The Jays Have Given Themselves a Chance to Give Themselves a Chance

Josh Donaldson
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve struggled over the last few days trying to come up with something about where this ALCS and this Blue Jays season has gone without it turning into a cliche-riddled piece of shit. What can you really say when your team is getting its ass handed to them? What can we say now except that they have a chance?

Shit was sombre yesterday, as you’d expect. The subway down from St. George toward Union wasn’t short on fans in Jays gear, but certainly was short on the kind of excited murmuring you’d expect. We were all headed to what might have been the last home game of a strange and strangely frustrating season, and there was perhaps a duty to be there, but nobody seemed to particularly want it. To watch your team down 3-0 and looking lifeless at the plate, clinging to hope, isn’t exactly a recipe for fun.

There were other signs of this kind of resignations: a collective shrug at blatant line cutters heading into Gate Five (well, collective minus my few shouts of passive-aggressive snark) and the tepid response to the DJ crew trying their best to pump the crowd up as they entered. The concourses didn’t pulse like they had even the night before, and a pair of Cleveland fans in my section cheered enthusiastically and loudly for their team without any fear of half the stadium rushing them in blind-drunk anger.

But then the game happened and everybody got into it. At first it felt a little like 50,000 of us clinging to the last daylight hours of an extended Labour Day, finding fun in just being there. Eventually, though, there was purpose. There was energy. Back came the hint of menace that has not only coloured but defined Rogers Centre crowds in the playoffs these last two seasons.

And then the Jays finally, *finally* broke it open. And they won. And we looked at whoeverthefuck Cleveland is starting in today’s game, and started thinking, holy shit, maybe they really can still do this!

The Jays were loose on the field in batting practice today, according to Your Boy the Zubes, with the Serious Voices of yesterday behind them. They’d given themselves and their season another day. How could it not feel like a gift?

But more than just another day, they’ve given themselves a chance. Get it to Cleveland and your opponents start to get worried. Get it to Game Seven and anything can happen.

Consider this your Game Threat.