The “dog days of summer” in baseball terms is the period between the All-Star Game and September first. It is a time where teams are in the middle portion of their schedule, where the season grinds on, and teams become contenders or pretenders.
Unfortunately for the Toronto Blue Jays, they are once again pretenders. A season that started with so much promise was derailed early with poor pitching performances, from both the starters and bullpen, and injuries to several key players, most notably Brandon Morrow, Brett Lawrie, and Jose Bautista. This meant playing time for youngsters who had no business being up in the big leagues, and it is reflected in their as of writing 57-71 record and last place standing in the American League East, 14 games out of a wild card spot. The Jays have been regulated to playing out the season. This season has not only been painful for the players and management staff, but fans and writers who write about the team as well.
As a resident blogger for Back In Blue, the site for all your Jays information, this summer personally for me has been a challenge. As a blogger, I have always tried to stay unbiased, but sometimes the fan inside overrides the blogger, and quite frankly this fan is disappointed and disinterested. The tipping point for me was when I attended the Canada Day game against the Angels. I was looking forward to seeing Pujols, Trumbo, and Trout play, but was rooting for a Jays win. Instead I got a game that turned me off for the entire summer, which has never happened. The Jays were in a close game going into the eighth inning, and the Angels had the heart of the order coming out. To everyone’s shock, Manager John Farrell brings in Francisco Cordero, even though Darren Oliver had a six-pitch inning in the seventh. The result was five pitches and three runs later, Cordero was getting booed off the mound and the Jays ending up losing the game by seven. Right then, I thought to myself, if this is the best we have in this situation, this season is going nowhere, and I was right. From that point on, I lost interest. Sure, I have watched here and there, and checked the scores, but I have never watched a full game. This is not a reflection of the players efforts, because they are giving it all to the end, but when teams ahead of the Jays in the standings are more healthy, talented, and active at the deadline to improve their playoff chances, I became deflated.
I do applaud the fans that still go, watch on television, and remain positive on Twitter. It is kind of sad when the Jays win people seem surprised or excited, when teams like New York, Texas, and Tampa are expected to. Real fans stick with their teams through thick and thin and the Jays seem to have a small pocket of those fans. It is time the Jays reward these fans.
The plan the Jays have was not about 2012, despite what some thought. It is about 2013. We can only hope for Opening day 2013 the Jays are fully healthy and us bloggers won’t have to suffer through another summer fighting the “blog days of summer.”
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From the couch…