Almost right from the beginning of Romero's struggles in the spring, I have been tired of hearing about this situation.
One of the great things about acquiring new arms was that Romero could work out whatever issues he had without the pressure of carrying the pitching staff and by extension, the team.
Romero is sore and it's messed with his mechanics. It's one of the reason one shouldn't pitch hurt. One's body makes adjustments, sometimes unconscious adjustments, to prevent feeling pain. It can mess with the ability to throw strikes.
Pitching coach Pete Walker talked about Romero where his mechanics need to be:
“He’s a three-quarters slot guy, and when he gets a little across his body, that upper half gets in that east-to-west direction, his arm slot drops, and he’ll get around the ball and cut some off. (On Tuesday) he was little bit higher in the first inning, but that comes with the direction and where he’s landing and the positioning of his foot and his hips as they come through the delivery. When that’s all good, his slot is a little bit higher and he has better movement on the ball and better command.”
It never ceases to amaze me how complicated pitching can be.
“You get knocked down like that right after the game, it’s something you don’t expect,” Romero said during an interview with the National Post, Sportsnet.ca and the Toronto Sun. “It hurts and it hits me to the bottom of my heart, because I care so much and I’ve worked so hard for everything I have.”
His first reaction: “‘Is this supposed to help my confidence?’ When it first happens, you’re kind of like, ‘Whoa.’ A million thoughts go through your head. I don’t know if you guys have ever been fired from a job, and you go and sit at home and say, ‘What the hell did I do wrong?’”
All of Romero`s comments to John Lott in the National Post seem to be extensive self-talk. He is merely trying to articulate his feelings so he can process what has happened. Of course he doesn't like being demoted. No one likes being demoted at their job, even if they can see it coming.
Jeff Blair points out that the demotion to A ball has more to do with weather than some sort of reflection of Romero's status. Dunedin is warmer in April than New Hampshire or Buffalo. It also may indicate that Anthopoulos and company believe (or hope to believe) that the minor league stint will be a short one.
Romero has long adopted a "me against the world" persona that he shows to the public and I'm not sure he's a complicated enough guy for it not to be something he actually believes about himself.
“Today I woke up and I was like, ‘You know what, no one’s going to feel sorry for me.’ I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I’ve got to go out there and work, work, work, because I’m not planning on being here for two weeks, three weeks. I want to get this done quick, and I’m going to spend all the time that I can to get up to Toronto and be with those guys because I am part of the team and I belong there."
On Twitter, some are talking about how he's insulted his teammates and is denying his issues with his comments. I've read the comments four times, and I just don't see it. All I see is a guy who's disappointed, frustrated and a little at a loss. All of which is completely understandable. Also, this is a team of late bloomers and veterans now. They've seen struggle and they know Romero much better than we do.
What does this actually say about the Jays as a team? I think it says that they aren't messing around this year. It's all in, and they are taking their 25 best guys north. And as Jeff Blair points out, it's not like the ace is staying in Florida.
As for the Happ situation, he's the fifth starter. And he'll pitch like the fifth starter. And that's just fine. Stoeten sums up Happ's new deal like this:
"Happ was already signed for $3.7-million for 2013, and has accumulated four years and 47 days of service time, meaning that a full year’s worth of MLB time for him this year would have pushed him into his last arbitration year at the end of the season, putting him on track for full free agency after 2014. So, essentially, the Jays have given themselves a halfway decent option on his first free agent year in exchange for paying him like they probably would have anyway, provided he was actually playing in the Majors."
Plus Happ's now a controllable pitcher for a few years, which may make him more tastier tradeable bit if they no longer require him to eat innings. And other than that, I can't really get excited about this deal one way or another.
I don't know if everyone is just excited about the new season, but the amount of drama, particularly on Twitter, seems excessive.