If You Love Underdog Stories, You Will Love Your 2018 Blue Jays
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashion underdog story, am I right? I mean, c’mon, creative minds in Hollywood have made millions of dollars typing up screenplays about a strenuous uphill climb for a protagonist character who you hope will defeat the villainous, iniquitous, and nasty nemesis.
Now, it’s easy to look at films like Rocky, Rudy, The Karate Kid, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, as great examples of the classic underdog story, but there are so many others as well, too.
Personally, Cool Runnings, which stars my favourite actor of all-time, John Candy, is often overlooked as an underdog film, no? It’s a damn classic with memorable lines like, “Sanka, you dead?” “ Ya, man.”
Anywho, moving on …
So here we are now on our holidays, ready to drink one of your Dad’s shitty beers when you go back home, exchange some gifts, work hard on some holiday hangovers, and feel great when it’s finally all over.
And if you’re like me, you will probably talk baseball with your cousins and family and discuss what the Blue Jays’ needs are and whether they should trade Josh Donaldson and all that baseball jazz, right? – Or maybe you will have an acrimonious debate about Donald Trump, who your uncle secretly likes, who knows? But whatever holiday awkwardness occurs, don’t feel bad because all families are psychotic. And it’s okay, too.
Now, back to baseball, the truth is that I have no idea whether or not the Blue Jays will trade Josh Donaldson this offseason. I have a feeling that he will be a Blue Jay on Opening Day, but I’m not sure if he will be in August.
The Toronto FO are in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t kind of situation with JD, aren't they? And unless a glorious king ransom is being offered for JD, it’s a hard move to make to satisfy the unrealistic expectations that a lot of fans have when it comes down to what the Birds would actually get back in return in a trade. The one-year of control on his contract isn’t going to help the FO fleece any team out there – that’s for sure.
(... Anyway, I’m getting a bit off track with this piece, as the train of thought just kind of took me into a paragraph that I didn’t intend on writing – whatever.)
So here we are a couple days away from Christmas and the offseason has been quiet so far, as the Jays wait out the market, and make sure that they don’t over pay for any free agent like they did last year. And it’s fine all you fanatics, it really is fine.
A lot of Blue Jays fans out there are acting like a bunch of birds on a wire, just cawing for the sake of the caw. But last year the caw was that the FO were too aggressive and should’ve waited and this year the caw is that they are not doing enough. CaCaw! CaCaw!
And the truth is, I really know as much as you do, as I don’t have an inside line into the operations, nor have I seen the FO's notes - or offseason wish list. But I don’t think that the team is going to make any sexy moves - that’s for sure.
I think that they will address the outfield situation, find a backup catcher, and add some kind of pitching arm. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Now, I could be absolutely wrong, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up doing something dramatic - or if they didn’t for that matter, because I just don’t know. CaCaw! CaCaw!
But as it stands, the Blue Jays are definitely underdogs in the American League. The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Angels are all better on paper today and have more win projections than the good ol’ Blue Birds do, don’t they?
And with whatever additions that the Blue Jays do end up making, is it really going to put them in the elite crop of the AL, as Kevin McCallister would say, “I don’t think so.”
And speaking of Kevin McCallister and underdogs, the Blue Jays are a lot like the cute little squirt Macaulay Culkin played in that classic Christmas flick, don't you think?
The Yankees and Red Sox are sort of like Harry and Marv running around the neighbourhood stealing anything they can get their ‘wet bandit’ hands on, right? Sure, the Red Sox have been quiet, but they are always in on the offseason thievery, no?
And the Yankees this year, well, argh. And barf. Ugh. Everything. Is. Fine. CaCaw!
But just because the good Birds of summer share the AL East with Harry and Marv, that doesn’t mean that it’s over now, does it?
Honestly, the Blue Jays with their current roster and whatever additions they do end up making should be able to beat up on the Trash Birds and Rays all season. They also could probably play .500 ball against the Yankees and Red Sox, too. Why not? All it may take is Buzz’s tarantula, some feathers, and Old Man Marley’s shovel to keep pace.
Listen, I’m not naïve, but the ‘status quo’ might not be so bad though – seriously. I really do believe that a healthy *cough* Aaron Sanchez finger, a full season of the real JD, and other notable obvious factors could all add up to close to ninety wins next year. And that could get them into the fun wild card game of no-holds-barred action. And if so, the Birds will be the Hulkster and Zeus is going to go down hard – remember that movie? Hulk Hogan as an underdog? Rip? No? Cool …
Either way, enjoy this 2018 underdog roster because the 2019, ’20, and ‘21 cast is going to be much different, as future heroes will have to learn how to battle the villainous Red Sox and Yankees for years to come.