The Blue Jays’ state of the franchise meeting was held last week. I was not in attendance and this post is not timely, but here it is anyway — and I’ll keep it short. Two things short, even.
Thing the first
According to Gregor Chisholm of bluejays.com (and everybody else who was in attendance and wrote anything about the meeting), Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said some pretty good things, not the least of which was the following:
“We want to get [to the playoffs] as fast as we can. What we won’t do is shortcut it. When we do get there, it’s not going to stop. It’s going to be a freight train that’s going to keep going.”
This is definitely in line with how he’s expressed his vision for the team before, but it’s a more forceful, focused approach than I’m used to hearing from the general manager. Is he getting more comfortable in his role and more willing to voice his true feelings? Maybe he just felt emboldened by sitting in front of a few hundred true believers? Either way, hearing AA spout the tough talk like that — and I know it doesn’t mean anything if the team doesn’t deliver the results when the time comes — makes me happier with this team’s direction than anything else the team has done since ditching J.P. Ricciardi.
Baseball can be analyzed in many, many ways, but when it comes right down to it, the only thing that matters is winning. Winning is great, but winning with swagger is the funnest way to do it. AA seems to be getting himself some swagger. I like it.
Thing the second
This is minor, but it should give the phone-in-show Leafs fans one less thing to whine about during the summer months and will help keep the media somewhat at bay if the team doesn’t perform as well as they think it should. It’s a throwaway part of a throwaway sentence located in a throwaway graph at the end of Chisholm’s above-linked story, but it’s important nonetheless:
For Farrell, it was his first opportunity to take part in the State of the Franchise event. The first-year manager, who said he was in the final stages of purchasing a condominium in downtown Toronto, came away impressed.
John Farrell is buying a condo in Toronto. Maybe he’s not moving his family here (or maybe he is, who knows) but he’s buying property in Toronto, dammit. He likes us! And that’s all that really matter, right?