Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mailbag Q-and-A on my 41st birthday

"Were you surprised by the level of outrage that came your way after the "Darvish-to-Toronto" fiasco? Why do you think you got hit so hard in the aftermath?" -- Brian from Bus Leagues Baseball.

I wasn't surprised at the level of outrage and comments. I saw the comments on my blog, but I haven't seen more than one message board. The first one I check was headlined with "RIP Kevin Gray," which was a little odd, kind of like reading your own obituary. The fans were so excited to add Yu Darvish, and when it didn't happen, they directed some anger at me. Like I said before, I had sources with direct knowledge of what was going on that night inside the Blue Jays front office. I was told they were ready to announce they'd won the Darvish bidding. It was definitely a wild night, and the story had legs for a few days. The publisher of my newspaper came to my desk and told me he admired the way the whole thing was handled. (The story was not published in my newspaper, just my personal blog.) John Lott of the National Post wrote a sports column about that night and was fair. He also complimented me in an email, saying how I've demonstrated professionalism and integrity many times over. That meant a lot.

"Why would your 'trusted sources' lie to you? If true, you got duped, and I forgive you. If false, just tell the truth bro, at least there's honour in that." -- Anonymous

Nobody lied. I've got the call records and texts from my guys who had a perfect record giving me good info. The Blue Jays really thought they'd won the bid, at least from what I was told, and they had bad info. "Two, not one, two people in the organization told me Alex would announce at 9:30 p.m.," I was later told. I shouldn't have been so definitive in my tweets and on my personal blog. I was playing with fire and definitely got burned.

"I cannot imagine the amount of wrath and venom that has been heaped on you. I hope that as much as Blue Jays fans forgive you that you are also able to forgive the Blue Jays fans and the city of Toronto after receiving such scorn." -- Anonymous

I was already feeling closely connected to Jays' fan through the blog, and this incident ratcheted up things. So many fans have taken the time to write or send tweets. Anonymous commenters don't really pack a punch but fans sending positive thoughts and recognizing my coverage through the years have made this into an unbelievable experience. There are about a dozen people in Toronto I'm dying to meet. I'm looking forward to visiting Toronto more than ever.

"After being around Travis d'Arnaud during the season, how do you feel about his overall attitude and maturity?" -- Dave Rouleau

I thought it was excellent. He worked hard and pitchers enjoyed throwing to him. He's a quiet leader. Travis can be kid-like and have lots of fun, but he understands the business side of the game. When I asked him about being compared to J.P. Arencibia, he said, "J.P. is a great person and baseball player. It's an honor for people to consider me that type of player, especially when he is so good." He took the moment to give props to JPA and came out looking great in the interview. Travis just gets it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i also have a friend very senior with the Blue Jays who seemed to be expecting the Jays to win the bidding as well. He is in a position where he would need to know, to prepare for announcement etc.

Seems very foolhardy that they'd be confident in winning the bid, with a bid lower than Daisuke. Foolhardy is probably a polite understatement.