Photo Credit: @EmptySeatsPics on Twitter

Times are challenging around here

Some Jays fans are growing incredibly impatient and restless with this front office given the way things have turned out in these last two seasons. And to be honest, I kind of get it. I believe in this future vision that we have all heard Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins speak about on numerous occasions, but the backlash from certain fans is understandable – sort of, right?

It’s not that I am changing my views on the current regime because I think that they have done an excellent job rebuilding the system over the past two years while still trying to kick the wild card can and go for it. And, I mean, why wouldn’t they?

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It’s not like after 2016 there was any reason to think that the core group of players wouldn’t be able to repeat in ’17, but they didn’t and everything that went sideways did.

The end.

I don’t need to type up a bunch of stuff about that, or about all the shitty things that have happened this season. If Shapiro could have pressed the ‘intellectual-exercise-reset’ button back then, everyone would’ve howled about it.

I think that the problem is that after two fun rides in ’15 and ’16, no one could’ve predicted the dramatic drops in production from certain ‘aging’ players on this roster. No one could’ve predicted all the bad luck. No one could’ve predicted any of it.

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At the beginning of this season, the average age of the Jays’ roster was 30.3, which makes them the oldest team in the league. And Cleveland has the second oldest roster with an average age of 29.9. Yet, Cleveland is still in it. Sure, they play in the garbage AL Central, but age hasn’t caught up with them the way it has with the Jays.

It’s definitely been a bit of an emotional ride these past couple of seasons. And a lot has happened during that time.

A lot of change.

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It was hard for fans to watch Alex Anthopoulos leave, which, of course, didn’t make Mark Shapiro’s job any easier. It didn’t help Shapiro win over any friendly Canadian hearts out there, eh? That’s for sure.

2015 and ’16 were the baseball parties that many die hard Jays fans had been dreaming of for years and since then it has been a terrible hangover. The kind where you just lay in bed, order some garbage Dominos, and binge watch something stupid because your brain can’t think or handle any kind of show that involves thought and has substance.

Like why should Jays fans be happy right now? I think that is a fair question. They’ve had to watch the homegrown GM, who brought the organization back to the playoffs, walk. They’ve had to say good-bye to uncle Eddie, who was one of the most popular players on the team. Although in hindsight, it’s a good thing that he didn’t accept that four-year contract because the Jays picked up big Nate Pearson with the pick they got. And Edwin isn’t exactly doing 2015 kind of things right now.

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Anyway, as I was saying, Jays fans had to suffer last season while they watched the quick demise of Bautista, who is one the greatest players in franchise history. A player who bat-flipped our entire nation and made baseball fun in Canada back when the Jays were garbage. And then Jays fans had to say good-bye to him after watching his terrible year.

So, on top of the good-byes to Alex, Edwin, and José, Jays fans had to watch Troy Tulowitzki disappear with bone spurs. They’ve had to watch one of the most promising arms in the system not pitch because he had blister issues and issues with his luggage. They’ve had to watch one of the other most promising pitchers, Marcus Stroman, struggle earlier this season and now have blister issues, too.

More fun times.

Hmm…what else? Heading into this season, Jays fans knew that this could be Josh Donaldson’s final year with the club. So, ya know, we all looked forward to what could be his last tour in blue. But, hey, no way, that’s not going to happen because Josh Donaldson’s calf is going to explode. And now the Jays might trade him for a box of old DVDs left on the side of the road – or not QO him in the offseason.

More fun times.

And on top of exploding calf muscles and blisters and everything else, one of the most entertaining managers in Blue Jays history is probably not going to come back next season.

So, no wonder Jays fans are frustrated right now. It’s no wonder that they are growing impatient and are tired of bad things happening. It’s like this big baseball giant saw that we were actually having fun with this whole Blue Jays thing, so he decided to stomp his way over to Blue Jays Way and take a big shit all over everything that we have enjoyed.

And I’m most definitely not defending all the ‘Mr. And Mrs. Wonderfuls’ out there who rant and rave in their ‘shatkins’ ways and go on about the dumb corporate-American-Shapiro-agenda stuff because that’s nonsensical.

However, as a fan, I get this pent up stuff that many people are feeling right now. It’s been a terrible couple of years. It’s kind of like we have all been forced to watch the reboot of Full House or something – I dunno. I mean, I bet the reboot of Full House is probably more fun than the past couple of seasons of baseball in Toronto. Insert zero laugh track, because these last few seasons have been about as funny as that dumb Netflix reboot.

It’s like we were all at an awesome house party, with cool people, cool music, a lot of booze, food and all that stuff, but then suddenly everyone turns into the kind of people who go to Earls on King St. in Toronto. And then Britney Spears’ song Sometimes starts to play on repeat and there is no way out and you’re stuck there until the sun rises.

And right now all of us Jays fans are waiting for the sun to rise again.

I guess that’s why we continue to talk about everything in Bluefield, Vancouver, Lansing, Dunedin, New Hampshire, and Buffalo because that is where the sun is rising. And that day we’re all waiting for has hope. Many people are tired of this shitty bad luck tune, the over-priced tall cans of Bud, ownership that doesn’t give a fuck, and all the rest of it.

It’s like we’ve all reached our, ‘we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore’ point with Rogers and just all the bad luck garbage that has happened recently.

I know that the future is bright and all that stuff. But, when you really think about it, no wonder so many people are pissed off right now.

  • Oz Rob

    Hope for the season died on Donaldson’s first throw to first. But why dwell on negatives? Think of the positives to the season. We got to see, uh….Gio Urshela play?

  • dolsh

    People complaining about 2018 are clearly too young to remember 1995. Or 1996. Or 1997. Maybe even 2004.

    This is a team that started the year as favourites to compete for a wild card. It went sideways. Baseball is like that. Toronto just has too many fairweather fans that have established a history of only supporting a winning team.

  • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

    I think the main problem with the FO is that while they put a lot of emphasis on rebuilding the minors, they failed the public perception test, when it comes to the MLB level. There have been some botched things (EE, Morales, Kill off the Grass talk, say they are listening and owe it to the fans to try and compete. Since when is listening to the fans what’s best for the franchise?), and let’s not forget Ross Atkins absolute tendency to talk corporate Bullshit at the drop of a dime and make AA look like he spewed absolute facts every chance he got.
    So public perception remembers the Good old days under AA (They of course do not remember his constant deflection, why he did not react to fan howling to do some thing etc etc. Wasn’t all roses under his regime and I can recall thinking it was time for him to go a few times). So home grown Cdn boy, vs, the rumored, Shapiro’s coming to town to tear things down. I think that thought, sore of put him on the wrong footing with Fans, after they had had a taste of the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years (23 actually). I think Shapiro is a bright baseball guy. Akins, I get the impression the only reason he got the job was because he knew Shapiro. I’m not convinced that he’s an actual GM. I think he’s more of an Assistant GM, to Shapiro.
    I think they are growing. I think that with the rebuild on it’s way and maybe some renos to spruce the yard up a bit, that maybe, 2019 will be the bottom of the trough, and hopefully the turning point to come. I lost my crystal ball, or I would confirm all of it, after I drank wine, tequila and at some burritos, while walking through 2 ft of snow, backwards, in July. Silly, but humor (good or bad) is all I have left this season…

    • Ryan Di Francesco

      Humor is always good. I have a crystal ball that was given to me by my great aunt, who got it from Rance Mulliniks’ old barber. The thing doesn’t work though.

      • Oz Rob

        I’ve been thinking about this orb of yours. What it’s missing might be something related to Garth Iorg. What you need to get is something given to you by Garth’s old barber. This would then make the Mullinorgs cycle complete allowing you clear insight into the Jays’ future.

  • HNZ

    No we don’t have have the right to complain. This is baseball. Look at the Royals who were always much younger than us. Look how they fell apart. Toronto fans are the worse IMO. Only really there for the highs, easily cast away players, coaches, front office members during at any given moment. A play, a pitch, an inning can throw a Toronto fan off the rails. It’s sad.

    • Jroc

      Look at all the teams that Toronto played in the playoffs. BAL, TEX, KC are all WAY worse off the the Jays. Exception is Cleveland but they are starting to look like they already plateaued, they could win the division for the next 5 years and not win a round in the playoffs. I guess I just mean to say it’s all cyclical, the dog shit years just make the good years so much better…. I just hope it’s not another 23 dog shit years.

        • The Humungus

          I think it’s hard to argue that point. If you look at Cleveland, their bullpen has been bad, the offense has been Jose Ramirez, Fransisco Lindor and a bunch of guys named who (from a production standpoint).

          What Cleveland does well is defense and they have arguably the best rotation in the AL. But the rest of that team is not great, and they’re getting older.

      • Oz Rob

        This is a great point Jroc. I don’t think we’ll have to wait another 23 years, but who knows, baseball is so random and that’s partly the beauty of it. That’s why I can’t deal with fairweather fans. Follow the joy of the sport and the fact that hope springs eternal! Having said that, this year was completely f***d for the Jays