This season was supposed to be spent in the limelight, but instead, the Toronto Blue Jays are looking for the bright light. Last season, an injury-filled year ended with a disastrous last place finish. It was $120 million on the field every night, but still not good enough for a postseason run.
Then came 2014. no major upgrades, unless a subpar defensive catcher in Dioner Navarro will do. Still hovering in the range of $120 million payroll, this season was meant to take a turn for the better, as long as the injuries stayed away.
A 12-15 start in April was the opposite way the Blue Jays wanted to get going, but a turnaround in May left April in the dust. Atop the American League East, 33-24, and only getting better, or at least we thought. The division lead grew as large as six games, but that was as big as it would get. The Blue Jays got to the top of the roller coaster ride, and when the ride comes to the top it tends to come crashing down.
June was much the same as April, and July was a roller coaster in itself, but between the two came those injuries we oh-so dreamt would stay away. Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Casey Janssen all went down as easy as pylons. Then came that 11-3 run after the all-star break, but the fact is some roller coasters have multiple drops. This one came on the road against a lonely Houston Astros team, who are simply put, a minor league team. Dropping three of four and being outscored 22-10. is just inexcusable There came other mini winning streaks, but none to overcome losing to a poor Astros team.
Now we come to the end. The Baltimore Orioles saw the Blue Jays falling, so they ran. They ran with the division leaving the Blue Jays along with the New York Yankees wondering where it went wrong. Soon the wild-card, the Blue Jays’ final hope slipped through their hands, leaving another season full of hope ending in pity. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons will be back next year, as reports have surfaced. Who else will be back? How will the product look on the field next year? All those questions will be left in the cold of the winter, as we still look for the bright light of this season.
Injuries couldn’t be avoided at times, and scoring runs was one of the biggest inconsistencies in 2014. Then it was the bullpen that was a success last season, which became a failure this year. But for the moment, let’s not forget the core of pitchers we have under the age of 25: Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris and Drew Hutchison. That may just be the only bright spot in the Jays future as the window closes on the current core of the team.
The season has closed, another missed postseason, and this time it stings a little more than ever, as the Kansas City Royals clinch a postseason berth, meaning the Blue Jays officially hold the longest playoff drought among the four major sports in North America. Now players are pointing fingers at management for some questionable decisions, while players get blamed for underperforming on the field. One things for sure, 24 years of no postseason isn’t fun for