When the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista eventually agree to part ways, they will close the book on one of the most feared sluggers to ever don a Blue Jays uniform.
The slugger will one day be enshrined on the Level of Excellence for his heroics while playing north of the border joining the likes of Roberto Alomar, Dave Stieb, Tony Fernandez and others who have had the honor bestowed upon them.
Yesterday, Jose Bautista climbed into 4th place on the Blue Jays All-Time list for runs batted in tieing Joe Carter with 736. The right-fielder could jump into third place within days as he is only 4 back of George Bell who knocked in 740 while with the Jays.
This is not the only offensive category that Bautista sits near the top as he also ranks second in home runs with 278, behind only Delgado who blasted 336 while with Toronto. He also sits fourth in runs scored with 746 and only 22 behind Lloyd Moseby for third place.
The keen eye that Bautista possesses at the plate has earned him the second spot in franchise walks with 763 once again only behind Delgado who drew 827 walks in a Jays uniform.
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Bautista could conceivably go down in Blue Jays history challenging for top spot in nearly all the offensive categories if he can somehow convince the Blue Jays brain trust to pick up his mutual option for the next two seasons.
Manager John Gibbons spoke about Bautista as one of the Blue Jays all-time greats following yesterday’s contest versus the Royals.
"I have been with Josie a while now, he is one of the all-time greats in the history of the organization. I have seen him at his best, he’s been one of the most feared hitters in baseball for a number of years, always been a clutch performer. Not without controversy, around the league, he is a villain, but when you know him on your team you view him totally differently. A lot of that to, I have said before you burn so many teams that is why they dislike him so much."
Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Bautista has been the blood, sweat, and tears of the organization and face of the franchise for the past decade. Joey Bats united a country with one flip of the bat and he will forever be immortalized as one of the best players to ever grace the Rogers Centre.