Things haven’t been going very well for the Blue Jays lately, and it’s not hard to tell if you’re involved with any of the communities around this team on social media.
After the Jays have dropped seven of their last nine and are just 4-10 for the month of August, it’s somewhat understandable that the fan base is getting restless. The saving grace may be that some of the other playoff contenders haven’t been at their best lately either, otherwise we may have seen the Blue Jays fall out of their current hold on a Wild Card spot.
As of this writing on Monday evening (The Mariners game is not over yet), the Jays are in a three-way tie for the three wild card spots along with Tampa Bay and Seattle. Not far behind are the surging Orioles at 1.5 games back, and then the White Sox and Twins are just 2.0 back of the current leaders right now. With 48 games left in the season, it’s going to be a tight race.
The good news is that the Blue Jays are still in the mix, and I feel like that’s a fact that’s lost on a lot of the fan base at times. I’ll 100% acknowledge that this team has been maddening to watch lately, and that my hopes of World Series glory are starting to fade too. That’s all part of the ups and downs of a 162 game season as a fan.
What I don’t like is the toxic culture that I’m seeing developing on social media lately among Jays fans. In particular, I’m very active on Twitter, and without trying to gain any sympathy here, I’m somewhat used to having insults hurled my way. Unfortunately that’s part of being a sports writer in pretty much any capacity, but the vitriol has ramped up in recent days, and frankly, it’s disappointing.
I’m seeing fans attacking writers and one another, and even notable Twitter characters taking shots and starting feuds, seemingly for no good reason. Naturally I don’t know the ins and outs of every relationship on Twitter, but without calling out anyone in particular, it just comes across as petty, immature, and unnecessary.
What bothers me even more is seeing the fan base attacking the Blue Jays players. I understand that they are professional athletes and dealing with criticism is part of the gig, but does blasting pro baseball players on Twitter all day actually help anyone? What’s worse is that occasionally these athletes see this kind of stuff on social media. I realize that’s their choice to be active online, or to engage with any negativity they see, but does it help anyone for players to see criticism from the fan base online?
I get that we’re a passionate fan base, but these days I feel like many of us may need to take a collective step back and grab ahold of some perspective. I can’t stand the term anymore, but we really are living at an unprecedented time these days, complete with pandemics, war, political scandals and more. There are more important things in the world than baseball, and how soon we seem to forget this lesson when it was taken away from us just two short years ago.
I’ll admit, I have to remind myself of these things too, but sometimes I have to shut the TV off and just go outside for a walk. If you’ve spent your last few days fighting with others on Blue Jays Twitter, may I humbly suggest you do the same.