in another AL city… Who am I?

Shea Hillenbrand, who infamously called Theo Epstien a faggot back in 2003, is back up to his old tricks. After having recently adopted a child he left the team for a number of days (so he could fill out paperwork)- and when he got back he was angry, howlingly mad, that the team wasn’t happy to see him and give him untold riches (or at least a basket of fruit).

Sure, the Jays were a bit of a swoon – they had won three of their last six games (against the sub-par Seattle Mariners and Rangers) and were hurting: they had been playing extra inning games a fair amount recently. BJ Ryan – who had been fantastic all season – had blown two saves since the All-star break. Two players went down with Staph infections. Their rotation was in shambles, with Chacin gone until August and only Doc Halladay posting a plus .500 record. And they play in the most competitive division in baseball – and maybe in all of sports.

But this apparently didn’t matter to Shea – or maybe it did, way too much. He was the one who wrote that the Jays were a “Sinking Ship” on the clubhouse blackboard. He almost got in a fight with his manager, John Gibbons. He was the one who communicated with the team through an agent. He was the one who was mad that the Jays seemingly didn’t care that he adopted a child. And he was the one who through a fit.

Last year, Terrell Owens was doing the same kind of thing – he was mad that the Eagles wouldn’t celebrate his 100th touchdown with the kind of vigor and bravado that T.O accompanies each and every touchdown with. He slammed everybody, from his coach to Donovan McNabb, in the press – such as his beauty suggestion that he would have won the Superbowl with Brett Farve. And he, almost singlehandedly, took the team that made it to the Superbowl and shoved them down into the gutter, where they still remain.

This is what Shea could – and, if he remained on the team, would – do to the Blue Jays. They’re a good team that’s only getting batter (Imagine a rotation of Halladay, Burnett, Chacin, Jassen and Lilly with BJ Ryan anchoring the bullpen… Fantastic, eh?) but with Shea blowing fits of a TO caliber, he’ll bring the team down – almost like how Raphael Palmeiro brought down Baltimore.

The difference, though, between T.O. and Shea is that T.O. can back up his words – he came back from a horrid injury way too soon, so he could play in the Superbowl… And he had a good game, even by his standards. That’s talent. Shea is good (he’s hitting .301 with an OPS of .822) but he’s most certainly not as good at his position as T.O. is.

So, what now? The Jays can trade Shea, dump him down to AAA or just dump him on the corner of Bay and Bloor. If they trade him, though, they might not get a lot for him – but getting something is better then nothing and the Jays need another arm in the rotation. Maybe Florida will take him – and a lot of prospects, plus maybe Jassen – for the D-Train (or maybe I’m a hopeless dreamer). Either way, he’s not one to be missed.

Just ask any Boston fan.

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Written by M.

July 22, 2006 at 12:29 am

Posted in baseball, MLB

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