The Blue Jays have spent most of this week looking not entirely useless — a welcome change from most of the month previous, and not just because their games have become somewhat actually watchable again. The tenor of the conversation surrounding the team as they skidded through Canada Day weekend was ugly. It felt like those who weren’t resigned to grimly going down with the ship were masking their pain by gleefully embracing a complete annihilation of the Blue Jays as we know them.
There’s probably a certain comfort in pretending to believe that there’s no path back to respectability from here, and that everything must be burned to the ground before the club will be able to see success again on the horizon. It’s a pretty dumb posture to take though. And fortunately, with the benefit of some distance from our despair, I think most of us can see that now. What feels like it’s still not so easy to see, though, is where the Jays actually do go from here. Do they go full-on rebuild and try to get as much back as possible for Josh Donaldson and their other pieces? Do they stay the course and try to retool for 2018? Do they end up somewhere in between, mired in mediocrity for the foreseeable future?
The reality is that these questions aren’t ones that the Blue Jays can answer entirely for themselves. These questions, in a lot of ways, are being answered for them. They’re being answered in the way their best trade chips are playing. They’re being answered in the way payroll shapes up going forward, and in the way that current contracts make certain deals prohibitive. They’re being answered in considerations about the market, attendance, TV ratings and about the front office’s job security.
They’re being answered more clearly than a lot of Jays fans think — and certainly more so than a lot of Jays fans will be led to believe over these next three or four weeks. We just need to step back and put the pieces together.
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