Can I hear an A.A.?? Can I hear a wut wut? Wow…somebody punch me in the face…what I am trying to show here is the respect garnered for Alex Anthopoulos in a few months before the 2010 started. He was more warmly received and respected than JP Ricciardi ever was. Toronto fans like the underdog story like Tie Domi or Rob Butler or Morris Peterson. Guys who played hard: always. We have such a crisis of identity in this city that it festers into the love/hate relationship with our sports teams. We love to hate our teams. 20 years of title futility in major sport will do that to a city…
So 2010 came upon with a fresh sense of identity for the Blue Jays. Anthopoulos promised nothing. All he basically said over the course of his first off-season is that he was going to try and build a sustainable winner like the Devil Rays for example. Player development was key and free agency was to be used only to fill in a missing piece. He wanted to use trades as a major component of building. He lived in the waiver wire. We all gave him a chance and his candor about telling us everything by almost saying nothing was remarkable. He had no track record. he was a Canadian kid who worked hard. We like them hard workers (bring back John MacDonald!).
Halladay got dealt. It killed us but we knew it was coming. He wasn’t happy here and when he eventually came back to pitch against us as a Phillie, he received an ovation no returning Toronto player has ever had. It was a great moment. Along with that deal the Jays just started to shed heavy payroll where possible and began to earnestly fill in the minor league spots with talent. A.A. wanted to build the best farm system in the game. In one year he pretty much did. But aside from the future, what did the Jays have to show us in 2010? Fourth place and more optimism than the team had had in years.
Date: April 12, 2010
Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Game: Chicago White Sox vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather: was a non-factor
We didn’t have the strongest pitching staff, as having lefty Brian Tallet in the rotation can attest. We realized, as fans, that this wasn’t our year so let’s hope there would be good stories to tell. The Home Opener was not one of those stories. We hit Jake Peavy pretty good all game. he went 5.2 innings and gave up 7 runs! This would be a breeze if it wasn’t for Tallet giving up 6 in 6 innings. We were tied going into extra innings due to Jason Frasor blowing the save in the ninth. Jeremy Accardo gave up a run in the 11th and there you have an 8-7 loss. It would be hard fought and the team did fight most of the season. Again though….4th. Frikken 4th. At least A.A. had already begun to hatch his plan.