With 22 games left in this awful, horrible, no-good 2012 season, Blue Jays fans can rejoice that the end is near. In what many thought would be a coming out party, a meaningful September, and a classic finish, instead has turned out to be a long, slow, painful end.
Injuries, regression, and underperformance have combined to ruin any chance the 2012 Jays may have had at the postseason. The team needed things to break the right way in order to qualify in the first place, but things have pretty much turned out the exact opposite.
So it wouldn’t be surprising to see sparse crowds and low television ratings for the final few weeks. But I tell you fellow Jays fan, don’t tune out just yet. There are still five reasons to follow the team to the end.
1. The Battle For The Basement
The Toronto Blue Jays have not finished in last place since 2004. The Blue Jays have only finished ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the standings once since 1995. Well, one of those two things will happen this season . As of right now, the Jays are in 4th, one game up on the Red Sox. Though finishing ahead of the Red Sox is really only an artificial victory, avoiding the cellar is huge. Nobody likes to finish last.
2. Edwin Encarnacion – HR King
Witih 38 home runs, Edwin Encarnacion sits in a tie for 2nd in the American League with Adam Dunn, only two behind Josh Hamilton. He has been scuffling a bit as of late but has a fantastic chance to keep the title of Home Run King in Toronto. If he catches and surpasses Hamilton in the season’s final three weeks, it will give the Jays the league’s top HR hitter for the third year in a row, the first AL team to accomplish that since the Texas Rangers in 2001. 2002, and 2003 (all Alex Rodriguez).
3. Rajai Davis – SB King
Rajai Davis is a fast runner – there’s no doubting that. But in a perfect world, he would have far fewer stolen bases right now – he started the season as an extra outfielder and was only pressed into everyday play due to injury and trades. Regardless, he has made the most of it, currently sitting second in the AL with 42 stolen bases, three back of leader Mike Trout. Incredibly, no Toronto Blue Jay has ever lead the league in steals, so if Davis can get there he’d be the first in franchise history.
4. Kelly Johnson – Strikeout Machine
Jose Canseco holds the Blue Jays single season record for strikeouts by a batter with 159 in 1998. With 22 games to go, Kelly Johnson currently sits at 144, a mere 15 K’s behind the dubious distinction. After striking out in all but three games in August, he’s still flailing away in September, with 9 K’s in 8 games. I’m sure he wants no part of that record, but at this pace it seems inevitable.
5. Colby Rasmus – Mendoza Killer
He’s been streaky all year, and it appears the Colby may be ending the season on a good note. After a tough start, he rallied in the summer to raise his average to a season high .268 on June 25th. But he hit the skids after that point, and by September 5th his average was all the way down to .225. However three multi-hit game in his past four has brought the batting average back up to .230. Why do we care about Colby Rasmus and his batting average? Simple: