When it comes to the Blue Jays, I try to be Mr.Positive as often as possible, and this post will be no different. I understand this 1-8 record just happens to be the worst start in franchise history for Toronto.
Am I concerned? Well of course I am a little bit. To start with just one win in nine games is never fun. But the thing is, between 1995-2014, when the Blue Jays had that excruciatingly long drought of not making the post-season, do you know how many times they got off to the hottest of starts, only to crap-out later in the season and come nowhere close to making the playoffs?
Back in the day, it became almost like a running joke where Toronto would get off to a great start, sometimes occupying 1st place in the AL East as late as the end of May, only to get cold and be overtaken by the Yankees and Red Sox.
Take for example 1999. Toronto started the season 12-4, but immediately followed that up with a 3-11 stretch and was back at .500 by the first week of May. In 2001, they went 19-12 in April, only to go 61-70 the remainder of the season, and finish the year with a mediocre 80-82 record.
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But probably the season that gave Blue Jay fans the greatest amount of hope during those playoff drought years was in 2009, when they began the season 27-14, and had a 3.5 game lead in the AL East on May 18. That would be the high watermark for the Blue Jays that season. After May 18, they’d go 48-73 for the remainder of the year, finishing with a 75-87 record, and 28 games back of the division leading Yankees.
What a team does in April and May doesn’t always paint an accurate picture of what they’ll do over the course of the lengthy 162-game schedule. No doubt it’s a bummer the Blue Jays have started 1-8, but if their team history proves anything, it’s that you never know what kind of ball club you really have until well into the season (sometimes as late as August and September).
Jumping to conclusions in April or May about the sort of team you think you have far too often just leads to either extreme disappointment or the best of surprises. My hope is, that despite their poor start, the 2017 Blue Jays will lead to the best of surprises.