So, here we are entering another MLB post-season and my beloved Blue Jays are left in the cold. Another season, another letdown. From poor upper management decisions, to never ending injuries and line-up changes, it has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. We have watched some of our beloved favorites be traded, some under less than ideal circumstances, and others have been moved to make room for the new, up-and-coming crop of Jays hopefuls. We ended with a farewell to Gibby, who love him or hate him, brought us some of the best baseball we have seen in years.
But hey, the future looks bright…right? We have been drooling over the idea of Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette coming to the plate to bat for the Jays next season for what seems like eons, I just hope that we are not left hungry and disappointed. After all, we have been here before. We have been promised the land of milk and honey only to be left with dry crusts of bread and water; you know I am referring to our former all star shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki. Yep, we have seen the Promised Land, caught a glimpse of the glory and the greatness to come, and we haven’t seen him play in over a year. It has been a long road as a Jays fan to see a player with such talent sidelined by injury for so long. It is even harder as a fan to have hope for a future with him in the line-up, and to face the reality that he may never be what he once was. Then we have the loss of Josh Donaldson this past season, the ongoing battles with injuries and the everlasting back and forth with upper management (I am still mourning his loss on the field). Man, I will never get used to him in an Indians uniform. But I digress.
See, I am afraid of being let down. Being so engrossed in the hype that when the reality sinks in it is less than satisfying. It’s like looking forward to your favorite cup of coffee on a frosty morning only to have your order served completely wrong. Baseball is my coffee and Vlad Jr. and Bo are like my cream and sugar. I want it all together in perfect harmony. If if that sounds delusional to some. I know there are many decisions as to what players will play and where to be made.
I also know injuries happen, I know they happen often, but what if, just what if we lose some other young talent to injury too soon? What then, what happens to our beloved Jays? Do we have the caliber of talent on the field now to pull through if the youngsters go down? I think we are prepared to give it a good go, but I am not sure if we have what it takes to make a run without the firepower these players bring. And what of pitching? That is a whole other can of worms that needs a good look over. Our pitching inconsistency this year has been our Achilles heel. On top of it all we have to look for a new manager, someone who will guide the young, heed the veterans and determine the future. It is a delicate balance and a coordinated dance to be executed.
So that raises the question for fans: “are we ready to put up with more mediocre baseball if the Jays future players fall or are not brought up at all? Are we prepared to look beyond inconsistent pitching to the brighter future?” For those of us that bleed the white and blue the answer should be easy. For those that live on the fringes, who are back-and-forth bandwagon fans the answer will not be as easy. I think the coming weeks and months will tell the tale of where the Blue Jays are truly headed. There is a lot of work to be done, of that there is no doubt. I think there are more surprises to come and head-shaking decisions that will catch us off guard. We are in the place between re-birth and rebuild. A crossroads, if you will.
I want to be hopeful for the this team’s future, I really do. I want to be excited to watch a game, see the best of the raw young talent we have coming to take their moment in the spotlight and blow away all of our expectations. In the end, I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic at the very thought.