July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; American League outfielder Jose Bautista (19) of the Toronto Blue Jays during practice for the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY SportsWhen baseball commentators and analyst talk about great contending teams they tend to mention how many former all-stars are on the team. Any team in the playoffs that was stacked on opening day and cruised to a playoff spot gets a lot of “have a lot of former all-stars” talk. It’s impossible to watch any Yankees playoff game without it being mentioned.
Now that the Toronto Blue Jays are considered one of the “World Series favorites” it’s probably not too arrogant to look at the all-stars on the team.
If you’re keeping score at home that’s 7 former All Star players on the current Blue Jays roster. They combined to have 16 All Star Game appearances between them.
In the big picture this means nothing because if they don’t help the Blue Jays win what they did in the past means squat.
It’s also hard to feel worried about your team when you can brag about them having 4 former all-stars in the starting rotation. Especially if the only starting pitcher in the rotation that hasn’t been an all-star is Brandon Morrow. Even if one of the former all-star starters don’t pitch like one *cough*Romero*endcough*, Morrow had 3 complete game shutouts in limited 2012 action and he’ll be at the ripe age of 28 on Opening Day. Not many teams can say they have 4 former all-stars in their rotation and a pitcher in his prime who has a small but recent history of pitching like an ace.
Not a lot of teams in the history of baseball could say they’ll have the last 2 NL batting champions and the major league home run leader in 2 out of the last 3 years to start their lineup. A lot of hype has been made about the LA Angels having Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. That hype is justified. The Blue Jays having Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista to start out their lineup is no joke either. No one remembers the 2nd or 3rd best trio’s but it isn’t that crazy to suggest the Jays starting 3 in the lineup could come close to doing as much, if not more damage than another trio. One of these players probably wouldn’t even be part of the Blue Jays best trio because of Edwin Encarnacion.
At the end of the day how many players on your team have been all-stars is just a little something to brag about. All you care about is seeing meaningful baseball in Toronto again. When you can look around the diamond and see that the Blue Jays have so many players that have done it before and gotten that recognition it gives you reassurance that it’s a team that can contend for a long time.