The Rios Hate is Getting Ridiculous. Let’s Talk About Vernon

As I’m driving home last night, listening to 102.1 The Edge, I heard the announcer crack the latest Alex Rios joke. It was along the lines of “Rios has done NOTHING this year,” and so on.

Obviously, the charity event incident has put Rios’ tough season in the spotlight, and has turned #15 into the #1 scapegoat for any and all Blue Jays struggles.

Yes, it was a really stupid move – First refusing to sign an autograph, before swearing at fans. And yes, Rios has been disappointing on the field this season.

But come on – The attention is getting ridiculous.

Everywhere you look, someone is suggesting the Jays ship Rios out of town. Or bat him 9th. Etc.

Never mind that Rios slugged over 500 in May, or that his numbers are far better than those of Vernon Wells – He swore at a fan! And he must go!

I call bullshit.

Lost in the Rios mess has been the continuous decline of Wells, who has been simply horrible this season. Suddenly, it’s Rios, and not Wells, to blame?

Again, I call bullshit.

Rios has a higher slugging percentage than Wells, a better on-base percentage, and a better batting average. He’s scored less runs – Mostly because the guy hitting behind him all year (WELLS) has failed to drive him in.

Rios went 4-4 today with a stolen base. Wells was his usual 0-5, including a game-ending strikeout. It’s about time someone stands up for Alex.

Just about the only number that’s higher for Wells is his contract (One of the top-10 contracts in MLB history), so maybe…just maybe…we should be talking about him.

But he didn’t swear at a fan (On video, at least), so any and all blame falls on Rios?

When it gets to the point where non-sports media outlets have joined the Rios bashing, it’s time to speak up. Talk about Rios’s struggles all you want, but don’t pretend it’s been worse than it is.

And it’s a whole lot better than anything Vernon Wells has done this year.


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June 15, 2009 7:30 am

I agree D.L…..Rios should not have done what he did and could have done more to apologize….but he certainly has had a better season than Vernon. Jessie Barfield was on the Fan this morning and raised what sounded like some pretty basic flaws in Vernon’s swing and stance – hopefully Cito and Gene are working with him….In the meantime, while I usually support Cito’s approach re: being supportive of his guys when they are down, it’s time to move Vernon down to 6 or 7 in the order – not only to give him a bit of a kick in the ass but to recognize the guys hitting below him who have earned more a bats. While Cito continues to stroke/support Vernon, he may be doing so at other guys expense….


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