Jul 13, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Watching the Toronto Blue Jays this season has become downright maddening. As much as I missed “real” baseball last week, after the Jays lost yet another game to the Tampa Bay Rays at home last night I’m starting to reach my breaking point.
I tried my best to preach patience this season and have refused to use the other “P” buzz word that has been swirling around Toronto since April 1st. But I don’t know how many more losses when the Jays hit four home runs I can take.
Last night was a bit backwards for the Blue Jays in the way that they lost. Esmil Rogers actually pitched pretty well until the sixth when his sinker stopped sinking and he started leaving everything up in the zone. Dustin McGowan cleaned up the inning to save Rogers from the loss but shockingly enough it was the All-Star combination of Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar who lost the game in the eighth for Toronto.
Kelly Johnson led off the frame with a single for the Rays off Cecil. Delabar then took but after getting up 0-2 on the pinch hitter Sean Rodriguez he couldn’t put him away as Rodriguez dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Johnson into scoring position. Ryan Roberts and Desmond Jennings then both delivered with two-out RBIs. If that 0-2 bunt is fouled off or missed, this is a different ballgame. Maybe Gregg Zaun is right about the importance of bunting at critical times?
At the same time however, despite my overly pessimistic opening few sentences I’m reminded on nights like this of just how unpredictable of a game that baseball can be. Just look at the Boston Red Sox. They are basically the same baseball team as last year with a few added veterans that no one else really wanted. Yet they have completely reversed their fortunes from a dismal 2012 to currently lead the toughest division in baseball so far in 2013.
Jul 14, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson during the Honda Indy Toronto through the streets of downtown Toronto. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
There seems to be a trend of big-budget MLB teams not living up to expectations. But maybe it’s just our expectations that need adjusting. Having the best or most talented team is no guarantee that a team will win in this league – it just means that you have a chance.
With the non-waiver trade deadline now less than two weeks away there has been much discussion around whether the Toronto Blue Jays will be “buyers” or “sellers”. I think the whole buy/sell thing is more of a myth than reality as true “sell-offs” rarely happen and pretty much everyone is always buying if the price is right. The whole goal is to make your team better.
The reason that I bring up the trade deadline is because I still believe the Toronto Blue Jays are good enough to compete for the World Series going forward. It just doesn’t look like that will be in 2013. And I do think that the Jays are still one top-end starter away from truly becoming a force to be reckoned with unless Brandon Morrow finds a way to turn back into that guy.
So am I still frustrated? Absolutely. But as bad as it’s been, it’s really not THIS bad, if that makes any sense. It’s just hasn’t been Toronto’s year so far in 2013.