A good piece from 500levelfan got me thinking about much of the dialogue I’ve been hearing and reading lately about how Jays fans are just sick and tired of not making the playoffs since 1993. While completely true, I fear too many fans are starting to fret like the Blue Jays are the Pirates or something. The Pirates, with 20 years of below .500 baseball, of finishing in dead last for 7 of those years, the Jays are not. The Pirates, lucky enough to perform admirably in one year to make the postseason wild card game and advance to the LDS, the Jays are not. The Pirates, who depend on a small local market, the Jays do not.
The Jays have had many winning seasons above .500 with competitive rosters, but no cigar. In ’08 with the best pitching staff in all of MLB, I think the Jays would’ve made the post-season if they even had a league-average offense. But they didn’t. Ricciardi acquired guys like Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson instead of going for it. In hindsight, I don’t know who they would’ve dealt for further assets like Jason Bay or Xavier Nady, but still, it was depressing.
Batters Box’s had a piece last week that was enlightening on the Jays draft performance. To describe it in one word – brutal. It kind of makes me feel like John Farrell’s comments about the Jays not being a player development organization is true. How can they not develop more guys?
Our Blue Jays, with the current roster, still have a legitimate shot to win in 2014 if they can pull it together and surpass the innumerable question marks glaring everyone in the eye on this team. It’s still part of their three year window or whatever they’ve called it, even though Anthopoulos initially said upon his hiring that he wants to build a contender year in and year out. At the same time, I don’t want to put additional pressure on the team. I mean, they’re anxious enough already to drive in runs or hold runners at bay. Good grief, I wish the Kevin Seitzer thing would go through already to revamp the Jays 2-strike approach.
Maybe if we pick the Jays for last, we’ll be pleasantly surprised? No pressure, right.
Maybe I’m being too hopeful in this instance, feeling too “wait till next year” and “hope springs eternal” already. But they do have a chance to turn this around. However….should 2014 be a failure, then it may be the right time to conduct a full on rebuild since many players will have one more year left on their contracts. With the Jays talented roster, hauls of good prospects could be brought in. And yet, that means more waiting; more waiting for significant games in September and beyond.
But the Jays are not the Pirates. Stop acting as if they are.