Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Russell, Russell, Russell, Russell!
I tweeted the gist of all this earlier today, but it certainly bears repeating: what Russell Martin said to reporters last night following the Jays’ third straight loss to the Yankees and their fifth loss overall in six games, as tweeted by Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling, should be pinned to every doomsaying so-called fan’s fucking forehead.
In case you missed it, here is what Russell said:
Which isn’t to say that anybody should like what just happened, or act like it isn’t a big deal to be dropping games. It’s a big deal. Every loss makes achieving the club’s ultimate goal that much harder. It’s just — and holy shit, am I ever going to sound like a broken record once again on this — five losses in six games doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong.
At the end of the too-perfect “fickle fan” description in his excellent piece on the different types of fandom, BlueJaysTwit puts it this way:
In some cases, these are hockey fans who apply their hockey knowledge to baseball. If the best hockey team in the league lost a game 8-0 to the worst hockey team in the league, then there is an issue. That probably should not happen. Similarly in football, where glorious upsets are fairly rare. But in baseball, a great pitcher can have a terrible day. Or a terrible pitcher can have a great day. It happens. The best teams lose to the worst teams an awful lot in baseball. Over 162 games, you get a lot of micro kinds of things happen that don’t make sense at the macro level.
I mostly like the way we slag hockey fans at times like these, and don’t think it’s particularly fair to those who come about their asinine takes in more nuanced ways, but it sure does feel a lot of times like it applies. And so to this I’d add that, not only is losing big once to an inferior team a different kind of thing in baseball, a supposedly good team losing five of six would be understandably setting of alarm bells in those sports as well.
Let’s not forget that, prior to the last “L” here, this is what the season of a first place team looked like — a team with the exact same record as those scary Red Sox, and a better one than the Orioles.
— The_Road_Guy (@The_Road_Guy) September 8, 2016
It’s a team that also has 13 home games remaining, compared to Boston’s 10, and six total left with the team they’re chasing. Temporarily chasing, that is. Giddy up! (And go read that BlueJaysTwit piece!)