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Thursday 21st Sep 2017

A wise man once said that since they must publish the standings, he would rather have his team at the top than at the bottom. The way I see it, I would prefer that the standings were not published the first few weeks of the season. They have little if any significance this early. We know that a team is not mathematically out of it until mid-August.

At this stage of the season, league standings either cause unnecessary stress or give what could be a false sense of security. For example, teams that have drafted Trevor Story are probably at or near the top. Do not feel bad about yourself if you have not drafted him.

Nobody can predict the future for obvious reasons. And yet, I can guarantee that Trevor Story will not continue at this torrid pace. He will not hit 90 home runs in 2016. Pitchers are learning how he swings the bat. There have been signs of this already.

We must trust our teams, no fear, no regrets. Above all, we should not make hasty trades, giving away players with a proven track record. There are scores of hitters who are still cold and whose performance is below their historical statistical average. Russell Martin and his .067 batting average (as of this writing) come to mind. Martin will come around. Let’s face it, it is still cold in Toronto and some like it hot.

Unless a player is afflicted by an undisclosed injury or the unyielding old age is knocking, the ones who are cold today will heat up and perform well above their average later in the season. If we trade them away now, we will miss that.

At this point, we ought to make sure to substitute players who are placed on the DL and continue to scour the free agent list and waiver wire for potential future help. Improving the bench is always possible. You may find someone to pick up even if that player won’t be available until later in the season. Henderson Alvarez, Josh Hamilton, Robert Stephenson, Devon Travis, Orlando Arcia and the recently promoted Rafael Montero all come to mind as potential players to stash on the bench.

Regarding the active lineup, it is too soon to reserve anyone just because of a bad first or second week. For example, those who benched Jaime Garcia after his not so stellar first outing might have missed his second game where he went the distance and amassed 13 strikeouts. I do not blame you though if you did bench him. There were several doubts about his health and overall value before the season started.

Even trades that appear in our favor should be carefully thought about. Let’s trust the team we have drafted even if it has a weakness. It’s OK. Every team has one. As Joe Brown told Jack Lemmon when Jack took his wig off, “Well, nobody is perfect.”

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