Sports And The City

It was 4-1.

Thank you, Vernon …

with 17 comments

I think as a special tribute, the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System should be permanently set to “Low.” - @BlueJayHunter

Brilliant idea.

To the Toronto Blue Jays: Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.

To the Anaheim Angels: The untradeable; Vernon Wells and the $86 million left on his contract. Along with no cash to pay for some of that $86 million, and the Vernon Wells Hatred  Advisory System. We won’t be needing it anymore.

I spent a lot of time over the past couple of years arguing, and writing lengthy blog posts, about  Wells. He was my guy. He was never going to live up to his contract, and I hated, absolutely hated, that he was booed so mercilessly at the Rogers Centre.

It’s bittersweet. I’ll miss Vernon Wells. I wish him nothing but success out in SoCal. By every single account, he is a fantastic human being. And I’ll argue until the end that he’s a damn good baseball player. Like me, like all of us, Wells was a lifer. But for Alex Anthopoulos, a living Greek God, to rid the Blue Jays of his contract, well, it’s nothing short of a celebration.

I’ll remember Wells as an ambassador for the Toronto Blue Jays. As an all-star. I’ll remember his home runs to left field, and the professional way in which he always rounded the bases. I’ll remember the Gold Gloves; all the incredible catches in centre field.  The grab that comes to mind right now is the one that at the time saved, albeit only briefly, Brandon Morrow’s no-hitter against Tampa Bay. I’ll remember Wells as a leader. And I’ll never, ever forget his 11th inning, walk-off home run against Mariano Rivera, only the greatest closer in baseball history.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll remember the infuriating middle-infield fly balls, the cursing that followed, and all the injuries, too. And I’m truly excited for the post-Wells Blue Jays era, and the — wait for it — financial flexibility it brings.

But one more time, for the road: I believe in Vernon Wells.

Image courtesy of my man Ian. Read and bookmark The Blue Jay Hunter. And buy a Meats Don’t Clash t-shirt.

Written by Navin Vaswani

January 21st, 2011 at 9:10 pm

17 Responses to 'Thank you, Vernon …'

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  1. Regardless, it is a sad day to see the Advisory board permanently out of commission. Something very finite about it all. Can I still hold out hope for a Wells and Halladay free agent signing in four years when the Jays are on their way to the World Series?


    21 Jan 11 at 9:19 pm

  2. Is it dusty in here?


    21 Jan 11 at 9:26 pm

  3. how


    21 Jan 11 at 9:38 pm

  4. I would like to thank Vernon Wells for providing the greatest time I ever had at a baseball game because of the greatest sign in the history signs, the I Believe In Vernon Wells sign.
    Thank you VW, and thank you bud


    21 Jan 11 at 9:49 pm

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Oakley, Navin Vaswani. Navin Vaswani said: Sports And The City: The Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System has been downgraded to LOW. Forever. [...]

  6. totally agree with your article. it’s a bittersweet day. if we look past the fact that his salary was a king’s ransom, wells was a great and classy blue jay.


    21 Jan 11 at 9:55 pm

  7. I am stunned. Speechless. AA is a genius. But I recognize that you blokes and blokesses will be losing a fan favorite and thus, a fitting tribute here by our man, Navin. Good luck, Mr. Wells.


    21 Jan 11 at 9:58 pm

  8. You know what, I’m really gonna miss Vernon. And I think we were so tough on him because we really expected a lot out of him. Sometimes he delivered, sometimes he didn’t, but overall he was a great ambassador for baseball in Toronto.


    21 Jan 11 at 10:44 pm

  9. I’ll remember him as V-Dub, starting CF for my Toronto Blue Jays.

    Navin Vaswani

    22 Jan 11 at 1:53 am

  10. I’ll remember him as a very frustrating cleanup hitter, and wanting to punch (insert sportsnet talking head here) whenever they heaped mechatonnes of praise on his defense. But my real Jays fanhood began when he started to unravel (injuries, inconsistency, terrible home environment etc.) so i digress.


    22 Jan 11 at 2:32 am

  11. [...] your sins. I think all of us can honestly say we were a little to hard on Vern. Everyone except Navin. May the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System rest in [...]

  12. I’ll remember the 30 home runs from 2010 combined with those of Bautista, Snider etc. It made for an entertaining year of long balls. He’ll be missed.


    22 Jan 11 at 8:38 am

  13. Godspeed, brother Vern.

    … but let’s not feel too bad for him. He collects $84M to play some ball in SoCal for the next 4 years. And can shed the nickname “Boo”. Life is good for V-Dub.

    the ack

    22 Jan 11 at 9:19 am

  14. I’ll remember Wells as a soldier.


    23 Jan 11 at 5:27 am

  15. Navin, your posts always make me want to be less cynical and jaded about sports. I like how you treat the players as more than just stats and dollar signs.

    Also, two things I will always remember about Vernon: being in the stands for the 11th inning home run game (one of the cooler mid-season this game doesn’t really matter but this is still super exciting moments) and calling a Vernon home run off C.C. Sabathia before it happened (what stupid luck!).


    23 Jan 11 at 9:57 pm

  16. [...] posts have already been written by writers much better than I am: Getting Blanked, Blue Jay Hunter, Sports and the City, Tao of Stieb, and 1 Blue Jays Way to name a [...]

  17. @ DawsonB: Thanks for the perspective from a relatively new Blue Jays fan.

    @ MeredithTO: Melancholy, yo.

    @ TheAck: I’d demand that people call me “Boo” if I could make that type of coin playing baseball down in SoCal.

    @ Dave: Well said.

    @ Matt: I guess they are more than stats and dollar signs. Even though they really aren’t.

    Navin Vaswani

    26 Jan 11 at 12:50 am

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