July 11, 2011; Phoenix, AZ, USA; American League outfielder Jose Bautista (19) of the Toronto Blue Jays is greeted by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox after the first round of the 2011 home run derby at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsThe Boston Redsox have had a great team for over a decade. Every year there’s high expectations placed on them. In the last 3 years they’ve crumpled under those high expectations and missed the playoffs.
The Blue Jays have had good but not great teams for the last 2 decades. They just haven’t been great by AL East standards so every year there’s no expectations placed on the Jays so as you would assume there has been no playoff berths.
This season the expectations for both teams are kind of in reverse.
The Toronto Blue Jays are considered the powerhouse and the favorites. The Redsox still have a good team but there’s a chance they could suffer from Blue Jays syndrome and not be good enough in the AL East to fight for a playoff spot in September. Or it could end up being the other way around, you never know.
Just like you’ve been told all offseason to not assume the Jays are good because the team looks good on paper you can’t assume the Redsox aren’t a playoff team because of the team they have on paper.
The Redsox teams that missed the playoffs the last 3 years had all the talent in the world but for whatever reason just couldn’t make the playoffs. Last season they decided they just weren’t getting it done with the stars they had so they traded them.
The Redsox still had a strong core with Jon Lester, Clay Bucholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, etc. This offseason the Redsox brought in a bunch of good players to complement their core. Key word: GOOD players. The Blue Jays brought in stars during their offseason. It’s usually the other way around.
Because of the contrast in off-season’s the expectations for the Jays are very high in 2013 and the expectations for the Redsox aren’t high, at least for people that aren’t Redsox fans. It’s always been the other way around.
They’ve switched places as far as national expectations go. Let’s just hope they switch places where it matters, the standings. Not counting last season of course. The Redsox actually would have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 if they had the 2nd wild card back then so the Jays actually don’t have to live up to as high a standard. Yay?