Toronto sports fans have gone through the meat grinder when it comes to their sports teams: the Raptors got swept by the Washington Wizards, the Maple Leafs had arguably one of the worst seasons in team history, and the Blue Jays, well, they have been in win-now mode for three years and but aren’t winning right now.
The Jays are 17-22 so far this season, which places them squarely in last place in the AL East. Their latest road trip saw them go 1-6, and they now hold an 8-15 road record for the season. This isn’t what the team was hoping for, and after being swept by the Houston Astros in a four game series, tensions starting run high. In an article written by TSN’s Scott MacArthur, pitcher Mark Buehrle and third baseman Josh Donaldson vented some of their frustrations. What follows are but two examples of this frustration, the first from Donaldson, and the other from Buehrle.
“This isn’t the try league. This is the get-it-done league. Eventually they’re going to find people who are going to get it done.”
“We’ve got to turn it around quick before another fire sale and we start selling guys and trading guys out or sending guys up and down,” said Buehrle. “We’ve got to do something in here because we have the talent in here. We’re just not playing very well.”
These are two players who have been giving it their all this season and, in Buehrle’s case, every season he has pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays. It can be assumed that when the top players are feeling frustrated, the rest of the club harbors similar sentiments.
The problem is the team isn’t in sync yet. They either get great pitching and no offense, or they get great offense but the pitching falls flat.
It is hard to blame the Blue Jays’ loses on the lineup in general when the team is near the top in the league many offensive categories. For example, they were the first team to score 200 runs this season. However, looking back at the recently-completed seven-game road trip, their numbers aren’t great across the board. Their starting pitchers had a 5.60 ERA, while the bullpen had a 6.15 ERA. With runners in scoring position, they batted a paltry .218 and were outscored by a total of 37-28.
This team needs help, and they need it now. The rotation and the bullpen desperately need boosts. Can Alex Anthopoulos get the help that is needed through a trade, as opposed to just signing a guy to a minor league deal and hoping he turns out to be hidden gem? Budget restrictions have affected the team yet again, which is a shame as Rogers had always been somewhat competent and now Toronto fans are starting to despise them. Do the Jays need to change at the manager position? Yes, but that won’t happen any time soon, and Pete Walker has not done a good job as the pitching coach this year, either.
Everyone, from the fans to the players, knows this team needs help. If the owners and management care about saving the season then something needs to be done, and sooner rather than later, or this Blue Jays squad will be added to the list of bad Toronto sports teams. That list is starting to get rather long.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images