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Happy Holidays! Why do I put up with this “Jays Twitter” crap?

December 22, 2019

2019 was an ugly year for the Blue Jays, but not for what happened on the field.

We knew what to expect from this team. It was a season of development and debuts. There were many losses, with a few good moments sprinkled in.

However, the real ugliness occurred online; specifically, “Jays Twitter.”

Twitter as a whole has become an ugly place. Everyone is viciously fighting for their opinions to dominate the masses. Anyone with a blue checkmark – and it seems like everyone is verified these days – is telling me how to think, how to feel, who I should fight, why I should fight, what happens if I don’t fight and that I’m a horrible person if I think differently or choose to stay silent.

It’s upsetting, stressful and overwhelming. I just can’t give myself to EVERY SINGLE CAUSE. I’m sorry.

I blame America’s toxic political climate for the ugliness I see on social media. Even worse is that this toxicity has seeped into all walks of life, including a sub-group like Jays Twitter.

Truthfully, Jays Twitter really pissed me off this year. It was a land of unnecessary anger, gross impatience and brutal divisiveness. I’ve never expected everyone to get along and sing “Kumbaya,” but it seems there were more temper tantrums than ever before.

My timeline was dominated by the anti-Shapiro crowd and other glass-half-empty types. It was the same non-stop messages:

THE CORPORATE OWNERS ARE CHEAP AND DON’T CARE ABOUT WINNING!

MARK SHAPIRO IS RUINING THE BLUE JAYS!

THE STADIUM IS TRASH!

JAYS NEED TO SPEND BILLIONS ON FREE AGENTS!

RUSS ATKINS IS SHAPIRO’S PUPPET, INCOMPETENT, FULL OF SHIT AND HAS TERRIBLE PUBLIC RELATIONS SKILLS!

FIRE EVERYONE AND BRING BACK THE MAGIC FROM 2015-16!

Nobody wants to embrace the pain. Nobody wants to be patient. Nobody wants to focus on the exciting potential surrounding the young core. Nobody wants to let things to grow organically. Nobody wants to let the story play out. Nobody wants to acknowledge that the window of opportunity closed at the end of 2016. Nobody wants to move on. Nobody constructively criticizes.

Everyone wants immediate satisfaction. Everyone wants the Jays to spend lavishly on free agents. Everyone is looking for the smallest crumb to use against the front office. Everyone wants to run Shapiro out of town. Everyone scoffs at everything Shapiro says. Everyone wants Atkins to serve everything to them on a silver platter, brush their teeth and wipe their asses. Everyone suddenly cares about optics and how a message is delivered. Everyone is mad because they took 2015-16 for granted. Everyone wants to declare failure before failure occurs. Everyone is sarcastic and acts like a total jerk when rendering judgements. Everyone gets upset over things that are out of their control.

I see all the nastiness and it takes so much energy not to lash out. It makes me wonder why I’m still on Twitter and why I keep this blog alive.

Seriously, what’s the fucking point?

I’m just one Jays-themed Twitter account posting in a far over-crowded pool of Jays-themed accounts.

I’ve never earned a single cent from doing DNJT and I’d be shocked if any money came my way. DNJT is a moped driving next to giant SUVs like Jays Journal, Bluebird Banter and Blue Jays Nation; not to mention the mainstream media juggernauts.

I thought about pulling the plug more than ever this year. I don’t need the negativity. I don’t need to waste my time on a glorified hobby.

But I can’t do it.

I can’t pull the trigger.

I can’t kill @thehek or DNJT because I’ve always wanted to be more than just a fan. I can’t pull the trigger because it would sever the last thread to a dream that’s been dead for a long time and I’m too stubborn to acknowledge it.

So, I have to live it.

People will always be upset and vent on Twitter. That’s their prerogative. It was happening well before 2015-16. Besides, I’ve had my moments too.

It reminds me of an episode of Gilmore Girls when Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) – after months of frustration – has this epiphany about his rebellious nephew, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia). He realizes that Jess is not going to change his behaviour and any forced attempts to do so are futile. This allows Luke to achieve a sense of calm and peace.

Perhaps that’s the state of mind I should aim for.

Jays Twitter, you are what you are and despite my frustration, I can’t change that. There’s no point in getting angry about something that’s out of my control. I’ll have my opinions; you’ll have yours.

Look, we all want the same thing. Some of us are a little more patient than others. Some of us are a little more optimistic than others. Some of us are assholes. Some of us aren’t.

We can analyze stats and contracts to death. In the end, everything settles on one idea: Things will work out or they won’t.

You have to accept it. I have to accept it.

I guess that’s my cliched New Year’s resolution. Perhaps a “New Decade” resolution.

Speaking of which, I do wish you and your family the very best this holiday season. As always, thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. I really do appreciate it.

2020 will mark the eighth year (and ninth baseball season) of DNJT. You can expect the usual stuff. I’ve also been toying with the idea of rebooting the podcast. However, that will be a long-term project.

Here’s hoping 2020 will be a little better than 2019, on and off the field. After all, spring training is just a few weeks away.

ER

UPDATE: A few hours after I published this post, Hyun-Jin Ryu signed a four-year deal with the Jays. I’m happy! Annoyed with my personal timing, but happy nonetheless. More importantly, Jays Twitter is happy……for now.

Why stop at pitchers? Let’s put everything on a pace-of-play clock!ย 

February 7, 2018

Oh, that Commissioner Manfred and his persistent pursuit of the pace-of-play paradigm.

It seems he’s intending to have a pitch clock, as well as limits on mound visits. Rest assured, Manfred isn’t going to stop until he get what he wants. Players are on board? Doesn’t matter to him. Implemented in 2018 or pushed to 2019 or beyond? Doesn’t matter.

Debating the merits of such a change is pointless. The traditionalists/purists will lock in and say pitch clocks will ruin the integrity of the game. The contemporaries will argue that it will speed up the game, benefiting casual fans and TV audiences.

So if this does actually happen, why is Manfred just focusing on pitchers? Why not go all in and institute a pace-of-play clock on EVERYTHING?

Think about it:

  • The anthem must be finished in two minutes (four for both anthems). If it goes longer, the home side loses three ABs.
  • All pre-game ceremonies must be completed in five minutes or less. Anything longer will result in the cancellation of any hot dog/peanut/ex-President/condiment race occurring that day.
  • All concession sales must be completed within 90 seconds or it’s free.
  • Third base coaches can only flash one signal to the hitter. If they try to sneak a second signal, the hitter is assessed a strike.
  • Seventh inning stretch must be completed in three minutes or fans leaving the match get free peanuts or crackerjacks.

Ridiculous? Absolutely. But so is debating about changes to the game. Baseball has evolved over decades and it shouldn’t be be surprising if some fans accept changes under protest. You can be for or against evolution; but make no mistake: evolution occurs whether we like it not. It’s kind of out of our control.

Damn. This post took a dark turn.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts on 20 wins

September 25, 2016

Jack Morris, Pat Hentgen, Roger Clemens, David Wells, Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ.

Six starters who reached the 20-win mark while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. Six starters over 40 seasons. Some won 20+ games more than once; three capturing Cy Young awards for their efforts. 

Oddly enough, I have no recollection of David Wells winning 20 games in 2000. I remember him having a great first half. I remember him starting for the American League at the All-Star game. Yet I don’t remember him actually winning 20 games. I vividly remember the other five reaching that mark, but not Boomer for some reason. 

And sure, pitching wins aren’t in vogue as they use to be. Still, 20 wins are an accomplishment not to be ignored. It says something about how effective the starter and his teammates are; maybe not as thorough as other traditional stats and sabermetrics, but it still gets the message across. 

So congrats to Mr. Happ! Not bad for a guy fans weren’t too thrilled about just a few months ago ๐Ÿ˜‰

[Full disclosure: I liked the signing, but wasn’t crazy about the contract and its monetary value.]

ER

A short, scribbled thought, seven days into the new season

April 10, 2016

Sunday, 7:49am:

“Slow start.”
“Poor start.”
“Pushing the panic button.”
“It’s only April.”
“The games in April are just as important as the games in September/October.”
“They should be 6-0.”

Why do some of us get worked up about things that are completely out of our control?

ER

One Hell of a Year

December 31, 2015

Where to begin…

My wife and I are at a game in late May. Mark Buehrle pitched well, but got little run support. The Jays would end up losing to Seattle that day.

Around the seventh inning, I made my way to the washrooms. As I waited in line, a couple of fans were discussing the team’s performance. They were the type of fans that jump to conclusions. The ones Mike Wilner would describe as “chicken littles.”

These fans were convinced the Jays were well on their way to another disappointing season.

“They’re done,” one fan told the other. “They can’t hit or do anything right. Pitching is terrible. They’re finished.”

I guess I could have reminded them there were four months left in the season, roughly translating to about 100 games. I could’ve said something colloquial like “anything is possible” or “anything can happen” or “chill the f*** out.” But I had no interest in debating with the stubborn fans.

Fortunately, they were wrong. Very, very wrong.

Instead, my hopes and prayers came true.

This team was somewhere between contender and another unsuccessful season. Then the late-July trades occurred and everything changed.

Something happened when Troy Tulowitzki and David Price became Blue Jays; stimuli that caused an incredible response. The Jays went from a good team to a dominate force. It was refreshing, memorable and simply fun to watch.

I can’t even describe the feeling. The city was excited. The country was electrified. For me, the confidence the Jays gave us was something that had been missing for years.

Down a few runs? No big deal. They would still win. Going to Yankee Stadium for a weekend series? They took charge without fear. Donaldson at the plate? Hope you were paying attention because something special was likely about to happen. Ditto for Joey Bats and Edwin.

Then there were the playoffs. I’m still recovering from the wild ride. Just a few days ago, Sportsnet aired a review of the season and included the seventh inning of game five. I knew what was going to happen; and yet, my heart was still racing.

Now the year is coming to an end. There’s a new President, a new General Manager and a few additions and subtractions. Certain fans – here come the chicken littles – have forgotten about the success that occurred in 2015. Some have even acted like 2016 will be a disaster, despite the fact that a single pitch hasn’t even been thrown.

Of course, it pisses me off; but there’ll always be those who are patient and calm and those who jump to conclusions. I won’t let the negativity ruin the incredible run the Jays went on.

I got to watch my favourite team end a 22-year drought and engage in playoff baseball; and I got to watch it live for the very first time.

There’s no way to know what will happen next season and I’m fine with that. Bring on 2016!

ER

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Epic moments at the ballpark.

Brief, Scribbled Thoughts on Drew Hutchison

September 11, 2015

I still believe in Drew Hutchison.

I still believe he can be a productive member of the rotation. We know he has the potential. We have seen him pitch like an ace. Who cannot forget that Greg Maddux-style complete game he threw earlier this season?

However, at this point in the season, with the stakes higher than ever, the Blue Jays cannot afford a performance like the one Hutch gave on Wednesday night.

If Stro pitches well on Saturday – I’m very nervous about that match – and Mark Buehrle returns to form, then perhaps it would be best for Hutch to be moved to the bullpen.

Yes, it is a setback for Hutch. Yes, it’s a demotion; but it’s what’s best for the team.

ER

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Re. Everything That Happened This Weekend

November 2, 2014

And now, some random musings about all the roster announcements made this past weekend.

Where to begin….where to begin?

1) Re. Jeff Francis and Andy Dirks: Small gambles by AA, with the hopes they turn out to be so-called “diamonds in the rough.” I’m placing them in the same file with Justin Smoak – nothing to get excited about or expect much.

2) Re. Sergio Santos: Big disappointment. The writing was on the wall after he was demoted late in the season.

3) Re. Brandon Morrow: Bigger disappointment. Actually, it’s a sad ending to a story that looked so promising. Morrow was terrific….when he was healthy. He just hasn’t been the same since he injured his oblique in 2012. It was like everything went downhill from that point on.

4) Re. Dustin McGowan: An inspiring journey, but the journey has come to an end.

5) Re. J.A. Happ: Shi Davidi recently reported there’s been interest in Happ from other teams. By picking up the option, the Jays allow themselves to get something in return for him.

6) Re. Josh Thole: If he’s staying, then it’s likely R.A. Dickey won’t be traded; or, they are considering trading RAD and want to keep Thole – the knuckleballer’s personal catcher, for now – in the mix.

7) Re. The Adam Lind trade: I’m really going to miss Mr. Lind. Marco Estrada’s numbers aren’t awful, but they’re not fabulous either. Either way, he’s not worth giving up Lind’s power. Sure, Lind couldn’t hit lefties, but I feel he offers more than what Estrada could contribute to the team. Of course, I could be wrong and Estrada becomes a beneficial reliever out of the bullpen. Time will tell.

ER

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.


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