What the heck is going on ? As I mentioned in a tweet from the Rogers Centre last night, the Jays have won 6 in a row and there is even hot water again in the stadium bathrooms. Crazy.
The floundering Blue Jays aren’t at .500 yet. And I don’t expect them to be this week, although I guess anything is possible. But for the first time since two weeks into the season, there seems to be a reasonable expectation that the Jays will make it to the even mark.
I never stopped wearing my Blue Jays gear or going to the games (how could I? I’m a season ticket holder) but I certainly had to do a lot of explaining to casual fans (or non-fans) about how it’s a long season and you just never know blah blah blah. For the first time in awhile, I’m getting positive conversations starting with people acknowledging my gear. I don’t want to go back.
It’s almost like the October 2013 José Bautista, sitting at home in the Dominican Republic, called up Doc Brown from Back to the Future and asked him to put him back to some pivotal moment in the season – just so he could change the course of the 2013 Blue Jays. And he asked to go back to Chicago, June 11th, 9th Inning with 2 strikes against him and down by one. Slider.
This team was playing better ball long before that moment, but certainly José’s bomb seems to have jumpstarted this team and the six game win streak they’re currently on. Things are looking up. Reyes is coming back. Morrow is on the mend (although I’m still suspicious about that forearm ‘strain’). And Esmil Rogers and Josh Johnson are looking very good in the rotation right now. The bullpen may not be this good all year, but they have definitely been the unsung heroes this far into the season.
I really like the way this team is playing right now. The good news/bad news scenario is that with the walking wounded about to return, the chemistry is about to get shaken up again. Like Crash Davis said, “Never fuck with a winning streak” (or something along those lines) and I’m sure for John Gibbons, he’ll have mixed feelings about some of the players returning and pushing out some of the players that have played so hard for him the last weeks (yes, I’m looking at you Munenori, and also in a way the EE at 3rd and Lind at 1st combo). But the Jays have always had a policy of not losing your job to an injury — it’s yours again when you come back until you prove otherwise. And I respect that.
My hope is still .500 at the All Star break. Anything better than that is gravy right now.
The hole isn’t filled yet. But we can see the top of it. It’s a great time to wear your colours.
As the possibility of the 2013 Blue Jays getting their act together becomes more unlikely with each game, the finger pointing is going to start. Did AA give away the future for a bunch of magic beans? Is there a selfishness in the clubhouse? Was Gibbons the wrong choice?
In any case, I can honestly say that Beeston, AA and Rogers have given us a season that we’ll never forget. It will be the most memorable season since 1993. Whatever happens. You will never forget the 2013 Blue Jays.
If they continue to plod along, you’ll always remember the season that was filled with so much hope and came up with snake eyes. My friend, Mike, all winter would just randomly break into “We’re winning the World Series!” cries. And I wanted to believe it.
And now, just for a moment, let’s dream like it’s a Disney movie around the 2013 Blue Jays. The season they won the World Series after they started 13 – 23 and somehow pulled themselves together, squeaked into the wild card and went on a run to win the championship.
Either way, we’ll never forget this season.
I didn’t want to look at the standings this morning. I’d rather not know what the Jays record is right now because I’m trying not to think about the hole they are digging themselves. But the reality is they are four games under .500. Now that’s not a huge deal if they play around .500 ball for the next month or so. But if the next 20 games are like the first, well, then they’re going to have a big problem.
What’s the problem? Well, if you’ve been watching you know. And it’s not just one thing. It’s kind of everything. They’re not hitting consistently — only four hits last night. Their defence seems to fold when they need it the most, and not on tough plays either — yes, Kawasaki I’m looking at you but you’re just the latest. And although I was about to say the pitching hasn’t been solid, I realize it’s actually been very good lately. The bullpen is lights-out and the starters have put together a lot of ‘quality’ (or close to) starts lately.
So what’s the problem? Bad luck? Maybe… But I don’t know if I believe in luck when it comes to sports. It’s a game of inches and the Jays are frustratingly just inches away…
Aaron Loup just grazes that guy by a couple of inches last night. Kawasaki puts another few inches on that throw and Edwin gets it. And this is just last night. I’ve seen it a lot already this season — everywhere I’m seeing a team that is close to being very good and then we come up short by a few inches.
But that’s baseball. And whether the Blue Jays can find it in themselves to find that extra inch in their game, I don’t know. Is it for lack of trying? No. Is it for lack of talent? I hope not. I think it’s there somewhere in their game but only the next 142 games will tell. And if they don’t have it, well, yes, it’ll be a long frustrating summer for me. But that’s why I love baseball because it’s a game of ‘oh so close’. And the good teams consistently find that extra inch or they don’t deserve to win.