It’s official: The Toronto Blue Jays are ‘teaching championship baseball’.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 11, 2019
Because…That’s the Blue Jays way.
Unfortunately, when I walk up Blue Jays Way, I still see the names of players like Bautista, Encarnacion, Tulowitzki, and Price painted on the sidewalk. A permanent stain in our hearts.
Now, we hope the pile of tomorrows that lead to new flags – new championships – aren’t decades high. Who has time for that? Any of us, who were lucky enough to experience ’92 and ’93, are getting older – wrinkles around our eyes. White springing up in our hair and not in our step.
So, teaching championship baseball better not take too long, eh? I guess, if ya can’t win ’em, ya teach ’em – or something like that. A rebuilding championship baseball kind of thing. Brick by brick baby. And most of those bricks are in Buffalo. The Buffalo building bricks to championship baseball in Toronto.
I am going to take the QEW to Upstate New York this year. The same long stretch of asphalt that will lead Vlad’s Buffalo soldiers into the heart of Ontario. I will go for chicken wings at Gabriel’s Gate (or wherever) and then watch championship baseball. That’s where the teaching is happening this season, or…
The one interesting take away I had from Mark Shapiro's Fan590 hour this morning was him stating that the main goal for this season is to bring their young pieces to the big leagues so they can evaluate how close they are to being a championship team.
— BVH (@BVHJays) March 14, 2019
Clearly, Vlad is going to make his way north, but does this also mean that Biggio, Bo, Alford, and Tellez will be setting foot on the Rogers carpet earlier than expected? Maybe the Buffalo Bisons aren’t going to be the International League beasts after all. Maybe all of the talent on that roster will be donning Jays caps in July or August, especially after the trade deadline. Either way, this is the type of ‘let the kids play’ kind of talk that most Jays fans have been missing this offseason. It’s been stale like 5 dollar beer. Cheap like hotdogs for a buck.
Now, obviously any internet cretin knows that the future is impossible to predict (even if you have a crystal ball that was given to you by your great aunt, who got it from Rance Mulliniks’ old Slovenian barber). But, the fact is that heading into the 2019 season, the Buffalo Bisons are going to be one of the best minor league teams in all of baseball. Nothing bold about this prediction. They could probably even win the AL Central.
What we can’t predict is who the organization is going to call up and when. Let’s hope that this core wave of prospects, who we continue to gush over, will sip a bunch of Jays coffees this summer. There are a lot of factors that will determine who is going to take the QEW to Toronto, or who will push, pull, or drag their car into Sahlen’s Field (a.k.a. Coca-Cola Field) all season long.
One thing that is certain is that Vlad doesn’t push, pull, or drag anything. He murders baseballs. He sends them on journeys. Journeys with no destination. And the destination for all of Toronto’s best prospects is the place we all call dome. Let’s hope none of them break our hearts trying to get there.
Now, I think that the Opening Day Buffalo Bisons roster is more exciting than the Opening Day Jays roster. I think Bobby Meacham’s club is going to be more exciting that Charlie Montoyo’s Jays. I think that the Jays aren’t going to win many games, nor any championship. But, the Bisons might if certain future stars don’t get called up, of course.
This is the most intoxicating Bisons team in years, which means that the future really is only a couple of tomorrows away. We’re all going to be drunk on Buffalo this summer reaching for the bottle of Bison. It’s where the future plays. It’s where championship baseball happens – for now.