With spring training about a month away, that means it is time for the Blue Jays to hold their annual “State of the Franchise” question period with season ticket holders and the media. If I were to attend that meeting, what question would I ask? Several come to mind but one sticks out more than the others: will this year be different than the rest?
The reason for my question is that since the last World Series win in 1993, the Blue Jays have consistently bounced between third and fourth place in the American League East. I think the reason for this is the lack of direction and unwillingness to stick to a plan, whether it is the youth or the high-priced talents they paid for, or a nice combination of both. However, management never seemed to stick to one direction, but with a new regime, perhaps that will change.
After asking the question, there are several points I would want addressed. Firstly, I would want to hear that the organization is staying the course on building around the great young talent they have on the roster, such as Jose Bautista, Eric Thames, Adam Lind, Ricky Romero, and Colby Rasmus. Secondly, I want to hear that the organization is willing to go out and spend some money on a big name player that may put them into the thick of the playoff race, even if it costs some young talent, especially with a second wild-card team being added to each league. Finally, the last point I would want addressed is that they would stick with the younger players through thick and thin, as in the past this has not been the case. Travis Snider is the best example of not being given an opportunity to work through a mini slump, and instead is sent to Las Vegas, which could hurt a young player’s confidence and mind set. If young players get the opportunity to battle through adversity and slumps, in the long run it will make them a better ball player.
The Blue Jays have the talent on paper to be in contention for a playoff position, with a great core of players who are ready to show the baseball world what they are all about. If management sticks to the plan and lets their stars shine, fans will flock back to the Rogers Centre like they were during the World Series years.