Jeremy Accardo heights

This is not a picture of Jeremy Accardo at a King St. bar. This is a picture of Jeremy Accardo at The Abbey Tavern on Geary Blvd in San Francisco. I did not take this picture. But I did have a brief conversation with a young Accardo at a King St. bar, early in the 2007 season.

After spotting his likeness, I shrugged off the notion that Accardo would be hanging around this bar so soon after the game. I departed with friends, but changed my mind and went back inside to make sure.

“Are you Jeremy Accardo?”

“Yeah.”

“Nice to meet you. You’ve been the lone bright spot of the pitching staff so far.”

“Thanks.”

I shook his hand and left.

This was the year of the Accardo. He maintained a 0.00 ERA into May and would end the season with 30 saves. Four other bullpen studs: Scott Downs, Casey Janssen, Brian Tallet, and Jason Frasor; would buck up and hit stride by summer. Frasor’s numbers would fall off by season’s end, but throughout summer, any of these five could hold down top spot out of the bullpen in ERA or WHIP. Only Tallet would fail to record a save that season, though he did finish out 11 games for the blue birds.

A decent 2007 campaign (83-79) would be followed by a solid 2008 (86-76). Things were looking up.

They didn’t last.

It’s hard to talk about how 2009 (75-87) ended, after having held down 1st place in the East Division well into May.

The bats came alive again in the Spring of 2010. Wells got his Vern-on early. Adam Lind looked like he was chasing a batting title out of the gate. I put  faith in a Cito Gaston quote and bet one enviro-friendly Steamwhistle that Mr. Lind would win a batting title by career’s end. Ouch.
Starting pitching exceeded expectations, but our relief pitching went south.

In the heady days of 2007, “the five studs” of the bullpen were riding high. By 2010, it appeared unsafe for the Jays to ride on the back of any of this band.

Good luck in Area 51, Señor Accardo. Fcuk.

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