There’s nothing worse than accidentally sitting yourself next to a crusty old hipster in a dive bar who starts talking music and film with you. I have no idea if this has happened to you or not, but it has happened to me. And I like to talk about film and music and shit – they’re fine topics – it just kind of sucks when you’re in a conversation with some dude who takes himself way too seriously and can’t enjoy a film that isn’t a part of the Criterion Collection – or a band that happened to get big enough to play at a venue bigger than the Horseshoe Tavern.
I love a good indie film as much as the next nerd, but I also love comedies from the eighties just as much or more. But, this is a Jays blog and I’m not about to break into some rant about this stuff. I just find these types of pretentious people, who need to get over themselves, to be pretty dumb. And the baseball world is filled with these types of crusty old hipsters who take themselves too seriously – or just like to shit all over everything. Now, I’m not specifically talking about some mid-forties dude with a beard, some tattoos, who owns every Nick Drake album – I’m just talk about the doom-mongering ghouls who surface after every shitty Jays series.
And after the really shitty series against Oakland, many of these crusty Jays fans started to shit all over the team and the season again because that’s what these types of squids do. And clearly there were quite a few of them at the Sunday game who thought it would be cool to boo the team. Jays fans are supposed to be better than dumb New York Yankee fans. Do you want to be like a dumb New York Yankee fan? Do you really want to kick your team when they’re down just for the sake of another kick? Sure, it wasn’t pretty. It was more than ugly. But, let’s not be fickle fans and let’s get a grip here folks. The baseball sky is not falling and the organization isn’t getting tossed in the can.
The Jays have 115 games remaining. They have to win 68 of these games to reach 90 wins – let’s pretend that’s the magic number for the second wild card. So, they would have to play .591 baseball to do this. Can the team actually do this? The season is young, so, ah, sure, they could hang around, although it is easy to roll your eyes at those numbers after what we witnessed against Oakland.
Maybe they could actually surprise us all. And for that to happen, of course, some players need to start playing to their potential, some players need to get healthy, and some starting pitchers need to be better. And these things could happen and Jays fans could be howling about how great this team is like they were back in April. Clearly, I don’t have a crystal ball to say how the season will end, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy the season no matter what direction it does end up going in.
It’s just too easy for fans to hammer down on their keyboards in Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter threads to express their shitty negative thoughts about this Jays team. And it takes the shiniest of all the Internet apples to type ‘FYRE Gibbons’ or ‘FYRE Shapiro’ or ‘FYRE Atkins’ or ‘FYRE the whole damn thing to sun’.
And, sure, it sucks watching your favourite team play some bad baseball for a stretch, but you don’t need to be a clown about it. This team does have problems, and we all know what they are. So I’m not even about to type up all that has gone wrong – it’s crystal effing clear why the Jays haven’t been playing good baseball. And I’m sure you’ve read about how shitty the Jays have been in one of the many articles posted in Blue Jays land. And getting murdered by Oakland doesn't help.
But, you don’t have to be a bunch of clowns about it, do you? And where were your expectations at the beginning of the season anyway? Were you expecting this team to go to the World Series? Because if you believed that the Jays were a strong World Series contender heading into this season, then you deserve whatever kind of misery that you are wallowing in at this point.
Any sensible baseball fan knew that the Jays wouldn’t be playing for the AL East title and that they were going to play for that second wild card spot. And the fact of the matter is that they still can. We know that this team isn’t as good as the 2015 team that bat-flipped our nation. We know this team might not be as strong as the 2016 team that went back to the ALCS. But, to write this team off this early on is kind of dumb. They are a better team than their record indicates – that’s for sure.
And if your worst case Ontario nightmare comes true and this Jays team plays shitty in June and is completely out of everything – that’s fine, too. Actually, that’s more than fine. This Jays team is going to be fun to watch, even if things do get really dire in August because this team will become very young very quickly.
If everything goes absolutely sideways, then Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins will have valuable pieces to trade away as they continue to build this future 2022 World Series team. And once roster spots open up after the trade deadline as the brass makes the proper moves, they could then call up certain younger pieces in the system to play out the rest of the season, even though I still believe there is one proper *call him up* move to be made right now.
Getting to the World Series will probably not happen this year. But, there’s always that chance with the randomness of playoff baseball once a team gets in, so who knows? Anything can happen, really - just look at that hockey team in Las Vegas. It’s still really early and the Jays could hang around with the Angels and Mariners because the Jays on paper are as good as both of these teams. FanGraphs projected these Jays to win close to 90 games this year. And maybe they will surprise many of us and do that.
So, let’s not piss on the players that are still a part of this organization who helped make baseball cool again in Canada. Not every season is going to go into the Criterion Collection, but that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be fun. Don’t be some dumb crusty hipster who has to shit all over everything. And don’t shit on these Jays. Many of these players on this team brought you to your feet, so let’s not forget that. Don’t be fickle, fans – that’s just not cool.