It's September in a post-Josh Donaldson world.
I have made a few observations since the trade. There is a great deal of face melting happening about the trade, accusing Atkins and Shapiro of everything from general incompetence to actual collusion.
There is also something else happening, and it's mostly coming from my fellow bloggers and podcasters. There is a strange tendency to explain or support everything Atkins has done or said in the wake of this thing.
I understand the desire to fight back against the horde of insanity, but there is really no need to prop up Atkins' interview. It was typical GM speak in post-trade situation. Atkins spoke at length about the prospects, but it wasn't particularly compelling.
It wasn't just Stoeten doing it. It was all over the Jays Twitter community.
There should be a happy medium where people are allowed to complain about some of this stuff without some bearded counterpoint, explaining it away. And without all of it being lumped into to mass hysteria of "FIRE SHAPKINS!!"
Nestled among the tidbits about various prospects, Atkins confirmed that Vlad Jr., who destroyed the minor leagues this season, would not be getting a September call-up.
And that's when I got mad. (Well, more mad. My rage level is at slow boil most days.)
Now, I understand why keeping Vlad Jr. down makes business sense for the Blue Jays. They want an extra year out of this once in a generation player before he hits free agency. They will make the argument, at least around a boardroom table, that they aren't going to be able to afford Vlad as he approaches free agency so they need to manipulate this a little.
I am grateful, at least, the Blue Jays haven't used this excuse for Vlad Jr. Perhaps because they once again have Russell Martin in the lineup as starting 3B tonight and want to keep some semblance of dignity. Ross Atkins has also proven to be a little bit more savvy than Twins' GM Thad Levine who flat out said that not calling up Byron Buxton for September was about service time.
While I understand completely why teams would want to do this, I don't understand why fans buy into this idea. Blue Jays fans have endured another lost season, two seasons removed from back to back trips to the ALCS, and a franchise icon, one who was so instrumental to a couple of magical seasons after 20 years of drought, was just traded away for some unknown quantity.
I don't want to hear about Rogers Communications' money and their fiscally responsible baseball team mixed in with emails about rising ticket prices. I'll be patient about a rebuild but you have to throw me a bone.
I want to see the kid.