Posted tagged ‘jays’

Short, scribbled thoughts about J.A. Happ

July 17, 2018

I’m thrilled Mr. Happ is representing the Blue Jays at the All-Star Game. In a season that’s been on a steep decline since late April, there have been very few positive story arcs. J.A. Happ is one of those arcs.

As he prepares to stand with the game’s best at Nationals Park, I’ve been reminiscing about his two tenures with the Jays.

I’ve been thinking about the attempt to put him in the bullpen when he first arrived in 2012. Happ put his foot down and argued he was a starter. Ultimately, he was not wrong.

I’ve been thinking about that scary night at Tropicana Field when a line drive struck the side of his head. He recovered, thank goodness.

I’ve been thinking about how some freaked out when he came back to the team as a free agent. Getting Happ instead of resigning David Price was an outrage to certain fans.

I’ve been thinking about Happ’s 20 wins in 2016. Yes, that stat is no longer a sexy accomplishment. However, that 2016 team would not have succeeded without the triple threat of Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada.

I’ve been thinking about milk in a bag. 😁😁😁

The first chapter was noteworthy and the second one – quite successful – will likely conclude before the end of the month. There might even be a third chapter.

Regardless, I sincerely hope he makes a positive contribution wherever he winds up. Fingers are crossed for a World Series ring.

ER

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Return of the Right Fielder

July 10, 2018

The epicenter of the resurgence returned home as a visitor.

Odd seeing him wear the uniform of the Metropolitans.

Standing on the field where he blossomed, there are standing ovations and video tributes.

All richley deserved.

I smile at the memories, but feel sadness when he pulls out a defensive alignment card.

It’s not the same club he once played for.

It isn’t the same group that captivated the nation.

This is evolution.

This is a team in transition.

He is getting older and that means I am getting older.

So I cling to the memories and wonder if he does the same.

ER

Retro Blue Jays – 2002 Time Capsule

June 29, 2018

Posted by Balsamwoods.

Thanks to social media, it’s now hard to recall a time when following the Blue Jays was a lonely experience.

This random item I recently found on YouTube captures that feeling.

It’s home video of the poster’s trip to Toronto, which included in-stadium clips of – based on the footage – the May 27, 2002 match between the Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

The in-game experience has certainly changed at Skydome over the years. This is evident in the video when one sees the original scoreboards, fireworks after homeruns and the bright green AstroTurf. The J-Force dancers have a completely different look, not to mention Ace andΒ Diamond.

The video is also a time capsule and reminds us how little attention was given to the team at the time.

During the late 90s and early 2000s, the Jays were very low on the totem pole of Toronto sports. The Leafs, Raptors and Rock were putting together strong playoff runs from the fancy, new Air Canada Centre.

Showing interest in the Jays was met with disdain. Free tickets or a chance to go to a game were scoffed at.

The team’s overall performance on the field didn’t help either. This was especially the case in 2002. At the time of this particular match, the Jays were 17-30 and Manager Buck Martinez was days away from being fired.

Having said that, don’t treat this video as a cruel reminder. It has some lovely aspects to it as well.

Roy Halladay was the starter that night. Though it wasn’t his best performance, Doc was in the midst of his breakout season. You’ll also see some familiar faces like Carlos Delgado, Raul Mondesi, Nomar Garciapara and Ugueth Urbina. You might even enjoy the two Leaf fans who run on the field and troll the crowd.

[Was “troll” a term used in 2002? Maybe I should’ve gone with “punk’d.”] 😝

ER

I can’t believe they swept the Washington Nationals: An open letter to anyone who gives a damn

June 18, 2018

To Whom It May Concern:

The Blue Jays hosted the Washington Nationals this past weekend. My buddy and I attended Friday’s opening match and I was very excited. Last time I saw the Nats in a live setting, they were known as the Montreal Expos. Additionally, it was my first opportunity to see Bryce Harper and Juan Soto in the flesh.

However, I was also very pessimistic about the series.

We know what the Jays are and we know what the Nats are. We also knew the Jays would face two starters with ERAs under 3.00 and one under 4.00.

It looked to be another dreadful series in a season that has been on a steep decline for several weeks. My hope was that they wouldn’t get swept at the very least. Avoiding Washington’s brooms would be akin to winning.

But in the end, the Jays turned out to be the sweepers instead of the sweepees. They won all three games against Washington, leaving me flabbergasted.

Please accept this notice as my apology for allowing my negativity to get the best of me. Once again, baseball has reminded me that what appears on paper doesn’t always translate on the field.

Of course, sweeping the Nats doesn’t change anything. However, it does give us something to smile about.

ER

The Blue Jays were awful in May…..and we all need to hug it out.

June 3, 2018

It’s going to be okay.

Things have been bleak since they swept the Royals in April. The rotation is struggling, the bullpen has fallen apart, the lineup is underperforming and injuries are affecting their peformance.

But it’s going to be okay.

At best, this team could’ve contended for the second wild card spot. For that to happen, many factors would’ve had to work in their favour. Currently, that’s not happening and – barring a miracle; they do occur – it will likely stay that way.

But it’s going to be okay.

Since it’ll likely stay this way, there will probably be changes. Big changes that will be tough to accept. Fan favourites are going to be traded.

But it’s going to be okay.

We are witnessing evolution in real time. The Blue Jays are a team in transition; and it’s a transition that is u-shaped.

There’s a lot of excitement for the young talent developing in the minors. Many fans want Vladimir Guerrero Jr. called up yesterday. It’ll happen eventually; (try to) be patient.

Meanwhile, there will be more aggravation, long losing streaks and low attendance. It’s going to suck.

But it’s going to be okay.

As a wise – yet deranged – fictional character once said, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

Don’t fret because the Blue Jays are in a steep nosedive. Hang in there.

If all that young minor league talent lives up to its full potential, the rewards will be endless. They will develop and blossom. However, it will take an undefined amount of time. Again – and I can’t stress this enough – (try to) be patient.

If it doesn’t happen, at least you took the risk. If it does, pat yourself on the back for making the investment. You could’ve walked away, like some fans; but you didn’t.

May was awful an month.

But it’s going to be okay.

ER

Rock Bottom (?)

May 21, 2018

Fragile Blue Jays
lost four matches to Oakland
in painful fashion.

ER

31 items I reflected on and scribbled down (metaphorically, of course).

May 3, 2018

Yes, this post was inspired by Elliot Friedman’s 31 Thoughts. Mr. Friedman, if you or the legal team at Rogers is reading this, please don’t sue me. πŸ˜“

  1. Hell of a start for the Blue Jays. Given my low expectations for the season, it has been a pleasant surprise so far. April 2017 was like a meal at some sketchy diner that results in food poisoning. April 2018 felt like a meal at a sketchy diner that turns out to be the best kept secret in the city.
  2. Of course, things haven’t been great since they swept the Royals. Regardless, finishing April with a winning record is still a decent achievement when compared to 2017.
  3. Yes, it is early. And yes, I vividly remember the great run the 2009 Jays were on before everything nosedived in late May. I suggest we just enjoy what they’re doing now and deal with whatever happens when it happens.
  4. Yangervis Solarte has some power!!! Was not expecting that.
  5. Yangervis Solarte can dance!!! Was not expecting that.
  6. Not surprised with Randal Grichuk’s poor start. Wasn’t blow away with his St. Louis numbers. Maybe the slump is partially due to getting accustomed to a new team, division and stadium. Maybe it’s not. Fingers crossed he turns it around soon.
  7. Teoscar doesn’t want to go back to Buffalo. Fans don’t want to him sent back to Buffalo. In fact, if the Jays do option him back to the Bisons, it wouldn’t shock me if a giant roadblock is suddenly erected somewhere along on the QEW.
  8. Good to see the Humboldt Broncos’ logo displayed on the backstop a few weeks ago.
  9. I enjoyed hearing Josh Thole on the radio broadcasts. He wasn’t polished, but a part of me liked that. I’m still irritated about the way certain fans treated him.
  10. I like the bullpen. I like it a lot.
  11. John Axford was shaky at first, but has straightened out nicely. Very pleased to see this.
  12. Luke Maile came up with some big swings in April. Every time it occurred, I thought of this 2017 tweet from Andy Arias.
  13. If I was in the stands, I would’ve happily joined in on the standing ovation for Ryan Goins. Come @ me. I dare you.
  14. My friend and I had tickets for Monday, April 16. As you know, the match was cancelled due to falling ice. As annoying as it was – I was already en route when the game was formally cancelled – it was the right decision. A huge amount of gratitude to the stadium personnel who worked feverishly to try to get the game in, especially to the staff that went on the roof.
  15. The doubleheader on April 17 was the third such occurence in Skydome history. I was aware of the first one that took place in 1989. However, I have no recollection of the one in 2001 – October 5 against Cleveland, according to Baseball -Reference.com. It’s strange because I was at the final home game of 2001, which took place a couple of days later. Given that all this took place three weeks after 9/11, baseball was the last thing on everyone’s mind at the time.
  16. Overall, the rotation has been so-so. But they have given the team a chance to win, which is what any of us would want. With that in mind….
  17. No, I’m not worried about Stro. He’ll figure it out.
  18. No, I’m not worried about Devon. He’ll also figure it out.
  19. You know things aren’t terrible when you don’t see a lot of “Bring up Vladdy and Bo” tweets. Of course….it is early 😝
  20. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone complain about the wave yet.
  21. The Braves visit Toronto, June 19-20. Wouldn’t shock me if those games are sold out.
  22. Coming up with 31 talking points is hard. How does Friedman do this all the time?
  23. The weather sucked.
  24. Games on Facebook: Meh.
  25. Five-minute condensed games on Facebook: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
  26. I like Skydome’s new “value” menu.
  27. Recently, Mike Wilner posted a photo of a mantra Curtis Granderson wrote inside his hat: “Don’t think. Have fun.” Two simple sentences, four words. One profound point made.
  28. Speaking of Granderson….can I add my name to the list of fans who are grateful he’s on the team?
  29. Shoutout to my favourite hot dog vendor: Ted’s Gourmet, at the corner of Front and John.
  30. Wishing the very best to Danny Farquhar. Speedy and successful recovery.
  31. #TorontoStrong #HumboldtStrong

ER


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