Toronto's Big City Blues Aren't That Bad
‘Big City Blues’ by the legendary wolfman, who howled into many long nights, is my favourite blues album. And the title of this Howling Wolf vinyl session, seems to fit the feeling of the 'Big Smoke' since the hard reality for Blue Jays fans is that the good Birds of summer are not going to make the post season this year.
The truth is that the Blue Jays season is riding in the moonlight and it has a lot of hopeful fans crying at daylight. And it’s okay to feel the blues about this season as the team plays the diminished chords that all sound like mistakes. It has been a D Minor kind of year, which some people say is a morose little sound that can be strummed by any kid with a pick and a guitar.
I thought about calling this piece ‘The Leftovers’ (yes, great show) since that is the kind of year that the Birds have had. It really does sum up what happened to this team with one word. Leftovers. Because the truth is, the leftovers (who aren’t the everyday starters) on the field have led to these late August big city blues and you can't blame them for not being able to compete like Lindor - or Altuve. Nevermind, like Travis, Tulo, Martin, and Sanchez.
It’s just too damn hard for the Blue Jays to realistically be an October ball club when Gibbons has to run out Goins, Refsnyder, and Barney everyday. It’s also really challenging for the Blue Jays to string together any wins when they only have 3 real starting pitchers in their rotation. And, sure, they’ve had the odd spot start feel good tale – or decent outing, but it’s just not enough to make a solid push for that 2nd Wild Card spot, is it? (Even though last week, I was saying the exact opposite thing)
They are officially walking the thin blue line and it’s been that way since the 1 – 9 start that they had. It’s been a season of it’s over. No wait, there’s still a chance. And it was just last week that the tune of the Birds went from ‘The Sad Punk’ Pixies extinction anger to something that had people ‘Stand’ like the hit song from R.E.M.’s ‘breakthrough’ 1988 album, “Green”. And the truth is, this Blue Jays season has been a ‘fable of reconstruction’, which was the name of the third studio album from R.E.M. I’m not sure why I keep referring to R.E.M., it could be because they were one of my old man’s favourite bands in the 80’s, so I was exposed to them on our long road trips to Sudbury to go see my Uncle who lived in the ‘Big Nickel”, I dunno.
But the good vibrations are gone again and this week brought back the 2017 tune that has had us all slouching on our couches and in our bar stools all year long. It’s time now to look at the September call ups, who will be joining the roster, like Teoscar Hernandez, as we begin to think about the 2018 season.
I’m not saying that it’s over, but, I guess, I’m saying it’s over. I don’t want any of you to feel like you can’t hang onto the hope that the Blue Jays can’t make things Wild Card interesting in September, but it’s not looking so good now, is it?
And you have every right to feel disappointed, as the Blue Jays really should have been better. If the Birds had the real Josh Donaldson through the entire season who knows where this team may be in the standings. And if they had a 2016 Aaron Sanchez, well, the team would probably find themselves in that Wild Card spot now, but that’s just not the reality. And, shit, if I’m going to play the ‘if thinking game’ imagine they had a healthy Devon Travis all season long too. Well, then this team might've even been well on their way to another ALCS, but none of this happened.
The Blue Jays achilles heel was exposed this year and that was their lack of depth and it hurt them. It hurt them badly. And it’s okay. The Blue Jays gave us two great back-to-back seasons of awesome. And that’s what it’s all about. Enjoy scouting the September call ups and start thinking about the 2018 season. Is that really a bad thing? No, it's not that bad at all.
And while you’re doing this, I say hold onto that hope for the 2nd wild card spot, but don’t be disappointed by the great expectations that most likely will not come true. Maybe they will string together some wins and get back into it. Maybe. But the one thing I do know is that this team still hasn’t reached .500 once and the summer days are getting shorter.
But for all of you big dreaming fans out there, I say just put on Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin”, you never know. The good news is that time is on our side and the future is around the corner and, believe me, this city will see a 3rd World Series championship before my beard turns white – that’s what I believe, you?
I dunno, I've got a real bad migraine and I'm not sure any of the words I typed make sense. I just thought that typing something might distract me from the pain pounding in my head. It kinda reminds me of the 2017 season.