We’ll always have the memories of the brief success for Troy Tulowitzki in a Blue Jays’ uniform, but lately he’s making it hard to miss him in Toronto.
This offseason has been a different one for Blue Jays’ fans, and combining the latest veteran losses with the departures of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson and more over the last few years, it felt like the real turning of the page on the last generation of this team.
It’s not an easy thing for us fans to accept, and sometimes it’s hard to see a former beloved Blue Jay in another uniform. While each of the above mentioned players had hoped for long-term extensions in Toronto at one time, I don’t think there will be bitter feelings once each of them call it a career. Even in Donaldson’s case, I think with time he’ll find a better place for this stage of his career than he could have in Toronto, and he’ll be thankful he moved on in the long run.
In my mind, there is an exception to this sentiment and that’s with the former shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. In case you missed it earlier this offseason, Tulowitzki was designated for assignment and effectively released from the Blue Jays’ roster, making him a free agent while keeping the Blue Jays on the hook for the remainder of his contract. As a result he had an opportunity to find another home where he could pursue a championship in the immediate future, and likely a chance to play more than he would have in Toronto. Fortunately for the veteran infielder, he’s found that in New York, at least for now.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
By now I feel like we should have all moved on from the Tulowitzki discussion (and I realize I’m also throwing some gas on the flame here), but then the former All-Star calibre player has had to stir the pot a few times this Spring. Because he’s somehow managed to get and stay healthy this spring, some of his characteristic bravado is starting to come back, and he’s aiming a lot of it in the Blue Jays’ direction.
First we saw him hit a home run in the Grapefruit League Opener, and then shout in the direction of the Blue Jays’ bench. While I don’t think any of us can fault him for being excited about being healthy and hitting a home run against his former team, I don’t think there was any need to turn into it the personal attack that he’s made it out to be. He made reference to the Blue Jays “not thinking I could play anymore” after the game, which isn’t exactly the case.
In reality, the Blue Jays were better off moving on from a veteran who has had an impossible time staying healthy, chewed up a spot on the 40 man roster, and probably wasn’t going to start on a full time basis for the rebuilding squad. Add in the fact that he apparently refused to move off of shortstop for the Blue Jays, and you can’t blame the front office for swallowing his contract and moving on. He’s brought nothing of value to the diamond since 2016, even if that sounds a little harsh.
Now he’s spouting off about being glad to be off of the turf at the Rogers Centre? Give me a break.
For those who weren’t familiar with him before he arrived in Toronto, being on the disabled list was nothing new to him. He was a constant injury concern for the Colorado Rockies throughout most of his career, and it was only his elite talent that kept the Rockies or the Blue Jays from giving up on him years ago. Now that he’s 34 and the years have taken their toil, it’s hard to say what he can still provide in terms of production, or durability.
You’ll have to excuse me if I’m getting a little tired of Tulowitzki this offseason though, even if he’s no longer our problem as Blue Jay fans. I’ve always wanted to wish departing players well and even cheer them on in another uniform. I feel like I can do that for J.A. Happ even though he’s also playing for the Yankees, and I found myself rooting for Steve Pearce last year even while he played in Boston. I’ll do the same thing for Russell Martin in L.A., who coincidentally you don’t find griping to the media about the Blue Jays moving on and giving the starting duties to Danny Jansen. I’m sure Martin is thankful to have a chance to play for a championship, and probably earn more playing time than he would have had sharing the duties with Jansen.
After all the talk and the amount of times that Tulowitzki has unnecessarily ran his mouth this offseason, I’m not so sure I’ll be rooting for him to succeed in New York anymore. I’m not going to wish ill on the guy, but it’s pretty baffling to me how much his pride has seemingly gotten in the way of seeing the big picture here. He hadn’t provided the Blue Jays with value in two years (while being paid 40 million dollars), they want to rebuild with their talented young infielders, and so they paid him and gave him a chance to seek a better opportunity elsewhere. Sure, Ross Atkins might have said that he didn’t have confidence in Tulo’s ability to play 140 games anymore, but I don’t think anyone said he “couldn’t play”.
If the former Blue Jay wants to create a narrative in his head to motivate himself, so be it. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, or cheer for him in pinstripes through, and it really didn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t help his cause that he’s a Yankee either, even if I can somewhat get over it for Happ.