Everything is so much clearer now that I've had a night to sleep on this and take a lot of drugs.
As though last Friday's rumors didn't forebode yesterday's events, I still clung to some superfluous shred of hope, that Ozzie and Kenny would not be so dumb as to allow Jim Thome to go unsigned; in turn pushing him into the open arms of the Twins.
Alas, nobody was able to knock sense into Ozzie's thick skull, and so it is...the most devastating event since 9/11: Jim Thome signs with the Twins for $1.5 million (and some incentives).
I know Jim Thome was not everyone's cup of tea, what with his lacking speed and being on base all the damn time - the combination of which was downright offensive and unbearable (aesthetically-speaking, of course).
I also know that a bunch of you em-effers are on diets, depriving yourselves of delicious carbs - like taters, for example - because you want to appear a certain way...even if it's not all that healthy or natural or fun.
But once again, the widespread devastation among most Sox fans is not just a matter of Jim Thome (though he does hold a special place in most of our hearts, for good reason).
The bigger problem is Ozzie's deliberate omission of a left-handed power bat, from a lineup that will be supporting one of the greatest pitching staffs in the game. And not just an omission - it's a full-on straight-faced rejection of the cheapest, most solid lefty power bat on the market. A guy who wanted to play for the Sox. A guy who can bring a 5-0 game back into reach with one swing of his mighty bat. Just a nice guy to have around; not playing for your division rivals.
We are actually paying Mark Kotsay more money to be in our everyday lineup, than we were willing to pay Jim Thome.
Of course, I choose to remain somewhat positive. Hell, I'm pretty sure that's what life is all about anyway.
Though I will admit this is my least-favorite Ozzie/Kenny moment of them all so far.
And this is the one that makes me most question my faith in our management and my ability to really believe that they wouldn't do that, they couldn't do that, they wouldn't let this one by, they wouldn't bring Linebrink in right now, they will not rely on a few mediocre bench players to fill out an offense so essential in completing a team that has a real fighting chance at a title...
But aside from my loss of faith and my listlessness over continuing to defend those two and their roster tomfoolery, I have hope yet.
1. The off-season is not over. Perhaps the backlash of the Thome non-signing will inspire KW/OG/JR to pursue Damon. A Damon signing might just renew my faith, but it will cost us more than the pocket change required for Thome, and it will require that KW puts his Boras bias on the side. If he can do it for Jones, I would hope such a ridiculous rationale would not stop him from going after Damon (or any of the other high profile guys Boras reps, or will rep in the future). But we'll see.
2. Further hope remains within me, that Gardenhire will misuse or non-use Thome. Maybe Thome will be limited to pinch-hitting most of the time. I am torn between being a Thome fan and wishing him well on his travels; and being a Twins-hater, loathing all things related - especially if said things help them win the division.
What a crappy predicament!
It's as if Thome has died to me. Or worse, it's as if Thome has brought home a boyfriend.
3. Surely Quentin is going to stay healthy. Right? RIGHT?! A healthy, '08-esque Q would do wonders for us. Unfortunately, most of us are too exhausted from all the hopefulness for the same last year, that the Return of Q! seems like a fantasy now, a stretch really. (heh...stretch)
4. A full season of Beckham! Hoorah! Flowers on the horizon! Yippee!
5. Peavy, Danks, Buehrle, Floyd, Freddy! Hoorah! Bullpen looking not too shabby either... not that we'll need them!
Baseball is full of miracles. I know I've witnessed a few and I'm just a (relatively) young piece of shit.
It's not easy to keep your chin up when something like this happens, but it's not like we were exactly stoked for our upcoming offense in January 2005 either.
The commiserating is free to abound, and I'm still pissed as hell, but I refuse to allow Ozzie to numb my excitement over our rotation.
So here's to hoping for another acquisition - a bat, preferably - before the season starts.
Here's to hoping the damage against us is not so severe.
Here's to hoping for the resurrection of Q!, Jones, Rios, Pierre, Putz, and Teahen to name a few.
Here's to hoping for a full year of production from Alexei, Beckham, Buehrle; and the good ol' consistency we've come to expect from AJ.
And most importantly, here's to hoping for a 2010 division title that very easily should be ours, with or without a diet full of mashed taters.