Bitter Sweet Goodbye
It seems like an arduous task to dig deep and properly put sentences together to express the end of this Blue Jays season. It feels like just a short hour ago, I was riding the Queen streetcar, staring out the window, and feeling excited about pitchers and catchers reporting to Dunedin.
Press the fast forward button on the ol’ VHS tape of time and here we are in October, another season gone.
I woke up early this past Sunday afternoon, got myself a coffee, and decided to walk around Kensington Market to take in the air and buy some savage delicacies at Sanagan’s Meat Locker and a couple vegetables in Chinatown, as well.
The sun was shining, the street musicians were playing, and it was a nice Fall day in Toronto. People were happy as they sat on different patios sipping their warm whatever.
I walked passed all the vintage clothing stores and noticed the young, tattooed, hipster workers setting up Halloween displays, as we are now only a few fallen leaves away from the fake blood, makeup, and wigs. My guess is that they will sell a plentiful amount of cigar coats this year and that Hugh Hefner will be a popular costume, but what the hell do I know when it comes to that kind of shit.
A harmonica was humming on one street corner, the strings of the violin on another, and morning chatter came from every bohemian coffee patio, as people seemed content in the Fall morning calm. I, however, had a bit of a heavy heart walking around these graffiti streets with my girlfriend because I knew it was the last day of the baseball season.
It’s just hard to believe that the conveyor belt of time brought me (and us) to this October day. The streetcar ride was long, yet all too short, as I took my baseball seat in February with my Dunedin excitement, have now gotten off in Fall, and feel melancholy for this bitter sweet goodbye.
I could go on a long rant that dives into the main nerve of frustration that so many fans felt day-after-day, as the good Birds of summer tried to be what they believed they were. I could use purple haze prose like Rosie DiManno over at the Toronto Star, as she poetically pisses on this team in her recent symphony of words:
Money takes over. Contracts take over. The grind of a 162-game season takes over. Personalities that were sunny in the salad days of spring training, their first time ’round, can turn cranky, even snarly. Teammates fall out with each other. Reporters are viewed dimly where once rookies were thrilled to be interviewed.
In truth, I will not be so sad to see the last of this squad. It was an unlovable, pinch-faced team.
The truth is, these are not the type of thoughts to type up at the end of this disappointing season – what’s the point. There is no reason to write up this kind of trash and pour them into mainstream media as DiManno does here, is there?
Every Blue Jays fan knows that this has been a season filed with errors, lack of run production, double-plays, and injuries – it was not a ballad of perfection, not at all. It was not 2015, nor 2016. It didn’t end with bat-flips, hard slides, and walk-off homeruns. The magic from yesterday was lost and the illusion that this team still had a chance in July slowly hit the dirt and was called out by many members of the media who wailed for this team to press the blow-it-up button at trade deadline.
It was the season which had a slur, a blister, and a legendary fade. And with that fade, a beautiful goodbye.
Now, I could sit here with my heavy heart soaked with the idea of wet snow, freezing rain, minus thirty days ahead, but I will not type up sour puss thoughts picked from low hanging trees of dogshit.
I look forward to this offseason and the stories that will develop, as the FO tweaks the status quo with the hope that one more run lives in this core of men. It will be interesting to see what faces are added and what young pieces will make up the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays. There might be a chance that with the core veterans still in place and with some young talent that sits ready in the Minor League shadows, that next year’s team could make some heavy noise with some rock n’ roll chords that will make this nation scream.
The some-kind-of thing is, I don’t think this was an unlovable, pinch-faced team. It was a team that was made up with many of the faces who made 2015 and 16 an everlasting baseball memory in Canada that sparked the Blue Jays drive in this country. The season was a bitter kind of sweet with all the hope that came in the spring, which soon fell from our minds as the long days of summer pushed forward in the August descent.
So here we stand now in these October days, as Winter waits for the slightest tilt of the Earth before it reveals its cold self again. And the baseball in us all will have to patiently be, as the doors of the Dome are closed for now, the Birds of summer have flown south and with them the hope we all had for 2017.