WE DID IT! Toronto Blue Jays Dream Team (1977 - Present)

March 14, 2017

 

I think that it's important to write up some moot fun every now and then, so let's take a look at and analyze the best Toronto Blue Jays in Labatt Blue fashion as Jays Droppings have created the greatest 25-man Blue Bird roster EVER.  I must admit it was hard to resist including each member of WAMCO (if you don't know WAMCO - google it) who were all selected to the 1993 All-Star Game, but one member just missed the cut. This Jays 'Dream Team' should easily walk away with the AL East and the Golden Flags as long as Joe Brinkman (Ernie Whitt and the Blue Jays best 'Ump' pal) isn't calling the games.

 

That's Joe Brinkman arguing with Jimmy Williams, Brinkman didn't like the old Birds:

 

 

But before you continue reading this great list, I need to make note (to you, the reader) that a number of surveys were conducted in order to create a legitimate roster - so although this is a subjective topic, I hired a team of Blue Jays analytic experts and pollsters to analyze and collect as much data as possible for this arduous task, so here we go:

 

 

The Dream Team Blue Bird Outfield

 

 

Left Field - George Bell

 

Pat Gillick was a nifty thinker and Blue Bird executive and George Bell was his Rule 5 Draft steal. What is there not to love about George Bell? There was the 1985 down to the knees catch, his slick swing, and, of course, the flying hat off the head plays in outfield - that every boy in the 1980's growing up mimicked when they played 'sandlot' ball in the summer. Fun Fact: After the Phillies won the 1980 World Series, Gillick swooped in Toronto Seagull Exhibition Stadium style and snagged this soon to be 3 time All-Star and 1987 AL MVP.  In his first full season with the Jays in 1984 he hit 26 HR, had a .292 AVG, and a .498 SLG %. He is hardly a moot topic for when deciding who should play Left Field on this 'Dream Team Roster', so here's to you George Bell - the greatest Left Fielder in Blue Bird history.

 

 

Centre Field - Devon White

 

Devon White played 5-years with the Birds from 1991 - 95, and had a .270 AVG with a .760 OPS. He is arguably (actually this isn't a moot discussion either) the greatest natural lead-off man in Jays history, of course, minus the couple months he hit second in the lineup because the greatest lead-off man in MLB history (Rickey Henderson) joined the team in the mid sumer of 1993. And who could ever forget the greatest World Series catch, which was the first play, in a relay of plays, that ended with the 'Kelly Gruber tag' triple play, which in the end - became the best World Series double play in history. Let's remember the beauty of this catch, and the greatness of this team:

 Here's to you Devon White - the greatest Centre Fielder in Blue Bird history.

 

 

Right Field - Jose Bautista

 

Jose Bautista is going to get the nod in Right Field on Opening Day for this 25-man Blue Jays 'Dream Team'. He puts up a strong case for why he deserves the roster spot. He has been a Blue Bird since 2008, and is headed into his tenth season with Toronto. His career Jays numbers do all the speaking: .261 AVG / .910 OPS / 265 HR / 701 RBI. During his time in Toronto he has become a part of the entire Hoser Nation. The life-size Joey Bats cardboard cut out in Pizza Pizzas around Canada stared at all of us, at least once, drunk during that maudlin Saturday night. He is the Booster 'Bat Flip' Juice King and has even helped kids get inspired by staring at them on the box of Golden Grahams (great cereal) while they eat breakfast in the morning. He has ownership of one of the greatest hits in Blue Bird history and is the 'goat' Canada loves. Here's to you Jose Bautista - the greatest Right Fielder in Blue Jays history.

 

 

Side note: When looking at the nasty attempt of the Toronto FO over the years fucking with a perfect Blue Bird logo, something comes to mind - how from 1997 - 2011 the more lame the team logo - the shittier the team got and the SkyDome attendance with it. Thank fuck for the 'Latte Monkey Crony' that thought to kick it back to the 'OK ... Ok Blue Jays Way' in 2012.

 

 

The Dream Team Blue Bird Infield

 

 

'Dream Catcher'  - Ernie Whitt

(see what I did there, yes, I'm a lameo too)

 

 It's the Ernie Whitt special (and I'm not talking about his great 'stache' over the years), and if you don't know what I'm talking about - I'm referring to 'Mother's Pizza' and its signature 'Za'. Whitt was part owner of this 1980's Canadian pizza chain. I will never forget the one in St. Catharines, where I grew up, located on Geneva St. It had an old 'John Wayne Western Saloon' kind of feel with an electric train that choo chooed its way around the ceiling - it was the greatest (and any other positive superlative) pizza joint in town, and, for that reason, and that reason alone - Ernie Whitt is the 'Dream catcher' - just joking, there's more to his selection than that, but what a pizza joint. Whitt was selected by the Red Sox in the 15th round of the 1972 draft, the only problem for Whitt came in the form of the Carlton Fisk - so the backstop job was taken in Boston. The Ernie Special was picked up by the Jays in the 76' expansion draft, and he was the Blue Birds 34th pick. Whitt played 12 seasons with the Jays from 1977 - 89. He is active in the Labatt Blue community and a Blue Bird for life - NWO style. Here's to you Ernie Whitt - the greatest Catcher in Blue Bird history. 

 

 

First Base - Carlos Delgado

 

I think we (Jays fans) could all agree that Delgado should man first, even if 'who's on it' - I know, I try, sometimes. It was tough to make the final decision on this 'Dream Team' position, because a lot of data collected showed a large amount of fans in support of Justin Smoak - Rdrr hardy har har (not gonna give you the pop culture reference on this one). Fun facts about Delgado: He leads the Jays in strikeouts with 1,242 and being hit by pitch with 122. He played 2 games with the World Series Birds of 1993 and had a 12 year career in the SkyDome nest. He leads the team in single season RBI's with 145 in 2003, has 336 Blue Bird homers, 1058 Blue Bird RBI's, and .949 OPS - so yeah, sorry Edwin, 'who's on first?' Delgado, Delgado is on the bag. Here's to you Carlos Delgado - the greatest First Baseman in Blue Bird history (sorry John Olerud).

 

 

Second Base - Roberto Alomar

 

Can you catch the taste? Because Robbie Alomar sure can in a McCain's punch mania kind of way, and he clearly is the 'Dream Team' Blue Bird Second baseman. He is in the decorated MLB Hall because of just how awesome he was at the game. He spent 5-years with Birds from 1991 - 95'. Although, that 95' season was the beginning of the dynasties end as the Jays put up a 56 - 88 record, and were only a couple seasons away from turning the logo into a MLB late nineties joke * sigh *. I'm not going to toss up some Alomar numbers for you to read, because he's in the Hall of Fame - no need to do that. But I am going to share some memories, when I was a kid, I was lucky enough to drive up from St. Kitt's to the SkyDome and watch Alomar fly in the air turning two, hit, steal bags, and, eventually put the big bad 'Eck' and the A's to bed - in the best comeback Jays game my memory can recall.

 

He was my favourite player growing up and the best second baseman of all time - now that IS a moot subject, but regardless of that - he's the best Second Baseman in Blue Bird history. Here's to you Roberto Alomar, you are the greatest (and every other positive superlative in English) Second Baseman EVER.

 

Catch the taste! Does this commercial ever get old? Thank you McCain and Roberto Alomar for making this gem available by the YouTube click of a finger. Click.

 

 

Third Base - Josh Donaldson

 

I  know ... I know, simmer down Gruber's Mullet fans - I get it. I love Kelly Gruber, shit, I grew up with him, and he was one of my favourite Blue Birds as a kid too. Yes! I know ... I know, JD has only been a Jay for 2-years, but besides his AWESOME MVP season in 2015, he represents the new era of winning in Toronto, and do 'we' (Jays fans) want this winning thing to quickly die in the summer wind - I don't think so (said like Kevin McCallister).

He also represents the best trade AA made, in a series of questionable 'ninja moves', which he trick-turned during his tenor as the GM. When AA sent Brett 'the bro' Lawrie, righty Kendall Graveman, Franklin Barreto, and lefty Sean Nolin to the A's, I don't think Blue Jays Nation really knew what they were getting - neither did Don Cherry. But soon Cherry took notice of JD's 'hockey style grit' and the rest of the nation with him. Here's to you 'Bringer of Rain', the greatest Third Baseman in Blue Bird history.

 

 

Shortstop - Troy Tulowitzki

 

Yes, I know, Tulo hasn't even played 2 full seasons with the Blue Birds yet, but he's Troy Tulowitzki. He's a baseball machine who also rocked a great mullet with the Rockies. And here's a little fun fact, do you remember J.P. Ricciardi? Of course you do, how could you forget those sun glasses, the nose, and bad Blue Bird baseball sense. Well, he passed on Tulo in the 2005 draft even though the majority of intelligent minds he surrounded himself with told him to take him, and guess who he picked, yup, he took Ricky Romero. The Jays picked Romero 6th overall in the first round of the 2005 draft, and the Rockies picked 7th, and, welp - that's the history. I could go on about J.P., but I can save that for another article. Tulo is AWESOME, that's it, he's the 'Dream Team' shortstop. Here's to you Troy Tulowitzki, the greatest 'skilled' shortstop in Blue Jays history.

 

 

Designated Hitter - Paul Molitor

 

How can anyone argue against any man in Cooperstown, and Paul Molitor's numbers and career broke through those doors in 2004. He played with the Birds from 1993 - 95 and was a major part of WAMCO. During his years with the Jays, he had a .315 AVG and an impressive .871 OPS. He played over 21 years of big league ball and hit for a career .306 AVG. He's the perfect 'DH utility type of guy', because he could man Third Base and Second, and has a great bat. He's battled the best of MLB pitchers and even some 1980's demons - and he STILL came out on top. Paul Molitor makes sense in this role, he might not be the greatest Designated Hitter in franchise history, but he's perfect for the Blue Birds 'Dream Team', so here's to you Paul HOF Molitor - you get the well-deserved nod.

 

 

On the Dream Team Bench

 

 

Catcher - Pat Borders

 

Besides his 'boyish Peter North' style 'stash', he is the perfect backup Catcher for the Ernie Whitt special. He was a Jay from 1988 - 1994, and he even came back in 1999 to play 6-games. Who doesn't love the old stories about his floppy, beat up catchers mitt - I  love reading them. And how could anyone forget the classic 'puck of chew' sitting in the side cheek of the man while he caught a game. Here's to you Pat Borders, you made the 25-man Blue Birds 'Dream Team' roster.

 

 

 

Outfielder/First Base/DH - Joe Carter 

 

Of course Joe 'Touch em' all' Carter is going to be on the Blue Birds 'Dream Team' roster. He hit the iconic homer that sent Blue Birds Nation to their 1993 feet, and Philadelphia to another steak sandwich. It never gets old watching Carter hit that homer off of Mitch Williams, does it? Probably for big bad Mitch - it does. Who could forget Williams famous quote about that pitch when he said that as soon as it had left his hand, he knew he had made the mistake. And it might be the best mistake for Jays fans ever, because I couldn't imagine my baseball life without the great call by Tom 'the Voice of the Jays' Cheek, 'Touch em' all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!' Here's to you Joe, you made the 25-man Blue Birds 'Dream Team' Roster.

 

 

Third Base - Kelly Gruber

 

The man with the greatest mullet in Blue Jays history was obviously going to find himself coming off the bench in this Blue Birds Dream Team roster. What's not to love about Kelly Gruber - he lived in Etobicoke during his time in Toronto, and wasn't afraid to get the ol' jersey dirty. Here's to you Gruber and your old mullet, you made the 25-man Blue Birds 'Dream Team' Roster.

 

 

 

 

Shortstop - Tony Fernandez

 

How can Tony Fernandez not get the nod here. He played 12-years with the Jays, he had 5,335 At-Bats, and 1,583 hits in a Blue Birds uniform. Over his career with the Jays he had a .297 AVG, and a .765 OPS. The man played in the big leagues for 17 seasons - and helped * cough * cost the Cleveland Indians a World Series title. Here's to you Tony Fernandez, you made the 25-man Blue Birds 'Dream Team' roster.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Team Starting Five

 

 

 

1. Dave 'No-No' Stieb

 

Dave 'No-No' Stieb is the toughest and most durable Blue Birds pitcher of all time. He has the record for most wins (175), but also holds interesting records like the most hits given up, runs, home runs, and walks - but it makes sense with how many innings he punched in on the old baseball card. He's a 7 time All-Star and the Jays 'No-No' king, because of the 'Oh-No's' when he would come so close to that 'No-No' - like the one in 1988 on May 31st in Milwaukee (said like Alice Cooper in Wayne's World) and, of course, two months later in Cleveland, which left Jays fans saying 'Oh-No' again. He's the greatest outfielder turned pitcher that the Jays ever scouted, and because of that and, well, an entire article worth of writing that could be dedicated to him - he gets the nod on Opening Day. Here's to you Dave Stieb, the greatest pitcher in Blue Birds history.

 

 

2. Roy 'Doc' Halladay

 

Roy the 'Hall-one-day' Halladay is an easy choice for this 'Dream Team' starting five. He was the 2003 Cy Young, and while in Toronto made 6 All-Star appearances and won 148 games with the Blue Birds. He was the one thing that felt good every five days during the dark days of the black caps in Blue Bird land. The Jays sucked, and he never did - he was excellent (said like Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - Wild Stallion style)

Here's to you 'Doc', you are one of the greatest (and every other positive superlative) pitchers in Blue Birds history - and, of course, a 'Dream Team' pitcher.

 

 

3. Pat Hentgen

 

Pat Hentgen is an obvious choice for the big five. He is the first ever Blue Birds pitcher to take home a Cy Young when he hurled his way to that prize in 1996. He is also the first ever pitcher to win the prize and not pitch in the All-Star game that same year - fun fact. It was also the beginning of the Toronto Cy Young hat trick because a certain 'Rocket' came in and lit up the Dome in 1997 - 98. Here's to you Pat Hentgen, one of the greatest Blue Birds pitchers of all time, and a 'Dream Team' starting five guy.

 

 

 

4. Jimmy Key

 

Every great rotation has that 'key' lefty, and Jimmy is the Blue Birds guy. In 1987 he won the ERA title with 2.76, and he also lead the league with a WHIP of 1.057. He is a 4 time All-Star, and finished 2cd in Cy Young voting on two occasions. He is a classic Blue Bird for all those fans who were born no later than the early eighties, and he's the 'key' to the success of this starting five - especially if Brinkman is behind home plate. Here's to you Jimmy Key - a true Blue Jay, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and a 'Dream Team' starting five guy.

 

 

5. Roger 'the PED Rocket' Clemens

 

Yup, say what you will - or, at least, think what you will, but it's kind of hard to argue against the 2 Cy Young drug dominated performances of the 'Rocket'. Yes, he's an asshole, and, yes, we know he's a PED champ of all monkeys, but he did what he did in the Blue Birds jersey - so there you go. He's the fifth man. Side Note: It's good to include some controversy. But look at the numbers, in 1997 he won 21 games, had 2.05 ERA, and 292 K's. In 1998, he went 20 - 6 with a 2.65 ERA and 271 K's over 234 2/3rd innings. His WAR of 11.6 in 97' is, well, 'undrug-achievable' but, those are the numbers. Hey, one day he may find himself in the Hall too - who knows? If he does before Pete 'Charlie Hustle' Rose, you will read how I feel about that. Roger Clemens you're the number 5 guy. That's it - no positive superlative here folks.

 

 

 

The Seven 'Dream Team' Men in the Pen

 

BJ 'Everything Great' Ryan

 Just Kidding

 

 

The Closer - Tom 'the Terminator' Henke

 

- 6 foot 5 monster

- 217 Saves

- 2.48 ERA through 563 innings

- The best closer in Blue Birds history

 

Enough said.

 

 

 

 

The Set Up Man - Duane Ward

 

- The best set up man in Blue Bird history

- In 1992,  1.95 ERA

- A great 'stache' 

- An all time Blue Bird great

 

Enough said.

 

 

 

 

Mark Eichhorn

 

- The side arm 'Dr. Funk'

- A great 'stache'

- As a rookie won 14 games in relief with a .95 WHIP and 7.1 WAR.

 

He could jump in the seventh inning to get the big out.

 

 

 

 

 

David Wells

 

- A 20 game winner

- Another great 'stache'

- The perfect lefty long man to come out of the 'Dream Pen'

 

He's a bad ass dude with a bad ass 'stache' - I think I mentioned the 'stache' part already. 

 

Enough said.

 

 

Jack Morris

 

- Jack Morris is a pitching king

- Another great 'stache' 

- A forkball that says fork you PUNK - yes, said like Clint Eastwood

 

Jack has an Eastwood forkball and stare. Jack Morris. Yes.

 

 

 

 

Todd Stottlemyre

 

- Pitched from 1988 - 94 

- Not the best numbers, but a damn good Blue Bird

- No 'stache' though, but - that's okay

 

He'd be ideal as a long man if one of the starting five gets knocked out early.

 

No he's not Mike Timlin - and that's okay, he's better.

 

 

Juan Guzman

 

 

- It's Juan Guzman - so, ah, yeah

Great 'stache' 

- Dirty fastball

- Great Blue Bird winning percentage .551%

 

Juan, damn right you made it to the 'Seven Men in the 'Dream Team' Pen'. Samurai Style.

 

 

 

 

And that's the 25-man 'Dream Team' Blue Jays roster. You may not agree with some of the Jays Droppings choices, and, damn it - that's okay. If you actually read all of it to the end - that's some cool Labatt Blue times there. In the end, you can agree or disagree - that's the fun part, but, at the very least, this was a 'rock the casbah' Canadian timbit piece of fun fact information ya got, eh! Hoser Nation!

 

 

 

 The End

 

Some fun facts found in Steve Clarke's, 100 Things Blue Jays Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die -- go buy it and read it.

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