When the Blue Jays win, it’s a work of art. But when they lose, it’s usually a mixture of horrific fundamentals and absolutely clueless play. Finding yourself at the end of a game you’ve trailed all night with nobody out after the legendary Aroldis Chapman can’t find the plate, walks the bases loaded, and Matt Chapman ends up getting himself picked off first base? You can’t pry victory from the jaws of defeat with knucklehead (or bonehead, or dumbhead) decision-making. For the record, that picture accompanying this caption is from July of 2016 when the team inexplicably turned a routine grounder into three outs, hitting into a 3-6-2 triple play. The previous one was in 1955. You can’t make this shit up.
From a triumvirate of dingers in one game to a golden sombrero the next, Vlad Guerrero Jr. was no doubt micro-humbled by the reality that professional baseball isn’t just hard, it’s also completely and savagely unpredictable. Even the most hardened and experienced contact hitter not named Wade Boggs or Tony Gwynn suffers from the occasional humility associated with being a flummoxed hitter (four K’s in a row, brah) in Major League Baseball. Although several Jays hitters took umbrage with borderline calls and early inconsistent umpiring, this one’s entirely and unequivocally on them. Also, not a single day goes by that I don’t miss the mercurial Tony Gwynn and the celestial things he did at the plate and what an inspiration he was. The chicken man, on the other hand, was just ok. He had that stupid green monster in Fenway.
Don’t drink too much Blue Kool-Aid early; without Manoah’s heroics, this team would have lost the series against the Bronx Bombers. 9 runs scored in four games? Two games with ZERO walks? Montoyo needs to know that his troops can’t simply rely on one-dimensional play and a careless lack of fundamentals if they expect to compete later in the summer. I tweeted earlier (near the toilet, not on it) that I felt lately like we’re watching house league and bush league fused together in a really bad John Cusack film, but then suddenly and out-of-nowhere childhood memories of playing house league in Thornhill overwhelmed me and I turned off social media, my phone, and the internet completely. Fuck social media and leaving Vlad Guerrero Jr. stranded with one foot in the on-deck circle, the other one in a hopeless heap of dust, and me having neurotic flashbacks to my youth.
Next up are are the Oakland Athletics, also known as MLB’s current source of migrating talent that goes elsewhere when filthy rich teams come calling. Allow me to contextualize my sarcasm and scorn by reminding readers that their total measly-ass payroll sits at a miniscule $51 million, strategically above the Baltimore Washbasins, which makes today’s Toronto team essentially resemble the 1992-1993 World Series-era gluttoneers. Not an actual word, but remember when the old guard led by Patrick Gillick and Paul “The Free Spender” Beeston embarked on a holy quest to find talented mercenaries known as “Jays Killers” (see: Jack Morris, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Rickey Henderson, David Cone, Dave Stewart; christ, who didn’t we bribe to come and fight for us), their regime ultimately out-hit, out-pitch, and out-spent every opponent on the planet; the fact they won TWO World Series champions was testament to the financial freedom and sense of urgency that isn’t always tangible around these parts. Mark Shapiro needs to know that contending windows can close almost as quickly as they open when you’re busy penny-pinching, bean-counting, and growing a surprisingly mediocre beard. Keep on spending, spendthrift!
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