Jun. 02, 2017
Stop It...and Relax
So here we are with April almost finished and the Jays are leading the division by 5 games and have simply mashed their opponents to death over the first three weeks of the seas....Wait...they aren't? How could this happen? How could I not know this? That's right; this die hard Blue Jays fan doesn't have Sportsnet One and since the NBA and NHL both have their playoffs scheduled right now; guess who has two thumbs and is missing out?
So why did I wait so long to post my newest read? Simple. I wanted to wait it out. Everyone else is firing off hot takes left, right and centre because that's what we do now. We have to be the first to react to get the most likes and more views and have people agree with us in order to get our opinion validated. Sure; I'm doing that right now. The biggest difference though is I'm letting my thoughts marinate for a bit getting a bigger view of what is going and then choosing my words very carefully before I write this. Mind you it's 6am and I'm extremely tired but hey; these are the things you do when something is bothering you.
Now; I did predict some doom and gloom before the start of the season but I never thought the first month with be this epically bad. I mean we are at 6-14; which gives us the worst record in baseball. It's really incredible. The drop off for this team has been incredible. I actually had the pleasure (it was more like pulling teeth) to attend a game last week and I'll be honest...it hurt to watch this team bat. Yes, they were facing Chris Sale but most of the time the batters looked completely clueless and without a plan each time when they went up. Jose Bautista; I'm looking at you. I saw at least 5 swings (if you want to call them that); where he looked so confused it was embarrassing.
You go down the lineup and look at what everyones batting average is and it's SAD! (insert Trump joke here). Look, it's really bad. Like; my kid has just started playing t-ball and has no idea what's going on but we're cheering for them anyway because we have to. Actually; that's what being a Blue Jays fan is right now. The bright side is these professional hitters are going to stop hitting like pitchers soon (hopefully) and there should be a bounce back.
My biggest issue right now isn't with the Jays. It's with the Jays fans. The negative ones. All of you need to STOP IT RIGHT NOW. I mean that. That goes for the ones who have been following the team for decades complaining about all the new fans who are bandwagon hoppers. I got news for you: ALL OF YOU WERE ONCE BANDWAGON HOPPERS! If you were there from 1977; which very few of the people who read this blog are old enough to be; you're the exception. Some of us started watching in the mid-80's when our parents pointed us to this up and coming team and sport that we had no clue about but fell in love with right away. More of us joined during the World Series years. Sure; some of us left during the 20+ years between playoff appearances but oh well; you're back and we're glad to have you.
To the fans calling for John Gibbons head. STOP IT!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP!! You've been asking for this for three years now and you need to get over it. It's annoying. It's petty and to be perfectly honest; it's a bit sad. The coach sat down with numerous sports outlets after the season was done and told them what his list was: get faster, get more left handed, get younger and get guys who can put the ball in play. He wanted a better bullpen so he wouldn't have to overwork the only three guys he trusted for another year in a row. Guess what he got? Absolutely none of it. You want to blame someone; blame ownership. They make billions a year and are nickel and diming this team out of playoffs. Need someone else to blame? Blame the Golden Boy Alex Anthopolous. Look; he did the right thing. He went all in when he had the chance. At some point you've got to go for it. After the team lost that first ALCS versus Kansas City; he left. Yes he was lowballed and yes it was an insult and yes he was justified. But he left; along with all of our top prospects leaving the new guys with really nothing to build around or us for trades to upgrade the aging core.
For the fans who can't have a discussion with others about this team without taking personal shots at the person they are debating with STOP IT! There are so many points of view for this team but if you're not going to listen to other peoples opinions without trying to cut them down because they may have a different view point; you need to grow up. I recently got called out by someone because I don't mind the job Gibbons is doing (see the above paragraphs for the reasoning why) and was called an idiot. His friend decided to support himI quote "All real baseball players who actually played the game and learned fundimental baseball know and agree with you, the bandwagon jumpers and ndp (not a typo; that's what the guy wrote) kinda idiots love Gibby explains alot." There are so many things wrong with this quote.
Let me start here:
1. Fundamental baseball works well with little leaguers and really high average hitters. Not so much with multimillionaires who made that money hitting the ball out of the park and batting .265. Let's go through the Jays lineup and look at the guys who have career batting averages under .300 but have mashed their way to the top of the sports. Martin, Bautista, Donaldson, Morales and Tulo. That's almost 2/3 of your starting lineup. Throw in Smoak to that category too. Sure he hasn't hit anywhere close to .250 but let's get this straight. Guys get to the bigs by doing what they do well. Once there; they don't just all of the sudden become a hitter who sprays the ball to all fields. Those guys that hit 30+ homeruns and spray the ball all over the place are special players. They are sort of like unicorns and if they do it for a number of years they go to the hall of fame. Are any of the Jays current players destined for Copperstone? I'm going to go out on a limb and say maybe only Tulo....and that's a bit of a stretch.
2. I'm not a bandwagon jumper. This is the only sport I watch on a consistent basis. I love it through and through. I take a very guarded view; managing the highs and the lows because it's a 162 game season. If I lost my mind after every loss and jumped for joy after every win; I'd be freaking exhausted. It's a long season where teams play 5-6 games a week for 6 months. You need to relax and stop calling for the coaches head every time he does something you don't agree with.
3. Questioning my knowledge of the only sport I love makes me laugh. Yes I played little league for a couple of years. Then I moved to rep baseball for about 4 years. Played in provincial tournaments and the Northern Elite League which showcased the best players Northern Ontario had to offer. During that time I took my Level 1 and Level 2 coaching certificate; so I can coach up to the university level for baseball. I was able to do that when I was 15. After that I moved to softball for a few years. Needed a break from the competitive action and wanted to have fun but found myself playing in the top division and going to provincials again. Finally I returned to school to get my teaching degree and tried out for the baseball team at the ripe age of 28 and happened to make the cut. So I know my baseball inside and out.
What I'm trying to say is that we as fans need to stick together and quit complaining about every single bad break we get. Do you understand how spoiled we are to have a team that was so close two years in a row. The Cubs just won the World Series after 108 years of being brutal. Can you imagine that??? I sure can't and I'm hopeful that I get to experience another World Series in my lifetime.
At the end of the day we're all in this together. Us. The fans. The players won't lose sleep over us being angry at them (well; hopefully they won't) and you can bet GIbby won't. We're the ones who drive ourselves crazy from game to game. That's why
the word fan comes from the latin word fanatics which means "insanely but divinely inspired." That is what we are and it's what we will continue to be but let's not get too wrapped up in the highs and the lows (especially this April).