Apparently the Blue Jays were destined to be slightly above average. A C- student. As the millenium rolled by fans were wondering if there truly was a nucleus to build a championship team around. With Raul Mondesi, Jose Cruz Jr., Shannon Stewart, Tony Batista and Carlos Delgado leading the offence and David Wells, Chris Carpenter, Joey Hamilton and Billy Koch headlining the pitching staff it appeared that we had a chance for at least a wild card spot. Our team was undermined by the important roles also played by Pasqual Coco, Clayton Andrews, Andy Thompson and about a dozen other where are they now candidates.
The chemistry didn’t seem to be there with this team and thus seemed to doom us from the start. We finished a middling 3rd in the East with an 83-79 record…sigh. There wasn’t any outward signs that there was dissenting thoughts but the entire running of the club was done on the cheap. SkyDome started to feel like a mausoleum and that starts from the top. Interbrew treated our team like a bastard stepchild. That and Gord Ash never seemed to have the vision needed to sustain success. When it comes to Home Openers though we still were kicking ass.
Date: April 3, 2000
Location The SkyDome, Toronto, ON, Canada
Game: Kansas City Royals vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather: Dull and grey…like the interior of the Dome…
This began the season with our big man…literally…David Wells taking the mound against…Jeff Suppan? How bad is your pitching staff when your number one starter is Jeff Suppan. It seems like such a waste of Johnny Damon, Joe Randa, Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye and a young buck named Greg Zaun. Would the pinpoint control of David Wells hold the big bats at bay while we pounded Suppan into the turf? This game practically could write itself…but of course it’s baseball and nothing ever seems to go the way you want.
Wells turned in a workman-like 6 innings, 2 earned with 5 Ks and no walks. Suppan gave up a lead off home run to Shannon Stewart and another to Stewart in the fifth along with a 2 run shot by newly acquired Tony Batista. things were looking great bringing in Billy Koch for the save…until he gave up a game tying two run single to the aforementioned Mr. Zaun. Save Blown. Bottom of the ninth our new third basemam Tony Batista ripped a game winning shot over the wall to start the season off right. Game over. 5-4 Jays.
We tried to pound our way to victory but we didn’t have the arms to pull it off. Roy Halladay was introduced…then sent back to A-ball after a record 10.64 ERA. You could see the potential coming up the system pitching wise but in terms of cornerstone pieces of the regular line up there was no one to really build with. It was nice to have another winning record but there was no real progress. Would the atmosphere change in the 2001 season?