Despite the Blue Jays woes in Anaheim and the Argos laying the “eg” in Winnipeg, Toronto sports fans have had plenty else to distract them this past weekend, much of it good. Dominating performances by Teams Canada and North America to open the World Cup of Hockey, and a stirring comeback by Toronto FC to clinch a playoff spot are certainly buzz worthy, and the talk radio agenda this morning seems to agree more or less. But with just two weeks left in the baseball season, there’s great concern the Blue Jays are about to waste a season filled with promise. I can be kind no longer.
After 6-1 and 4-0 losses, the Jays hold the final AL wild card berth, are four back of Boston in the division, and sit just two ahead of Detroit and Seattle with 13 games to play. The weekend losses were embarrassing and unprofessional, littered with mental and physical errors and ignorant of basic fundamentals of the game. Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer just showed every other team how to pitch the Blue Jays, who continue to refuse to change their collective approach at the plate. They consistently painted the outside edge, knowing the Jays big bats won’t shorten their swings and/or look to go the other way save for Devon Travis. Consistently behind in the count, Jays hitters were then easy prey to fastballs up and in or breaking balls away. The strikeouts continue to mount in situations where contact is essential. Worst perhaps, however, is the appearance from the outside that they are playing for themselves as individuals instead of as the cohesive unit we saw just a year ago.
I can’t imagine John Gibbons’ dismissive post-game media comments are the same ones he’s delivering internally. He’s doing his job, protecting his players in public forum in the middle of a horrific slide. But surely if he doesn’t, then the veteran players on this team realize a return to basic fundamentals is needed and quickly and they can adjust. We’re going to find out in Seattle, where winning at least one game is an absolute must. Aspirations for repeating as division champions appear to be unrealistic (but not impossible) now, and securing a wildcard berth should now be the primary task.
I wrote last month about how the Blue Jays had a schedule advantage over the last two months of the season. That has now been more than squandered with their 5-11 September record, and the upcoming homestand against the Yankees and Orioles has become must win baseball. Simply put – there is no more room for error.
Curling? YES, curling!
A personal shout out to Team Cadorin and skip Chrissy out of the Thornhill Club, who have started their season in fine fashion. The team underwent a full makeover in the spring, with new members Joanne Curtis, Julia Weagle and Sarah Jagger added. Team Cadorin reached the semifinals in their first two tour events in Oakville and Cornwall (where they went 4-0 in the round robin), and are aiming to add themselves to a deep upper-tier of Ontario women’s rinks looking to find the next gear in order to challenge Grand Slam tour champion Rachel Homan, who won the Shorty Jenkins event in Cornwall yesterday.