It’s no secret, the New York Yankees sure can take a long time to play a baseball game.
Many people despise the pace traditionally played by the Bronx Bombers, or even the Boston Red Sox for that matter. Both teams are notorious for taking extra time getting into the box and slowing down the game on the mound. They take pitches and grind out at bats. It can be excruciating for fans to watch, especially live as it kills the entertainment factor for casual game-goers. But baseball is a results-based business. There is a reason that both the Yankees and Red Sox are two of the most popular teams in all of professional sports. Four-hour games doesn’t seem to bother the respective fan base of either franchise. At the end of the day, winning is everything.
I completely agree that all teams need to play to their strengths. The Blue Jays are full of bombers themselves as much of the lineup is a threat to go deep at any time. You can’t really justify holding back a group that when healthy includes some of the best hitters in baseball, but I really think the Blue Jays can try to do more to avoid some of these recent early season slumps.
Let’s take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum for a minute. No one was expecting anything from the Oakland Athletics this year. However early it is, they have started out of the gates on fire and lead the powerful American League West. What has been a major factor to the A’s success? As of last night, they lead the league with 71 base on balls. On the other hand, the Jays are ranked 26th of the 30 teams when it comes to on base percentage. I know that the bats have been ice-cold, but if this team wants to be taken seriously as a contender they will need to learn how to grind more out of their at bats when the hits aren’t coming.
The playoffs can lead to a shockingly short series and we don’t want our dream of a championship season to be over in a weekend if the Jays do in fact qualify. I know they don’t hand out any trophies in April and in all honesty the Jays can probably still suck it up until at least the All-Star break and still end up making the postseason. But I feel some of these early blowouts have been slightly unnecessary.
The Blue Jays need to show the rest of the league they have a bit more patience and grit at the plate. It doesn’t help the pitching staff as a whole has the league’s fourth worst ERA and I’m sure the starters’ numbers look even worse. They got a few meaningless runs back near the end of the game but in all reality this game was over (like so many others) by the sixth inning. But these type of outings are a part of baseball and will continue to happen over the course of the season.
Let’s see how this team learns to handle it.