Blue Jays Rise Together
‘Yesterday's home runs don’t win today’s games.’ – Babe Ruth
The Toronto Blue Jays opened up their 2017 season with a dramatic loss to the Baltimore Orioles. For many Blue Jays fans on Monday, the whole afternoon was spent staring down at a smart phone, streaming the game, thinking about the score, and, well, not quite being conscientious at work or its daily tasks, which all the good ol' hard working people find themselves doing in the Monday to Friday grind.
For baseball fans across North America, Monday was a day to put on your caps and whistle your way into work. And for me, I woke up feeling happier than I have in a long time (and I’m a pretty upbeat kind of guy anyway), and when I got to the downtown building where I put in my time to contribute my gentle push that helps spin the ol' Earth around, I realized not too many people who I work with really shared the same feeling that I had in my little pep that was in my baseball step.
I’m going to be honest, it threw me off like a change up would throw off Bautista who is thinking fastball all the way, and that’s okay. I somehow managed to forget during this winter season that not everyone loves baseball – or the Blue Jays as much as I do (I mean, damn, I love the Jays so much that I spent two hours this past Sunday writing a giddy ‘Ode To The Fans Article’ that I filled with John Candy and Macaulay Culkin GIFS and a grand finale personal (lame) rendition of the ‘Okay Blue Jays’ song), so yeah, I was a pretty happy guy Monday.
So at 5 o’clock most of us rushed to our local bar or home, and were lucky enough to be blessed by the Blue Jays Gods to catch a little extra inning action that ended with a Mark Trumbo bomb – tell me you didn’t see that coming, because I sure did.
I was sitting on my couch, I looked over at my girlfriend (with a slice of pizza in my hand) and said, ‘Ah, geez, Grilli’s good to go a few batters, but if he’s stretched out for too long he gets caught sometimes.’ She looked at me probably thinking - don’t care, I’m eating pizza. And then seconds later the ball is as Buck Martinez says, 'get up, get up, gone,' - but he didn't actually say that, did he? And the ‘orange and black’ clowns from Baltimore won. So the first Blue Jays game is now in the books, and the great battles of the AL East have begun, and it’s fantastic.
Now a lot of Naysayers out there think that the 2017 Toronto Blue Jays aren’t that good.
And it’s always the same rumblings from the same types of people:
We lost Edwin
Boston got Sale
Cleveland got Edwin
Bautista is getting old
The bullpen is shit
#SmoakStrikesOut (well, yeah, that's true)
And then, of course, these same people will then ask:
WHAT?! Do YOU think they're good this year?
And the answer to the naysayer is yes – I think they’re really fucking good. And this isn’t a simmer down kind of ‘stupid’ typical Toronto fan kind of comment, but the Jays are good.
I’ve written about how the baseball season is long and a number of things have to go right in order for a team to march into October, but the Jays can definitely put those boots on and head straight into the Fall with a good ol’ chip on their shoulder too.
The team has come along way from Drew Hutchison who was the 2015 opening day starter, which I think a lot of people seem to forget.
The Jays now have a top 5 MLB starting rotation (if they can stay healthy), and I think that replacing RA Dickey (who I think is one cool Jedi baseball man) with Francisco Liriano was an excellent move by the Toronto FO.
I also think that the additions of Pearce and Morales really do fill in the Edwin hole too.
And call me crazy, but once Osuna returns, I believe that the bullpen is better today than it was a year ago on opening day in 2016.
At least, we don’t have to worry about a Drew Storen appearance this spring, do we?
(And neither does Gibbons too)
We also, don’t have to watch a Josh Thole at-bat this season, so that’s pretty rock n’ roll in an ‘Ok, Ok Blue Jays, Blue Jays, Let’s Play Ball!’ seventh inning stretch kind of way, don’t you think?
[And don't get that excited about 'Salty' (he's still a backup catcher), but some could argue Thole saw a bit too much playing time with the Birds because of the RA factor, and I kind of have to agree]
So listen up naysayers, the Blue Jays aren’t perfect, but I do believe the ol’ Birds are a better team today than they were when we last saw them play Cleveland in October.
The #RiseTogether Conclusion
(See what I did there, huh, right? Come on, no? Come together? Let's rise? Nah, okay - fuck it)
So this Monday was a real eye opener for me (like a high inside Aroldis Chapman fastball), for I was reminded that just because all I’ve been thinking about this winter is baseball, that doesn’t mean the rest of the folks out there have been too.
I feel like ‘we’ Blue Jays Nation get each other, we share the same passion, and the same love for the greatest fucking sport on the planet and the God damn best team too. We may not agree with each other on Blog posts or Reddit threads, heck, you may not even really like what I write - geez, you might even think I’m a fuckin’ putz for all I know.
But there is one thing that we have in common, and that’s our Blue Jays. Because it was each one of us that did ‘rise’ on Monday morning and tossed on the old Birds cap, and head bopped, strutted, shimmied, whistled, and smiled to work. And we are the same bunch of birds that yelled, Fuck!’ when Trumbo beat ‘our' Birds in extra innings.
We are Blue Jays Nation and we will rise together all the way until the leaves on the trees begin to paint the sky yellow, orange, and red, but it’s April and the buds haven’t even bloomed. So remember Babe Ruth’s famous words, ‘Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games’ because the Blue Birds play Wednesday night and you can whistle even louder to work that day, with your blue cap on, because the game starts at 7:07, and you won’t miss a single pitch.
- Go Jays Go.