The sky is falling. The world is ending. Life as we know it is over.
Why you ask?
Because the Toronto Blue Jays were just swept by the best team in baseball.
Head on over to any social media website and see for yourself. As far as most Jays fans are concerned, 2014 is over. Actually, we all might be better off if the 2014 season never began in the first place. That’s what people will have you believe.
In all honesty, the entire act is getting old. This whole “woe is me, I cheer for Toronto” sentiment has got to stop.
It will be tough, I realize that. Decades spent watching our sports teams consistently lose has jaded an entire generation of fans, leaving them sarcastic, jumpy, and angry, like a caffeine addict denied his morning coffee. The three biggest draws in the city have been working together to build a castle of ineptitude that has done nothing to appease the hunger of Toronto’s rabid sports followers. The Raptors have only been past the first round of the playoffs once in 19 seasons. The Leafs haven’t made a Cup final since 1967, and have only been to the playoffs once since 2004. The Blue Jays have the second longest playoff drought in baseball, 21 long years since Carter propelled us to the top.
All of which has turned Toronto fans hostile. Even the on-and-off field success of two of our other franchises are not properly celebrated. After years of unfathomable futility, Toronto FC shocked the soccer world with a huge offseason. After failing to start the season 10-0, a host of fans are now anticipating – no, expecting – a collapse to the basement. When the Argos won the Grey Cup a few years ago, instead of reveling in the city’s first major championship in years, we spent our days lamenting the fact that Toronto doesn’t have an NFL team.
At the risk of over-generalizing, I have to ask: what is wrong with us? Us, the Toronto sports fan?
Here are some cold, hard facts: the Jays have lost four in a row and 19 of the last 28 ballgames. Two of their most important players will most likely be out for the entire month of July. The hobbled offense only managed to score four runs in Oakland, and now travel to LA to face the red hot Angels, before heading to Tampa to take on the red hot Rays. Of that, there is no denying.
But do you know who else lost four games in a row this season? The Oakland A’s, from May 22 – 25. Do you know who else went on an extended rough patch, losing 12 of 17 in May and June? The Detroit Tigers, who scored fewer than four runs a game in that stretch. What do both of those teams have in common? They both overcame rough patches, and both sit in first place in their respective divisions.
Will the Blue Jays turn things around and right the ship? Who knows. Hopefully they will. One thing for certain is that they are not as bad as they have looked in the past few weeks – just as they definitely were not as good as they looked in May. I can say that, because that ridiculous 20 – 4 stretch they went on works out to a 135 win pace.
But just because the last three weeks haven’t been kind, the fickle and thin-skinned Toronto fans have abandoned the team. Alex Anthopoulos, who was hailed as a genius in May for bringing up Stroman and signing Juan Francisco, is now an idiot for not adding a right-handed power bat in the winter. John Gibbons, who was a managerial savant for his handling of the pitching staff during the hot streak, is now stupid and out of his element, because he left R.A. Dickey in too long for a few of his starts.
And the Jays, the team in general, have gone from baseball’s darlings and a fun team worth supporting to the end, to a bunch of underachieving, no-good losers who will be lucky to stay out of last place, let alone over .500.
That is our city. That is what we have to put up with. Those are our “fans”.
But here is a message for all you who breed negativity. The Toronto Blue Jays have 47 wins. That is three more than the New York Yankees. That is eight more than the defending World Series champion Red Sox. That is six and nine more wins than the pre-season picks to win the AL East (Tampa Bay) and the AL West (Texas). And that is probably 10 or 15 more than anybody expected them to have at this point in the season.
The bottom line is that the Blue Jays have 72 games left to make up two games on the Orioles. Do they need help? Yes – a trade or two would be nice, as would some better luck (and maybe the replay system actually, you know, working…)
But is this season falling apart, awful, and practically over?
So enough already. Enough crying, enough pouting, and enough whining.
If you’re going to say anything at all about the Blue Jays, make it this:
Go Jays go.