We knew it would be a long season as the Blue Jays began a rebuild, but if things don’t improve then someone should be held accountable for the mess.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been preaching patience all year with Blue Jays fans, and I still believe that we’re in this for the long haul, and for the better.
However, I can’t help but sympathize with and even join the section of the fan base that is growing increasingly frustrated with what we’re seeing on the diamond right now. They’ve lost six straight and ten of their last 11, and are now on pace for just 59 wins this season. There have been plenty of reasons to be frustrated beyond the win-loss column, such as the recurring injury problems for Aaron Sanchez, for example.
I could go into all the reasons that we’re all feeling frustrated right now, but I don’t think any of us need a reminder. However, if you want a little perspective, have a look at this tweet from former Jays Journal editor, Keegan Matheson, which shows that the offence as a whole is putting out roughly the same slash line as a 2017 Ryan Goins, or Yangervis Solarte from last season. That sums it up far better than I ever could.
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All that being said, we have to be mindful that losing was part of the plan for 2019, even if it’s not a very palatable thing to chew on. This front office knew that they’d take their lumps by handing playing time to a team that is hand-full of rookies, and they also knew that it would be unfair to expect any miracles from Charlie Montoyo, who is in the first year as the manager. I think it’s fair if there are writers and/or fans that have questioned some of Montoyo’s decisions, but he can hardly be blamed for the 21-38 record right now.
So, who is to blame?
The obvious answer would be the front office, but again, they were willing to sacrifice this season for the betterment of the long-term of the franchise, and there are a lot of good arguments as to why that’s the right strategy after seeing it work for teams like the Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs in the last decade.
However, as this roster reaches new lows in franchise history in several categories, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a point where someone has to be held accountable for the results on the field. We’ve already witnessed some of that accountability for individual players who have lost their roster spots, such as Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (earlier this year), and others. That kind of roster shuffling is normal though, and it’s possible if not likely that ownership is very displeased with what’s going on right now.
To be fair, ownership did sign off on a rebuilding season this year, which comes with significant payroll savings as well. Can they hold Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro accountable for a mess they signed off on creating?
I’m not sure if I know any of the answers to these questions, but it feels like something will have to give as the Blue Jays have dragged their feet through the mud all over the end of the May calendar, and have started the same way on the new page of June.
I think it’s safe to say we’re bound to see some trades over the next two months, and perhaps there are other talented minor leaguers that will inject some life into this struggling team. Those kinds of tweaks will make a difference, but unless there is at least some sort of change in direction for this franchise before the end of the year, then perhaps someone will have to answer for it after all, even in a rebuilding year.
I believe in reasonable expectations, but giving a free-pass across the board for a lost season is unacceptable.