The History of Our Home Openers: 2007
Oct 23, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; MLB former player Frank Thomas before game four of the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
When I proposed this idea I thought it would not only be kind of fun for a new generation to get a glimpse of the past, but would allow me to re-think the past of our beloved Jays. Perhaps garner more appreciation for certain players, management types and whatnot. What it has done, for me, is split the Blue Jays franchise into a three part play. 1977-1993…the build up first act. 1993-2009 was The second act where we were introduced to a cast of characters and plot points that would lead into the triumphant third act. A third act born out of the muddled mess that was the second act. 2010-present is still being written but you can see the clarity that has come out of the fog of the muddled 2nd act. 2007 was right smack in the middle of Ricciardi hatred…at least a non-confidence vote from the fans.
Tired of losing, we perused the papers and that new fangled intranet to see just what JP had in store. To build off of what was a pretty decent 2006 season and hopefully turn the tides and be that man to lead us into the playoff promised land. Except this is the year of the Vernon Wells contract. The Tomo Ohka, John Thomson, Victor Zambrano debacle in the rotation. B.J. Ryan was lost to injury. Dustin McGowan pitched the most starts in a season he ever would and Frank Thomas came here to DH and pad his stats and launch Hall of Fame clinching HR number 500. We lose reliable Ted Lilly to to Cubs and replace him with Ohka?? This was going to be a strange season in Blue Jays land…and a very lucrative year for the medical community as 12 different players succumbed to injury. It was a wild year in all the ways you wouldn’t want it to be.
Date: April 9, 2007
Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Game: Kansa City Royals vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather:…likely better than Minnesota….
We would send up the enigma that is A.J. Burnett to the mound against Odalis Perez?? I smell a whoopin’…and I smelled right people. Odalis and some guy named Jason Stanridge combined to surrender 8 earned runs in 4 innings. Burnett, on the other side of the coin, pitched a good above average game giving up 1 earned with 3 walks and 5 Ks. Scott Downs, Jeremy Accardo and Victor Zambrano finished them there Royals. They stepped up and protected the integrity of the club that had been starting to sway a bit. The difference with Gibbons is that he loves to let the kids play (from the Bobby Cox school of knockdowns). 9-1 was the final as we out hit them Royals 14-4.
It would key a brutal season where people dropped like flies from injury, infighting is just a waste. I would rather converse….but maybe that’s the old school talking. I should have said cheque…lol. Thank goodness the debacle of ’07 is over…but not the end of the debacle…just where would you like me to put it?