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Photo Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Donaldson reflects on his time in Toronto: “At the end it hurt”

It’s a moment that we all knew was coming. Josh Donaldson is returning to Toronto and the night will be filled with fond memories of home-stealing and rain-bringing.

With both teams at opposite ends of the World Series-contention scale, the Blue Jays are hosting Donaldson’s new team, the Atlan Braves, for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night. Before the game, the 2015 AL MVP was able to say some words about his time in Toronto and what exactly it meant to him.

Looking back at the years he spent in Toronto is bittersweet for the third baseman. Finishing a tenure highlighted by dramatic playoff series victories and individual accomplishments by fizzing out due to injuries and never really getting his footing last year, then getting shipped to Cleveland just as he was getting ready to return to major-league action.

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It might be the pure definition of underwhelming when it comes to baseball operations, but Donaldson’s legacy in Toronto might not shine as bright as it could if it wasn’t for those last few months.

His time was not that long in Toronto, but the effect he had on this team and leading them into their first playoff series in a decade, winning it and just grasping at another World Series appearance. All in just a few years, but he will be remembered for those famed 2015 and 2016 Blue Jays teams.

There’s plenty of reasons to be hopeful for Toronto’s eventual return to the post-season in the future, but right now the team that Donaldson left less than a year ago is in a completely different direction than the team that he played on.

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Especially considering some recent transactions and the general reaction to some of those moves, the front office of the Blue Jays isn’t widely appreciated as of right now. Donaldson either shares that sentiment, or doesn’t think about them at all.

While appreciating the fans and the city itself, Donaldson mentions that he has no opinion on management and gives the classic, “it’s business”, tagline whenever someone might not be so willing to understand a move that directly affected them.

No matter what, he will always be mentioned as they key contributor that brought the Blue Jays back into being a respectable team across baseball. There will always be the “what ifs” about retaining Donaldson or any of the older players on those playoff teams, but the team that is currently in Toronto has a future for them.

In the end, it’s extremely unfortunate the way Donaldson left. If it was one last playoff run or a spectacular race into the Wild Card, it would feel a whole lot better, but injuries and weird trades always happen.

He will always be a legend when it comes to the Blue Jays and that won’t change with the way he departed.

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