Marcus Stroman’s attitude is exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays are missing

“When you care deeply…frustrations come into the light. That’s on me for losing my cool.”
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

As a former AL MVP once said, “This isn’t the try league. This is the get it done league.” The unlikeable 37-44 Toronto Blue Jays just aren’t getting it done this season, and here’s yet another reason why: they lack the visible passion and emotion that it takes to suggest to fans they care more than anything about winning.

To the casual fan, this appears to be a team just playing out the string. Their opponents this Canada Day weekend, the New York Yankees, are in a heavyweight battle for first place in the AL East with the young and talented Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays are now 7.5 games back of the final Wild Card.

Enter former Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman, who was on the bump Friday for game two of the series at Rogers. Stroman put up a 47-45 record with a 3.76 ERA and 3.60 FIP over 789.2 innings and six seasons as a Blue Jay, good for an ERA+ of 114. He won a Gold Glove in 2017, and was an All-Star in 2019. That was good for a bWAR of 12.5 during his time in ‘The Six’.

Blue Jay fans wouldn’t have been surprised to see Stroman’s emotions on full display after Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres failed to turn a double play in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ground ball up the middle. Stroman clearly lost his cool and visibly yells, “Throw the f***ing ball!"

Remember that the Yankees had lost 10 of their last 13 games, and were embarrassed 9-2 in the series opener Thursday. As Stroman said afterwards on X, “The squad went crazy today. Love to see it. Raw emotion and passion are part of the game. When you care deeply…frustrations come into the light. That’s on me for losing my cool. I have to be better. Truly love this team and will always compete at the highest level for my brothers. On to the next!”

Luckily for him, Yankees captain Aaron Judge has his respect and was able to calm him down and tell him that wasn’t the Yankees way. And to put a bow on the whole situation, Torres would later hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning off Nate Pearson to put New York up 7-3 in an eventual 16-5 win. The first person out of the dugout to greet him and congratulate him? Marcus Stroman.

Couldn’t the Blue Jays use some of that passion and raw emotion right about now? Couldn’t they use someone who cares that much about winning and his team? Savvy Jays fans will remember Stroman’s 4-0 record and 1.67 ERA over 27 innings in four starts in September 2015, after recovering from a torn ACL to help the Blue Jays win the AL East pennant. A winning attitude and drive like that is the stuff of legends.

And obviously both his captain Judge and his manager Aaron Boone have his back. After the game, when asked about Stro’s impact as a teammate, Boone said, “We love him, and I know he loves being a part of this team and part of this." They want to win, and they understand that emotion and passsion are part of that. Stroman lost his cool, and apologized for it. Couldn’t this 2024 edition of the Toronto Blue Jays use some of that same mojo?