If someone told you in the cold days of January that Kevin Pillar, Zeke Carrera, Darwin Barney, and Justin 'deep to center field' Smoak (did I just type that) would be leading the Blue Jays offence close to the 40-game ¼ mark of the season, you’d probably think ‘no fucking flying Pillar way, bro’. But this is how it is and caps off to the fight that’s being put out onto the field every night.
Kevin Pillar has flown into the role of team captain with the absence of … fuck it, why bother writing their names because you’d have to be living in an off-grid-complex-in-the-Canadian-bush to not know who, don’t you think?
So the core of the team sits on a very expensive DL bench that makes up 51.5% of the entire teams payroll – and that’s just how it is. Earlier in the year, I wrote an article called Long Days Journey Into October where I make some predictions about what has to go right for our beloved Birds to have an MLB ‘goggle wearing tribal dance of champagne’, and, well, everything I said that must happen hasn’t happened – that being most importantly, of course, staying healthy.
I also don’t think when Bautista signed his (thank fuck he's coming back) contract that anyone could’ve predicted his slow start to the season either. And now, of course, the Internet thread of people (who I sure wouldn’t want to be in the same room with at a party) are making loud nonsensical noise about Joey Bats because it’s just the easy thing to do. And truthfully, I believe, he will start to trend in a booster juice kind of way with his mother fucking Joey ‘bat’- how do you like that Pizza Pizza slice?
The ¼ mark in the baseball highway to Fall is a good place to start to assess and reflect, and the team is nearing very close to that point of the season, as they sit in the cellar of the AL Beast – I mean East. But it isn’t over yet folks because the replacements have been dog fighting every night and each John Gibbons lineup of the ‘who’s’ are giving it what they’ve got filled with dirt and grit, so caps off to them.
Now once the team is healthy and can hopefully find a groove, who knows what they are capable of, am I right? But as this team approaches this 40-game evaluation ‘sports writers report card article time’, they do stare at a couple different roads that lead to different paths to October, don’t they?
And I’m not going to explore the ‘do the Jays trade Estrada or *cough* Gregg Zaun road yet’, but it is a realistic option if the team isn’t in a hunt for the wild card. And here’s the thing, I believe, even though I wrote an article (channeling my inner Travis Bickle) yesterday saying the Birds won’t win the golden flags (it was just a rant and hopefully my words set up a jinx ... wait ... have I jinxed that jinx? hmm – okay ... moving on, anyway), I do think they have a chance to crawl into it.
Kevin Pillar and his leadership and step-up-to-the-first-pitch-swinging-plate mentality has lead the replacements of 'GoGo' grit who have kept this ‘comeback season’ idea a very real possibility. And holy fuck Danny Barnes, Joe Smith, and Ryan Tepera - caps fucking off to your steady-inning-eating-and-game-stealing-ways.
And a big thank you to the ShapIro/Atkins rule-5-pick-from-the-Giants-pocket Joe Biagini for being cosmic fucking universe reliable, and doing everything cosmically possible to keep the media and the fans smiling through his performance and, of course, interviews.
I tip my cap off for effort, for fight, and for not giving up. Even though the Blue Jays record isn’t pretty, it could be more ugly than it is, don’t you think? And if this team got some fucking baseball breaks in April, their record might’ve actually been kind of 'not bad' under the circumstances, but it isn’t as ugly as some might think.
Who knows, maybe the Birds can take some games in May and go down the road that was expected. One thing for certain is the ¼ mark is almost here, baseball time flies, and the replacements have been fighting.