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Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Grilli’s Parting Gifts For Toronto: Thank-Yous and a Hashtag

On the day that he was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays, Jason Grilli didn’t shy away from social media, or his feelings about a city that embraced him so openly last season (and tried to keep doing so as best it could during this one).

There was a stronger emotional connection between player and city than most, as we all probably know. Grilli’s dad had played in the Jays organization, Jason had visited the Skydome for games when he was a kid, and he talked about playing for the Blue Jays as a dream come true. Whether that was really true or not didn’t really matter, because along with all this came a reliever who suddenly rediscovered his best form when the Blue Jays needed a bullpen saviour most, and a pitcher who could hardly glide through his tenure anonymously. It was like you could hear Grilli’s grunting throughout the stadium as he put every ounce of effort possible into each pitch. His hair was wild. His celebrations were over the top. He wore his heart on his sleeve.

And so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that this is how he chose to go out, head held high, proud of what he’d done, appreciative for his time here, and rallying his teammates to the end.

* * *

A pro to the very end. You’ve got to appreciate it. John Gibbons obviously did.

Though, I suppose, what I most appreciated about Grilli’s stay in Toronto was that he didn’t bring the guy from fucking Train here…

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#StayInTheFight #DropsOfJupiter

  • lukewarmwater

    Andrew being the sentimental slob I truly am I too appreciated what a class act Grilli truly is. He gave us a great finish last year but as father time so ably illustrated, this year sadly he was giving us batting pitching practice unfortunately to the opposition with 9 freaking homers. Now I get the sentimentality of Father’s day, after all Rogers paid a fortune for those father day’s aprons from some down trodden third world country. But GUESS WHAT. Baseball is still a business and the Jays might come to regret the number of games that Grilli totally blew this year. But then again Rogers made 20,000 dad’s happy and we have to remind our selves that to Rogers that The Jays are strictly business.

  • MINIMAX

    It’s been an emotional week in ‘Blue Jays Nation’…

    Osuna watching the Jays blow a 3run lead in the 9th, because of course he can take time off if he’s not feeling right, was a beautiful thing. It was an honourable loss. If he’d been forced to either close the 9th or declare himself “disabled”, would that “win” help us later, or would it fatally corrode the 90%-half-all-important ‘team chemistry’ factor? It’s not just an acceptable loss, it’s downright crucial ’emotional labour’ if Osuna is someone we “love” rather than just someone we want to squeeze as much “value” out of as we can… and from a spectator standpoint, it dramatically raises the bar of the quality of the ‘entertainment’ we are consuming.

    It was already all-too-appropriate that Mark Buerhle emerged as a subplot over the weekend… ((since we’ll never know what might have happened if we had home-field advantage in the 2015 ALCS and it’s easy to pretend you can guess what coulda shoulda been … we may find ourselves again in a situation where the crypto-haters will think they have reason to point to such examples of swallowing an honourable loss as “where it all went wrong” … Maybe I’m in a minority, but it’s way more important that I can actually care about the team and sincerely root for them without having to ‘suspend disbelief’ that they embody any genuinely worthwhile or substantial values … I mean, I’ve been a Jays fan for almost as long as I can remember… but this is a team I can really get behind)) …and then the news about Grilli broke. Letting him go is totally reasonable of course, but it sure would feel shitty if those 4 homeruns were his final appearance at The Dome. Instead he got exactly the send-off he deserves, and the ensuing game featured a ‘minor miracle’ (or Jungian synchronicity): Martin’s dramatically unusual homerun was hit off of pitcher #33, to tie the game 3-3, toward the Jays’ 33rd win. Bouncing a ball off the top of the wall is a situation that literally ‘could go either way’, much like the current Jays season funny enough. I’d like to think that our season-long lead in Third Act Homers is a portent of glory to come.

  • MINIMAX

    I was shocked — SHOCKED! — to hear Wilner wondering if maybe the Jays shouldn’t pick up some armless catcher newly available due to crimes against camaraderie… ??? First of all, aren’t both of those things dealbreakers? And didn’t we get burned once not too long ago on a backup-catcher-who-can’t-throw-but-can-allegedly-hit? And more to the point is Maile not the very model of a solid backup catcher? From where I’m sitting Maile is this year’s Grilli, exactly the guy we needed to forestall imminent disaster and phew, we were looking for ‘adequate’ and found ‘solid’ instead. I could be ignorant of the available talent pool but aren’t we lucky to have him??