Welcome back! The following is Part 1 of the answers to the questions posed in this year’s post-season Blue Jays roundtable. If you’re curious who’s answering the questions, I suggest you read this. Now that you’ve read that (or not) I present to the first of three sets of questions, with three questions each. Confused? Me too! Anyway, here we go:
What was the best play, moment or game of the Jays’ 2010 season?
Drew: It has to be the big home run Bautista hit off David Robertson, his 40th on the season. The staredown, the ultra-slow trot. Everything about it was awesome and enjoyable in that “shhh this victory isn’t hollow I don’t care what you say” kind of way.
Ian: The best moment and game were one in the same: August 23rd against the New York Yankees. Jose Bautista carried the Blue Jays to a narrow 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on account of his two home runs. More specifically, the moment from 2010 that stood out in my mind was the staredown Jose Bautista gave David Robertson after he hit his second home run in the game.
. Prior to that moment, Bautista was brushed back by Ivan Nova with an inside fastball and tensions boiled over as the benches cleared. Rather than retaliate with his fists, Bautista fought back with his bat and let the longball do the talking. I was fortunate enough to be there in person at the game, and it was an epic moment I will never forget.
Cole: I particularly enjoyed Brandon Morrow’s brush with a no hitter and all the other ones throughout the season, even though they ended up in heartbreak at the time they were great moments.
. J.P. Arencibia’s first game in the majors was also very poignant, as was Toronto fans actually being good baseball fans for once and giving Jose Bautista a well-deserved curtain call.
Paul: The best moment of the Jays’ 2010 season was the Brandon Morrow near no-hitter. I was at the game nursing a nasty hangover in the 500’s. It seemed like another typical game until around the 5th or 6th inning when the K’s started piling up and the Rays started going down. By the 9th inning you could feel the electircity in the building. I hate Evan Longoria for breaking up the no-no but the good news is I got over my hangover pretty quick.
Chris: Probably because I was there in present and had an excellent seat (Thank you, G20 Summit!), but J.P. Arencibia’s debut was definitely the highlight of the season for me. Not only was it an unreal performance, but it gave me another game — along with Canada-U.S.A. at the World Baseball Classic — that I can look back on and think fondly when I get annoyed with the fans in Toronto. Some of them do get it, and some do appreciate greatness when they’re seeing it.
Jose Bautista: American League MVP?
Drew: I think it still has to be Josh Hamilton. Numbers, ballpark aided as they might be, are comparable in many ways plus the invaluable defensive contribution. I think Jose has a better case than me and many media members believe, but Hamilton still gets the nod.
Ian: Transplant him onto any playoff contending team, and Jose Bautista is unquestionably the American League MVP. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and we have to delve into the whole argument about how MVP’s should help get their teams to the playoffs. That being said, I wouldn’t give Jose Bautista the MVP award, but I’d certainly put him in the top three, maybe even as high as second place.
Cole: Do I think he should be given the award? Yes, a case can certainly be made. Do I think he will be? No, I do not. I think a player in a non-major MLB market and/or a non-playoff team has to really go above and beyond to win the award away from someone who might be an easier more mainstream choice.
Paul: Probably not. I compare Bautista’s year to Cecil Fielder’s in 1990. Cecil finished second in voting to Rickey Henderson and I think Jose will finish second or maybe even third to Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera. Usually the AL MVP goes to a player whose team made the post-season so my guess is Hamilton.
Chris: I’ve got another post in the worked on this topic, so rather than stealing my own thunder, I’ll just say yes.
Other than Bautista, who was the best Blue Jay of 2010?
Drew: Ricky Romero. Best numbers, most innings, still learning.
Ian: Lost among the hysteria of what has been Jose Bautista’s monster season, Vernon Wells has quietly strung together his second best season as a Blue Jay. Statistically, he’s been the best centre fielder in the American League and the sixth best outfielder in the American League. With this bounce back year, Vernon has shown that he needs some protection in the lineup to truly be deadly.
Cole: A lot of Blue Jays had surprisingly good seasons. I would have to say the best in terms of overall contribution however might have to go to John Buck. Not only did he far exceed expectations with the bat, but he seemed to do a good job with the Jays pitching staff and together with Molina turned what was expected to be a big negative for the team into a positive.
Paul: I’m gonna say Vernon Wells. Everyone has been on Vernon the past couple years for really sucking it up despite being paid so much money. If you look at his stats, Vernon had a good year. He finished 2nd in team batting with .273 Batting average, 2nd in HR’s and RBI . Even better he had the most at bats of any Blue Jay meaning he was healthy!! He also had the most hits and the most doubles. Atta Boy Vernon! Take a breath, the pressure’s off, for now.
Chris: Shaun Marcum. Debating who the Jays’ best pitcher was this season seems pointless. A valid case could be made for just about any of the four main starting pitchers, but I’m going with Marcum. Not only did he lead the starters in ERA+, WHIP, BB/9 and K/BB, he assumed the leadership role amongst the pitchers that Doc left vacant. Say what you will about intangibles, when you’ve got a young, inexperienced staff, it doesn’t hurt to have someone reminding them to “pitch like a man.”
That concludes Part 1 of the roundtable answers. If you enjoyed this, you should probably be aware that Part 2 is scheduled to go up tomorrow.