The History of Our Home Openers: 2012


March 28, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after he scored a run during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
It is still fresh in all of our minds I am sure. We didn’t bottom out but we seemed to have teed off the baseball gods somehow. Losing 60% of your rotation and almost every starting player spending time on the DL is astounding. I do not know yet how to interpret 2012. It did set the table for the wondrous remaking of the team following the season. 2012 will go down as the point where the organization paused…looked left and right and chose a new path. Alex Anthopoulos feels the division is ripe for the taking. It may be.

But 2012 saw the Tampa Bay Rays continue to shine, the Baltimore Orioles becoming relevant again and the Yankees being the Yankees…winners. Boston took the year off but you know they could be in the hunt again with the bank roll they have to play with. The season did show glimpses of being the best offence in baseball. When Jose Bautista got hurt it signaled the end for this team. Edwin Encarnacion tried valiantly to carry the offense on his back but it wasn’t enough. Couple that with Ricky Romero‘s sudden fall from grace and you have a pretty decent team with horrid results.

Date: April 9, 2012
Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Game: Boston Red Sox vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather: Very Dome-y with girders seen in the sky….

Perhaps this heartbreaking loss was a sign of things to come. We led 2-1 going into the 9th. Henderson Alvarez went 6 solid, giving up one run. Our new power closer, Sergio Santos comes in and gives up 3 in the ninth to blow the save and give the Red Sox the lead. We couldn’t do the same against Alfredo “The Devil” Aceves. A last minute loss that truly was a precursor to the season to follow. True heartbreak…bring on 2013!

Staring at the screen as I throw out this last bit if history I must say it has been pretty cool. Sometimes we need more than our memories to remind us of all the craziness that has gone down with this Blue Jays organization. For all the ups and downs this team has been through, they have never really bottomed out. We seem to always have some semblance of competitiveness (don’t count the ’70s…we wuz just brand new, wee birds then).

That is the overlying factor I have taken from this experience. We, for the most part, play hard. Play a full nine innings. Not many mail it in and that says something about the culture that has always been a part of the Blue Jays brand. Success has been more fleeting than anything but it makes you appreciate exactly what it takes to win it all. We are lucky. We have two trophies. There are still many teams without even one.

So enjoy the Home Opener: 2013. Take in the grace, the spectacle that could be the beginning of another special Blue Jays season. I hope you truly immerse yourself in the game the way you used to…or have always wanted to. Let’s…Play…Ball.