Jun 12, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on during the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
As our Facebook page aptly put it yesterday, we’re getting the bandwagon back together. Eight straight wins is nothing to sneeze at and my optimism is finally starting to bear fruits. The Toronto Blue Jays are relevant again.
Speaking of optimism, Mike Cormack of Sportsnet really nailed it by pointing out that the playoff bound 2012 Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics had a very similar record to the Blue Jays on June 18 of last year.
In fact, on June 21, 2012:
- Detroit Tigers – 34-35
- Oakland Athletics – 34-36
- Toronto Blue Jays – 35-34
Not to disregard the hard road that the Tigers and A’s had to travel to crawl back into contention, or forget that both teams are in different divisions that are arguably not as competitive as the AL East, but that is reassuring.
Of course, not long ago, there was a lot more anger about the Blue Jays after a poor start following months of hype.
Hence the #FireGibby hashtag which was circling Twitter for some time, peaking at the start of May when the Blue Jays lost four straight games – two against the Boston Red Sox and two against the Seattle Mariners – to fall to 10-21.
I wrote about the #FireGibby crowd at one point this year, arguing that people often overestimate the role of MLB managers. I was actually pleased to see what Gibbons was doing, managing the bullpen creatively and shuffling the batting order according to what was in front of him.
The opposing side of the argument: the #GibbyTheBest hashtag.
Given the winning streak and how far the Blue Jays have come along as of late, I thought it would be interesting to track the activity of each hashtag and compare.
So here it is, #FireGibby VS. #GibbyTheBest. Truly a display of a bipolar fan base.
April 1st – June 20th Activity:
Month of June:
Not quite sure what that last upswing in #FireGibby can be attributed to, so I just assumed it was a sarcastic response from those who, like myself, were delighted to shove the negativity back in everyone’s faces.
Just for good measure, here is a chart of my very own hashtag #Gibby?DependsOnHowTheJaysAreDoingIGuess. Let’s see how that panned out: