Blue Jays Long Season Comes to a Close
Another Major League Baseball season has come and gone and for the Toronto Blue Jays fans. It ended painfully with a losing season and of course not making the post season for the twentieth time in a row. The last time they made it, they won it all in 1993. That was then – a time without internet and cell phones were still the size of cereal boxes with antennae like radio aerials.
This was supposed to be a season with so much promise, but it unfortunately ended in some kind of heartbreak. I don’t consider it heartbreak when the team goes 23-32 in their first two months of the regular season… I mean no one can comeback from that right? I mean aside the LA Dodgers no other team could have a comeback like that in the AL!
By the first of July the Blue Jays were 41-41 some how going on a fantastic winning streak and finally hitting 500 baseball, maybe this team wasn’t that bad after? By the All-Star break the Jays were 45-49 below 500 again, but after that winning streak they could certainly go on another huge win streak again, unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays would never flirt with 500 baseball again, they wouldn’t even come close as their final regular season record would be 74-88.
Want to hear something really sad; the Blue Jays record last season was 73-89. So basically after upping your payroll from 83.7 million dollars to 119.3 million the Blue Jays managed to win one more game than they did in 2012, when I read this I am really sad and frankly so are most Jays fans. If anything the Jays fans should be mad at all the hype the organization shoved down our throats before the season started.
There were a lot of reasons why the Jays had such a bad year, a bad manager choice, error after error after error, bad pitching and over use of the bullpen to the point where it had to thin out the Jays bench, cold bats when the pitching was actually throwing a gem and last but who could forget, not least, our favorite term injuries.
We all know that I disliked the Gibbons signing from day one and he has proved to be the bad choice and the Jays have made the awful decision of keeping him. It bothers me that they are whiling to risk it all again, just because it would save AA from being fired, because if the Jays have a bad start next season Gibbons goes first.
It really bothers me that they didn’t give Ricky Romero, or Kyle Drabek a start in September, or the fact that they didn’t trade Darren Oliver to a MLB team in the playoff hunt and then at the end of the season deny him one last start, it just didn’t make any sense what so ever. I could write another article on what the Jays did wrong so I shall stop on this aspect now before it becomes a full fledge rant.
On to the injuries portion of this article, on September 17 Edwin Encarnacion went down with an injury, as did Brett Cecil. Shi Davidi on twitter said that Adam Lind and JP Arencibia were the last Jays standing, because they never landed on the DL, technically they both got hurt it wasn’t bad enough to be DL bound, but they still got hurt. That means ever Blue Jays batter who was in the starting lineup on opening day got hurt, that’s unbelievable, this is also the second straight season where the Jays had a lot of injuries, I think its time to dig deep and find out why all these injuries are happening.
The injury depression doesn’t stop there either, the Jays injuries on the rotation were so bad that only RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle were healthy enough to pitch more than 30 games. After those two pitchers the Jays had 11 different pitchers start at least one game, how bad is that? It’s really bad; if this is a team who wants to compete for the playoffs you need solid starting pitching. Yes, I do realize that not everyone in rotation pitches 30 games each, but 11 different guys is really bad.
Josh Johnson who was the beginning of the huge trade made with the Marlins last year had an awful season going 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA, 81.1 innings pitched and a 1.66 WHIP. Johnson would have his season cut short due to injury and many people are wondering what the Jays will do with him. I believe in giving him another chance and letting him play in Toronto, because I don’t know how I would feel if he had a bounce back season with the Red Sox, or Yankees. The Jays really have a lot of work to do this off season, they need to see if there is a trade, or a free agent pitcher/pitchers they can acquire to bolster this rotation. To me Brendan Morrow is very injury prone I would make him 5th in the rotation, keep Happ as a backup for when Morrow goes down with another injury and there you have your bottom of the rotation filled. I don’t think Esmil Rogers should be a starter; he should be in the pen next season, if they keep him. It will be interesting to see if the Blue Jays can make any moves to upgrade their rotation, honestly I’m really hoping they make a move, or two.
This season had some excitement with the winning streak and of course the Blue Jay fan base fell in love with Munenori Kawasaki. With all the injuries the September Blue Jays were full of callups, but that showed the fans that the Jays had some decent players in their farm system still and their cupboards weren’t empty.
The stat leaders this season look a little like this
Hits: Edwin Encarnacion 144
Runs: EE 90
Homeruns: EE 36
Stolen Bases: Rajai Davis 45
Average: Jose Reyes 296
Wins: RA Dickey 14
ERA: Aaron Loup 2.47 (Basing it off of games played)
Saves: Casey Janssen 34
Strikeouts: RA Dickey
Innings Pitched Dickey 224.2 and Mark Buehrle 203.2
Buehrle deserves to be mentioned because for majority of the season he was the most solid pitcher, even more solid than Dickey on a consistency level. There are a lot of question coming up this season. Some of them will be, do you keep Josh Johnson, do you trade Jose Bautista for a large amount of prospects, do you break the bank for Brian McCann, or a second basemen, do you trade JP Arencibia do you only focus on your rotation, do you bring back Rajai Davis and how do you get the fans to comeback next season.
Right now I rather focus on the MLB playoffs than go into depth on what this team should do, or shouldn’t do, but I don think they should extend Rajai Davis, maybe look at a better catching option and focus on pitching. They should also focus on the last question I put there, “how do you get the fans to comeback next season” this topic shouldn’t be ignored.
The Blue Jays this season had 2 536 562 fans show up to watch the Jays this year, the average is about 31 000 fans per game. This is also the largest overall attendance that have had since 1997, its also the second year in a row they have over 2 million in attendance. With those numbers the organization cannot complain about the fans not showing up, if they won a lot more the numbers probably would have hit 3 million, Blue Jays need to make sure that they do the right things this off season so the fans will keep coming back.
It’s been a long baseball season for Blue Jays fans and its been a hard one, now lets all take a break sit back, watch the MLB playoffs, the NHL, NFL and CFL and relax. Today marks the longest day before the Blue Jays play more regular season baseball, hopefully AA and company will do the right things in the off season, because the window of opportunity for this team is very small now.