TOOT TOOT - Credit: Kyle Franzoni

Blue Jays Bandwagon: All Aboard!

Jun 17, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Rajai Davis (11) celebrates their victory with first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) against the Colorado Rockies at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Rockies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Did I say panic last week?  What the hell was I talking about?

Thanks to a particularly cranky rant by The Score’s resident snot Andrew Stoeten, I feel I need to address this quickly and then move on.  Last week, I wrote “the Blue Jays need to panic.”  What I really meant was “play with urgency.”  The Jays needed to start playing with some urgency, some kind of importance.  It’s similar to “panic” but doesn’t have the same ring to it.  “Panic” generally means chaos is involved and that’s not what I meant for this team.  Not before July 31st (trade deadline) anyway.  If the team fails, the front office SHOULD panic since this team was built to win NOW.  I had a nice long talk with some better baseball minds than Stoeten and they don’t think I’m crazy for thinking this way.  However, there’s no doubt Stoeten has a bright baseball mind.  He’s on The Score for a reason.  So I will not write him off like he did with me and that’s all I gotta say bout tha’ aat.

Since I wrote that article last week, OUR Jays (can I say “our” again?  They’re winners now, so it’s ok right?  Where’s my pink hat?) have not lost a single game.  That’s right baby!  6 wins!  Zero losses!  Victory… is… MINE!  I mean, I must have woke them up right?

Yea… right…  You have to give credit where credit is due and the Jays players are doing the work!  They are, in fact, playing with urgency and like a team.  The bats are doing their jobs.  The pitchers finally started doing theirs as well.  That picture up top is the epitome of what a team looks like.  That’s a team that suddenly looks like it’s having fun.  This is a team that has suddenly shown life.  While the skeptic in me says “Simmer down eh!” you cannot dismiss the fact that this run made things a little more exciting and brought back some hope.

I’m not going to get into the week that was because we have enough writers here, and everywhere else, that have it covered, but Buck Martinez said it right just two nights ago: “…this is a Jays team that (has) got(ten) hot at the right time.”  In a span of 1 week’s time, the Jays impressively picked up four games in the AL East (12 GB down to 8 GB) and four and a half in the Wild Card race (10 GB down to 5.5 GB) with five of the six straight victories coming on the road.  As Josh Menezes says, that’s “Pro-Gress!”

The most impressive part to this streak is the dominance of it.  Again, before we fans all go nuts and say “If we can beat (read as: DESTROY) the Texas Rangers, we can beat anybody,” just know that this was not the same Rangers team from April (17-9) and May (17-11.)  Their pitching rotation has been without Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando and their line up has been without 2B Ian Kinsler and 1B/DH Mitch Moreland.  Since Kinsler went on the DL May 19th, the Rangers have won only 10 out of their last 26 games.

The Jays did, however, beat Yu Darvish and his 1,439 different kinds of curveball (seriously, he’s got more kinds of curveball than Cool Hand Luc does ice cream.)  Not exactly an easy task, especially since most of North America thought there was no chance Esmil Rogers was going to hang with Yu-Know-Who (  The Jays did prevail however, and the Jays staff has been stellar in every game since.  The last five games have been particularly eye-opening because almost every Blue Jays starter produced a quality start (at least 6 IP, 3 runs or less)… and that’s really understating just how good the starting five have been.  Blue Jays pitching has allowed only four runs over the last 45 innings pitched.  The birds of the north were +22 in run differential.  They pitched two shutouts.  Blue Jays starters: 34 IP, 2 ER, 9 BB, 26 K.  Three of the starters had WHIPs under one. (Mark Buehrle 0.71, Rogers 0.86, Josh Johnson 0.95.)  Pretty damn impressive indeed.

Colorado is weakened too, but again, let’s give credit where credit is due.  We fans have been BEGGING Toronto starting pitchers to pick up the slack.  We’ve been begging for a consistent stretch since the Jays season began with pla… with high expectations.  This week, they answered the call.  Hopefully, here’s the first of several good stretches, because the Jays will need this if they want to start mentioning that “P” word I refuse to say right now.  That’s the goal.  That’s been the goal from the beginning of this season.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, but this team was… well, one off-season anyway.  I’m not saying things are good yet, but they’re definitely improving.  Still skeptical?  I’m a big fan of Jonah Keri.  Check out his latest The 30.  You guys should be pretty familiar to him no? (Special thanks goes out to James G for making me aware that Keri happens to be Canadian*)  His take is amazing and should leave you feeling good after.


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Tags: Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays

  • Guy

    This entire blog is just the worst.

    • Justin Jay

      At least you had the sack to say it. Too bad you can’t just say why? Just curious, exactly what are we suppose to write if we have a difficult time getting to players. You don’t get feature interviews. We don’t have clubhouse access. So there are really only 3 options. Watch the game, listen to the game, or break down the stats. If you’re a knowledgeable fan, I’m not telling you anything you already don’t know because you have access to the same amount of stuff as I do. But I do appreciate you reading my garbage. I’m sure Andy thanks you for speaking on his behalf. That’s what you’re doing anyway right?

      If you’re so good, show me something

  • McQ50

    Just curious what happened between you and stoeten thats all I’ve been wondering since reading this

    • Justin Jay

      He didn’t like a couple of posts from a week ago. The one about trading Jose Bautista in particular. The point of the post(s) was to get chatter going and have a mini debate among our writers. Well Stoeten trashed it. So his readers trashed it. And instead of leaving comments on our website about what they thought because we WANT fan interaction and fan opinion… they trashed us on his site, which I think is chicken shit. And while I stand by what I wrote last week, I’m not going to say I enjoyed writing it. I just watched an aging Toronto squad literally fumble yet another victory into the jaws of defeat and I was pissed. It has been like this all season. I’ve watched 60 of the 69 games so far and at this point, you can get a damn good barometer of where the team is heading. At that moment, it was south.

      I don’t know where this concept came from that AA put a team together to win now and in the future? I think it’s absurd. Build a future team with a knuckleballing 38 yr old? “Oh, he’s a knuckleballer, 38′s young…” Just stop. Build it with a 35 yr old lefty that throws 85-86 MPH and that’s his hard stuff? He has only been a .500 pitcher the last 5 years? Bautista is 33 next year. No offense to Joey Bats, but that’s not a spring chicken. The average age among the Jays active 25 man roster is 31 (30.7). This is a WIN NOW and MAYBE next year team and for ANYBODY to think otherwise, with our rebuilding farm system, is out of their mind. The window is 2 years, unless they get younger obviously. And with an aging team, you get injuries. Every “expert”/ writer including myself said the “Yankees won’t be good this season because they’re too old.” Here’s a stat. Their average team age is 31 (31.1) and their core players are just as old as our core players. This Jays squad needs to win now… or you have to blow it up before they get too expensive and the team is stuck with Vernon Well-esq type contracts.

      I keep hearing Rogers is the biggest media conglomerate in all of Canada. Yea, I’m aware even though I live 8-9 hours away, in the US. I’m also aware that since the team was sold by Labatt’s to InBev and even after it was acquired by Rogers Comm, that this team has not shelled out cash… until now. It’s not going to be a great time for Jays fans when these backloaded contracts of which most GMs in the MLB are aware, really start escalating. That’s why if this team doesn’t win now, you cannot wait for them to turn it around next year. I don’t want hear about Johnson’s expiring contract, because Buehrle’s and Reyes eat that up all by themselves in 2014.

      Sorry for the rant. I got ripped on particularly for saying “blow things up.” I guess memory of Vernon’s contract fades fast now that he’s gone. Just wait when 4 players on this team have contracts like good ol’ Vern… unreal

  • Justin Jay

    1 more thing… hopefully Van Bommel reads this. I just asked a friend of mine, that would crush Stoeten in a baseball debate (yea, I said it…) about what he would do with the Blue Jays if they don’t continue winning. He said he would trade Bautista and Rasmus. He’s not a Jays fan. A lot of non-Jays fans are actually saying it. They’re not saying to do it because of his attitude, but they are saying due to age and a favourable contract, now might be a good time. Rays philosophy 101