17

The Waiting Game

It’s really easy for Jays fans and writers to spin out of control as they stare into the abyss. It’s easy to drive your thoughts deep into the terrible. It’s easy to look at this 2018 mess and wail into the Internet and hope that someone hears it or reads it. But, it’s even easier for your howl to be heard if you’re an opinion piece writer for a hoity-toity newspaper that loves schadenfreude buffets.

I don’t like schadenfreude buffets. I prefer a proper antipasto charcuterie platter with lots of meat. Lots of meat from Scheffler’s in St. Lawrence Market.

I can’t help but think about how certain hot takes really just feed the pigeons like that old man who I see every Sunday morning in Grange Park feeding those little flying rats. They flock to him and chase the feed. They peck at each other. They’re hungry and anticipate the old man’s next toss.

There are plenty of tosses these days. A lot of pecking.

The 2018 season has been dire, zero straight, all sideways. And not a single positive ‘if’ that we thought up back in March happened. Every ‘if’ flipped its middle finger at all of us fans, the players on the team, and the front office.

The ‘if’ said eff you.

There is no denying that this season has been a horror story, a Stephen King tale with a killer canine, and a 1958 Plymouth Fury that’s possessed by some nefarious force. It’s been Jack Torrance chasing us down with an axe.

And now the meat is being slaughtered.

The truth is this hasn’t been fun for any of us fans, from the pissants to the cool kids. It hasn’t been fun for the players and it hasn’t been fun for the front office.

And now the pigs squeal.

No matter where you stand with this current organization, or how passionately you feel about some of the stuff that has happened this season, or about certain players, or the front office, we all want the same damn thing, right?

A fun baseball team to watch.

A fun baseball team that wins.

And a World Series championship.

It’s easy to look back in hindsight and think things. It’s always clearer in hindsight, especially for the near-sighted.

The last two seasons have been an arduous adventure that has left us all with a fat lip and a black eye. And since Josh Donaldson was traded at the eleventh hour, we’re all feeling a little exhausted. And it’s most definitely turned into the gasoline that all the doomsayers guzzle by the gallon.

So chug-a-lug, but don’t let it burn that tummy.

There’s no denying that it’s not fun to watch your heroes from the past turn into YouTube clips and memories. There’s no denying that at all. But, to lose sight of the future and get swallowed up by this shitty moment that the Jays are currently in doesn’t help anything.

Some people might look at this organization and see only a bunch of ‘boy wonders’ in the minors who haven’t proved a thing at the MLB level yet. But I’ve just seen enough MLB teams with deep, strong farm systems eventually have that talent and pipeline translate into MLB wins. And having the number 1 prospect in all of baseball sure doesn’t slow this process down.

The objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

Having a farm system that wins at every level from Bluefield to Vancouver to Lansing to Dunedin to New Hampshire to Buffalo is eventually going to feed Toronto with talented players and it’s a sustainable cycle that leads to wins. The Jays’ system isn’t quite there yet, but it’s pretty damn close.

If Jays fans believe that this team will compete in three years, that doesn’t mean that they are buying any sort of advertising line. Maybe it just means that they see a lot of promising talent in the system.

But the pigs will squeal while some of us sit back and eat.

    • lukewarmwater

      I’ll be up in your area in October to visit the fine wineries. I sure hope they catch that pyromaniac who has set around 30 forest fires in your area the past 5 years. I manage to get some good weather in early July in the Logan lake area as I took the grand son fishing. But a couple of days after I left the horrendous fires really increased. My prayers go out for all the wonderful people in the beautiful interior of B.C. P.S. save me some fine cabernet sauvignon.
      I loved the line about band aids and toilet paper balls. It reminded me when Detroit tore down their old stadium, the fans stole everything including the toilet urinals.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        Yeah mother nature was a bit difficult this year. First thunderstorm set some big ones in Peachland. From end of July until recently visibility was about 150 m’s. We did not go outskde much. It was like breathing in the smoke from a campfire 24/7. That being said , welcome and enjoy the wineries. Can’t go wrong at pretty much every one of them. Me I love 2 small.ones that are in Winfield. Arrowleaf and Grey Monk. I lived in Germany as an army brat in Lahr. Right in the heart of the white wine region. And I can say that the wines here rival those pretty much. Really anywhere in the world. I count myself lucky to have them right at my finger tips

  • lukewarmwater

    Some great lines of prose written by you sir. Indeed we do have some hopefully solid prospects including numero uno prospect who will likely play for the Jays 5, 6, or 7 years till his agent demands plus a quarter billion that the teams that really, really want to win every year, the Yankees and Red Sox and Dodgers. Oh sure, sure they will make drastic mistakes, Price, damn well let us just get Sales, the Panda, well Martinez maybe is the answer. Oh by the way the Yankees and Red Sox farm systems are still churning away like a category one hurricane or that bloated stomach having had one too many over priced stale beers and brand x hot dogs at Rogers barn. Btw prospects are just that prospects. Remember a few years back we had Hutchison, Morrow, Romero Drabeck as starters. How are the two whiz kids Sanchez and Stroman doing these days?? Now I get that some of the mere mortal peasants in here are one trick ponies. Me, well I love all the Toronto teams so I’m soon lining up for the antidote of the 6 months of flu the Jays ownership and management has given to me. Yesiree one arm gets the ever improving, exciting, leafs and the other arm gets the M.V.P. of the Playoffs Leonard leading my Raptors.
    Now speaking of waiting , I could always reread the English 101 assignment of Samuel Becketts waiting for Godot or I could read the old testament and have the patience of Job.
    You see Ryan what I’m waiting for is hopefully expansion of M.L.B. and the possibility of the Jays being removed from the A.L. east.
    Yep come next December the heart will be warmed from the hot rum, the fire place and the oh soooo realistic chance of a wild card shot that was the plan this past season. But a funny thing happens on your walk to the forum or in my case a drive down the I-5 to the beautiful emerald city and Safeco field. Yep there I was watching all the Mariner fans high fiving as they moved over 10 games above Oakland for the second wild card spot as there will be just one spot available as long as the Yankees and Red Sox are determined to finish first in the A.L. east. Another shattered dream for my brothers and sisters of the bordering state of Washington as Oakland passed them similar to John Landy looking over his shoulder as Roger Bannister passed him in the Miracle Mile in August of 1954 in the British Empire games held in Vancouver. Damn Ryan you got the verbiage flowing from me like the volcanic eruption on May 18th 1980 of Mount St. Helens.
    Btw you seem to be very intelligent regarding the Jays. How much utter audacity will Rogers display in their ticket increases next year to watch a triple A team? Just asking.

    • Ryan Di Francesco

      That was a fun response and I enjoyed the verbiage that flew through you like the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens haha. I mean, sure, prospects really are just that and the Yankees system is as Cam would say THICC. But, I do believe that this organization is heading in the right direction. And it does suck that Rogers really doesn’t give a fuck about baseball and the fans. And it sucks that uncle Ted’s statue is outside the Dome to remind all of us that there is a corporate finger that presses on this ball club. But, maybe if the Jays can churn prospects, trade some of them, and spend some money once these shitty contracts are up, sustainable winning could become a thing here. As for the audacity of the rich, it’s too bad we can’t just eat them haha … But, yeah, it’s bullshit. The price of shitty beer is bullshit, the struggle Shapiro is having to get the upgrades done on the concrete box is bullshit, and it’s really just unfortunate.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        Rogers needs to seriously consider selling to MLSE..assuming they are interested in buying. Let’s hope the dome renos are the catalyst. Not to mention a new stadium in another 20 years when the skydome suddenky explodes from all back pressure from Mount St Helens, Bandwagon fans and gas from all those Chicken weiners and aged Labbats 50’s passed off as…uhmmmm…Labbats 50. At some point you have to wonder when mlb steps in with Rogers and explains that renos done with bandaids and toilet paper balls do not add to any sort of positive fan experience while playing in a big concrete sandbox. It is not the way to maximize profits and keep players healthy…yeah Rogers really needs to either buy into the Jays or unload them. If any of that is possible….what do I know. I live in Kelowna, have 7 month summers and enjoy golf more than baseball in years like this. I have to start making the 6.5 hour trek to Safeco next year. Untill then, Gallaghers Canyon awaits…..FORRRRRRRRRE….

      • lukewarmwater

        Thanks for your kind words Ryan. To quote the singer Dusty Springfield, later covered by Dionne Warwicke. I’m wishing, hoping and praying. I think some of the regular day prospects will indeed be very good. Pitching is tougher to predict. Although Pearson is something else as I watched him with that 100 m.p.h. plus fastball last season in Vancouver. I see the Angels amazing multi talented rookie is down now with Tommy John surgery coming up. Btw how are my pigeons doing on uncle Ted’s statue as I sent them last Christmas as a Christmas gift. It was the best gift I could think of giving Rogers.

  • Oz Rob

    Tampa F***g Bay.

    Isn’t that what we want? A team of young, athletic talent who can hit, pitch, run and field?

    I have no doubts our own talent will be able to do the first two. It’s the latter two that I sometimes wonder about. Of course I could be jaded by the fact that our running and fielding at the mlb level has been atrocious for years.

    Also…am I the only person concerned about Vlad’s ability to actually play 3B in the majors as well as his body weight etc. He’s a big boy and as Gibby says, wait until he sees those MLB buffet tables.

    • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

      I think Vlad is destined for first base ala Cecil Fielder. If he avoids the buffet…maybe left field. Can’t see him lasting at 3rd with his current defence amd slow feet.

    • lukewarmwater

      I recall Gibby at the state of the union address at the end of the season the past few years indicating that he would really like to see the Jays have more speed in their game He basically was pleading to stop the over emphasis of hammering the raw hide out of the park and simply try to work on taking 90 feet at a time. Unfortunately for our affable manager, management didn’t listen.
      Who ever replaces John, I hope will be able to convince management that the team definitely has to get faster, more athletic defensively and more solid in the basic fundamentals of the game. I totally agree with you on the need for improvement in running and fielding. Too many guys are double play out specialists due to their plodding up the first base line.