I know that he has taken a lot of flak for his huge contract. It is simply not his fault. Vernon Wells is one of the greatest Blue Jays of all time. His name is littered all over Blue Jays career record books. 4th all time in career WAR. 7th in Slugging %. 3rd in games played with 1393. First in AB, 5470. 2nd in Runs, hits and total bases. 2nd in doubles and 10th in triples. 2nd in homeruns and RBI, just behind Carlos Delgado. Three Gold Glove Awards. Three time American League All Star. Hundreds of hours donated for charity purposes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars donated. Won the Branch Rickey Award for humanitarian work in 2010.
Vernon gave so much to Toronto and Blue Jays fans. Sure, he was sarcastic and short at times, but I think that was part of his personality. He would speak his mind in times where people often give the cookie cutter answers to media questions. For that he was often scrutinized unfairly. Toronto fans always expected so much since he signed that ridiculous contract. Some of us thought it was a great idea at the time, locking up a 3-time Gold Glover who just had a year of .303/32/106. Little did we know he wouldn’t perform to that level in the rest of his time with the Jays. It is not his fault that JP Ricciardi is an idiot. I am of the ilk that if you can get a certain amount of money, then why not take it.
Vernon will really be missed by many of us, and I hope that the fans will come out in droves when the Angels come to town August 12th this year. I will be there, and I will cheer him on with pride.
We will miss you, Vernon, and wish you the best of luck.