A thought occurred to us as we were listening to last night's beatdown at the hands of the Royals. One of the old saws that gets yanked out every season by barstool pontifcators and JaysTalk callers is that there are some mediocre teams that the Jays can't afford to lose to if they are going to remain competitive.
At various times, the Tigers, Rays, Orioles, Mariners and, notably, the Royals fell into this category of weaker sisters that some assumed should be easy pickings, and when the Jays lost to these lesser teams, people totally lost it.
Setting aside whether if this theory was sound (and it probably wasn't), a glance through the American League in 2009 shows us that there really aren't any allegedly easy wins for the Jays or any other team this year.
All of the teams in the Central look to be at least .500 teams, and the West - with the offensive juggernaut Rangers and the surprising Mariners - looks as though it could be a four team race well into the summer. Almost every team has relative stregnths and weaknesses, and no team stands out as exceptionally weak or an outright disaster along the lines of the Nationals.
Speaking of which: Let's not tally those interleague games against Washington in the win column for the Jays just yet.
The upside of this parity is that we'll likely two-thirds of the AL in the mix for playoff spots all season long, and every game is going to be that much more important if the Wild Card will be up for grabs to a team with a win total in the low 90's.
Bring on the nail-biters.