Lost in the Rogers Centre sky literally falling – okay, maybe not really – was the fact that it put a temporary hold on the return of one of the Greatest Blue Jays of All Time.
Not many people know this, and I’m not sure if I meant that sarcastically because I actually had to check, but Ryan Goins is on the Royals 25 man roster. This comes three years after he helped them in the 2015 ALCS by, uh…never mind.
When the Blue Jays chose to non-tender second baseman/shortstop/bases loaded legend/Blue Jays Twitter hero in order to make room for 2018 SS Aledmys Diaz, fans were PISSED. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the departure of a (below) replacement-level player met with pitchforks and torches like we saw the week that Goins was cut. The amount of rope that he got over the years, from being branded as an elite infield glove, to being a “young” player somehow, despite the fact that he was already in his mid 20s and bald, was insane. You had a guy that played regularly on two real competitive Blue Jays teams over two years, and everybody thought it was fine despite the fact that he couldn’t hit to save his life.
How were the Blue Jays, a team that had an extremely shitty year, continue to run the franchise with one less shitty player? Should they just pack it up and move to Montreal?
I kind of get it, though. Goins just came off of a year in which he hit .330/.368/.540 with RISP, including a gaudy .714/.688/1.214 with the bases loaded. That’s obviously not indicative of future success, or even current, and an extremely small sample size, but the 2017 Blue Jays were bad and didn’t score a lot of runs. There are probably some fans that associated Goins with most of the rare good moments last season. There’s also this from 2016:
To be fair to Goins, he never asked for this. It’s not like he was acquired in a massive trade or was a top prospect. In a perfect world, Ryan Goins was just supposed to be the 25th man, the backup to Troy Tulowitzki. But we’re Toronto sports fans and the word perfect doesn’t exist (unless we’re talking about bat flips), so we actually saw more of Goins than Tulo over the past three years. And that isn’t his fault. The blame lies on Jays management, who, instead of upgrading their backup SS spot, elected to have a guy with a career minor league .707 OPS over 650 games replace a guy that was almost always hurt.
To be fair to Blue Jays fans, he was bad. Really bad. The best season of his career was when the Blue Jays looked to be a powerhouse, and even Goins took his game to another level, going from a 28 wRC+ in 2014 to 85 in 2015. 85! For every hit with the bases loaded last season, you had about 20 strikeouts, weak ground balls, or lazy flyouts over the past three seasons. Sure he was good with his glove, but he didn’t do anything else. There’s also that play in 2015 that I’m sure some fans still haven’t forgiven him for. You know which one I’m talking about.
So what does Tuesday’s doubleheader have in store for the Blue Jays and Goins? A Level of Excellence ceremony? Jersey retirement? Ten-minute long standing ovation?
Aledmys Diaz will probably honour him in iconic Ryan Goins fashion, by making a spectacular defensive play in the first and then going 0-for-8 over the next six hours.