The Great Jay Swoon
Remember when the Toronto Blue Jays were sitting in first place in the AL East, three and a half games ahead of the Boston Red Sox thanks to a 27-14 start? It was the middle of May and with the AL’s best overall record, this team was starting to believe in itself. Locals were crowing, but I pegged the run as unsustainable back in April.
Well, the Jays then went out on a nine-game road trip and, after a soft early-season schedule, began to face the cream de la cream of the Junior Circuit. The result was a nine-game losing skid that essentially shredded the team’s hopes of a miracle season.
Despite a much-improved offense, the team went 48-73 the rest of the way to wind up with a disappointing 75 wins and fourth place finish in the AL East.
And the issue that dogged the club for much of the summer – incessant rumours of Roy Halladay being dealt away – are still present this offseason. With Halladay saying he won’t approve any deal that occurs once the season starts, the Jays are under major pressure to make something happen so they can get on with the rest of their off-season plan.
In large part because they gave franchise player money to a player who clearly isn’t the franchise player (Vernon Wells), the Jays now find themselves forced to try to peddle their real franchise player because there’s no way they’ll be able to afford to re-sign him as a free agent at the end of the 2010 season.
Crappy? Sure is, Toronto fans. In case you had visions of competing dancing in your head, may I officially welcome you to reality.