Toronto Blue Jays: Alex Anthopoulos' Youth, Prime Time Ready!

Louis PisanoAnalyst IApril 9, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 08:  Kyle Drabek #4 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 8, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The city of Toronto, from a sports perspective, has been swimming through quicksand for a long time.

General mangers of the city's major sports teams have tried to put together teams that will contend or at least make a playoff appearance. Evidently, they’ve been coming up short.

Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has annually put on paper what seems to be teams that will do just that (make the playoffs) but has failed and now has gone the way of the youth. (we’ll see how that goes).

Leafs GM Brian Burke, who has had to clean up quite a mess left by former GM John Ferguson Jr, has also bought into the youth movement (success that should be judged next season).

But the model for the youth movement in Toronto could very likely be this Blue Jays team.

Thanks to Anthopoulos the Toronto faithful have a team to cheer about even while battling in what is considered to be the toughest division in the major leagues, A.K.A the AL Beast.

Granted there are some veteran figures amongst the youth, but it seems the youth are leading the charge.

A big question on every Jays fan's mind was how would Adam Lind respond to his new defensive responsibility. I’m sure we’ve expected some bumps along the way, but he’s looking like a Gold Glover out there.

The reason for putting Lind in on defense was to take away all that time between at-bats sitting on the bench and mentally beating himself up. This strategy seems to be working and his numbers are beginning to back that up.

Travis Snider has had some timely hits as many believe it’s time for him to **** or get off the pot. He’s answering the bell so far and is certainly a guy who buys in to the Jays' motto of Hustle and Heart.

Rookie backstop J.P. Arencibia has looked composed and possesses immense untapped power as was evident in his opening day two-home run game. Personally, I think he got under those two hits and still powered them out. I predict we are going to see a few really deep bombs from the kid this year.

Rookie pitcher Kyle Drabek the Phillies former first rounder acquired in the Roy Halladay trade, has a live arm with great movement on his vast array of pitches and has made a statement so far that he belongs in big leagues.

Other young gun pitchers Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil have all given notice that they are ready to compete.

Yunel Escobar started off the season as hot as anyone and is recovering from a slight concussion. I’m sure all Jays fans are hoping he can step right back into form without a hitch.

Early-season surprise addition Jayson Nix has flashed the glove and smashed with bat (two dingers) while with his fourth team (though having never played a full season) in his young career.

These are some of the young guns making an impact at this time with the big club but Anthopoulos has also taking the depth of our prospects up a number of notches. All in all a great job.

Toronto’s other GMs, pay attention! This is the way to do it! Maybe Anthopoulos will consider taking on the Raptors GM duties as well—hint hint, Colangelo!

Many writers from mostly down in the good ol' US of A had pegged the Jays for last or fourth and the odd bone was thrown their way, giving them the third spot in preseason predictions in the AL East. Most of those geniuses also picked the Red Sox to win it.

Obviously, it's still early in the season, but the Jays' motto of Hustle and Heart has certainly shown to be a true moniker.

With more experienced players such as Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista (congrats on the new baby), Jose Molina, Rajai Davis and some of the bullpen guys to also lead this group, Toronto fans could be in for a special this year.

Come on Juan Rivera, buy in! Rivera had better slide in hard to second next time and break up that double play! Or like a Jose Bautista ball over the left field wall he might be GONE too!

As I said on Twitter to my friend Norman James (of when the Jays tied it up 2-2 vs the Angels Friday night, I believe I just heard one of the Jays yell from the dugout "GAME ON SON!" For more of that follow me @KingofRoncy

Looking forward to a sick season! Jays are sooooo gritty!   


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