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Bo Bichette says Blue Jays are going into a season “trying to prove people wrong” for the first time

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Photo credit:Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
The vibe heading into the 2024 season is different than usual for this version of the Toronto Blue Jays.
A few years ago, they were baseball’s most exciting up-and-coming team. But after back-to-back sweeps in the Wild Card round and zero playoff wins since Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made their big-league debuts, the Blue Jays are now being viewed as a team unable to handle lofty expectations.
Bichette spoke to the media at the team’s training complex in Dunedin, Florida on Wednesday afternoon and noted that this was the first time the Blue Jays had been doubted during his career and that the team is heading into the season with a different mindset than in previous years.
“I think this is the first time we’re being doubted,” Bichette said. “We’ve always had high expectations and I think it’s definitely a different mindset trying to prove people right than trying to prove people wrong.”
Both top prospects who dominated in the minor leagues, Bichette and Guerrero were called up to the Blue Jays in 2019 with a tremendous amount of hype. What was supposed to be their first full season in the Majors in 2020 was shortened to just 60 games, but the young Blue Jays capitalized on the expanded playoff field and got their first taste of playoff baseball. They spent half of the 2021 season playing on the road and came up just shy of making the playoffs with a 91-71 record in spite of it.
That second-half surge in 2021 appeared to be a breakout performance from the Blue Jays but they haven’t lived up to expectations since. They improved to 92-70 in 2022 and hosted a Wild Card series against the Seattle Mariners but got overwhelmed by the pressure of October. The team came back in 2023 with a whole new strategy built around getting all of the little things right but forgot how to hit and got shut down in the playoffs.
Bichette said that the team didn’t live up to its ability in 2023 and also noted that improving in 2024 will require everyone to hold each other accountable.
“We didn’t produce the way that we’re capable of, or the way that we should have,” Bichette told Mike Wiler of The Toronto Star on Tuesday. “I know there are things we need to do better internally, and we’ll figure that out internally. I think we were just as frustrated and disappointed about how the season went (as the fans were).
“We need to hold each other accountable. We need to have a standard here. Those are things we’ve been talking about, but … we need to be on the same page. Those are things we’ll figure out and try to address, and after that move on and just get after it and get ready for the season.”
These sorts of statements aren’t much different than the ones we’ve heard during Spring Training in previous years, though there’s certainly more of a sense of urgency right now than there has been in the past. It makes sense, considering Bichette and Guerrero are both two seasons from free agency. A lot can change this fall if the Blue Jays again don’t reach expectations.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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