Big League Chew: Realistic Ending for the Blue Jays


Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

This week at Big League Chew, my homie, Ryan Mueller (@MuellerRyan11) and I (@JaysFromCouch) thought we’d take a shot at a little tid bit that struck us from Richard Griffin’s Mailbag at The Star. Now, the mailbag is an interesting read in and of itself, but the part we’re focusing on is the pre-amble part that contains his comments about realistic goals for the Blue Jays.

SD: Griffin brings up an interesting (sort of) item when he talks about the goals of the Blue Jays. With a handful of games left, he says they should be aiming to finish above .500. I think that is something that is worth striving for. It would save what is left of the team’s dignity by at least having a slight claim to being a “winning” club.

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A winning record makes a winning club, right? I guess it depends on your definition. There is no way they will make a playoff spot. So, why not adjust your sights? Yes, the season as a whole has been a disappointment. So, trying to reach .500 might salvage it? It’ll end the season on somewhat of a high note.

RM: The only thing that finishing 5 games above .500 or a game above .500 accomplishes is that it looks better on paper. It doesn’t really accomplish anything else. Does it make the casual fan want to attend more games next year? I don’t think so. Does it make fringe Jays fans optimistic about next year? I still don’t think so. So, for the fringe/casual Jays fans whether they finish five games +/- .500 doesn’t matter. IMHO the Jays should have played guys like Kendall Graveman, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, and Sean Nolin for the past week. The serious Jays fans now know that Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are legit. The serious Jays fans know Anthony Gose is a 4th outfielder and Kevin Pillar is only slightly better….so play freaking Dalton Pompey everyday! .500 be damned.

SD: “.500 be damned”? Wow. A bit fired up there. Aiming for .500 is a goal that may not really have an impact on ticket sales or anything like that. But, it sure would go a long way to positivity for the off season. The season has already been a disappointment. Wouldn’t finishing below .500 be salt in the wounds? Also, wouldn’t you like to say we finished strong when courting possible free agents? All of those reasons aside, a club has to find motivation where it can at this point.

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  • We give athletes a hard time for playing for themselves or their contracts. At the very least playing for .500 gives the whole team a common goal. I too would like to see Graveman, Norris, Pompey et al… a lot. They are an exciting part of the future. But, I think that any manager who does not put his best team out there to win every day is not doing the best job he can. I don’t care who the names are, put the best team on the field and try to win every game. Finishing below .500 just to give some young guys playing time for the sake of it doesn’t sit well with me.

    RM: Thank you for making the point: ‘put his best team out there to win every day is not doing the best job he can’, because I also think that Gibby should put the best team out everyday.

    “Pride is a bad quality to have. Pride is conceit and inordinate self-esteem. Pride gets in the way of sound judgement.”

    Although I think it is putting your players with the greatest upside in a position to learn and develop, that is the best line-up. If this season is lost, why not throw Graveman a start or two to see how he does. Doesn’t benefit the team next year? Doesn’t allow Gibby a chance to put the best team together moving forward? What is wrong with playing the last two weeks with a 6-man rotation? Or rotating Pillar, Gose and Pompey? Or piggy backing Stroman and Hutchison with Nolin, Graveman, and/or Norris?

    SD: Up until the Orioles series, they still had an outside chance of making the playoffs. It was slim, but it was there. You don’t want to send out upside over established. Having said that, if those names you mention are better than the regulars, then fire them out there. But, a playoff race is not for sending kids out there to ‘see what they have’. Now that they are out of it, go ahead and play them. I think what you’re saying is that you want to give them auditions. I like that, but not at the expense of losing games. Even if the club is eliminated, winning is still a matter of pride.

    Final Word:

    SD: A team has to play to win. Win the inning, win the game, win the series, win the season. Winning should always be the focus. The team’s record should not ever change that. As the season progresses, the team’s goal shifts. Winning it all is an easy goal in spring. When it gets to this point of the season, .500 is about all they can shoot for. But, at least it is something.

    RM: Pride is a bad quality to have. Pride is conceit and inordinate self-esteem. Pride gets in the way of sound judgement. Pride is when a manager doesn’t make the right choices for his team because he knows in his heart that second guessing himself will make him look weak. It is when you think more highly of yourself than others think of you. Should the Jays be playing for pride? Does pride not come from success? From achievements? What have the Jays achieved? What success has this group of players had?