If you can dig way back into your memories, you may remember that on May 19, the Blue Jays sat atop the AL East by three and a half games. At lot has happened in the intervening three months, and not much of it has been all that pleasing to watch.
Since then, the Jays have gone 28-49. That's 21 games below .500. And just for the sake of reference, the hapless Washington Nationals over the same period of time have gone 31-51.
Let that roll around in your head for just a moment: The Jays are one game worse than the Nats over the past three months.
In the early part of the season, the Jays were knocking the seams off the ball, with a team OPS of .821 (.358 OBP, .463 SLG). In those halcyon days of Spring, the pitching staff put up a 3.58 ERA, with a WHIP around 1.25.
But as the season wore on, injuries piled up, and the magic of Cito and his new/retro staff began to wear off, it all went pear-shaped. The pitchers posted an ERA of 4.43 from May 19 on, and the offense sputtered, mustering only a .734 OPS (.316 OBP, .418 SLG).
It's depressing to look at that drop off, and to see that the preponderance of evidence suggests that this team is not close to regaining their footing in the AL East and reawakening dreams of pennant races. Moreover, what all of those numbers can't quite convey is just what a gong show the past few months have been, bookended by two three-game sweeps at the hands of the Red Sox.
(And really, doesn't Bret Cecil's brain cramp last night pretty much encapsulate, in one surreal moment, what the past few months have been like?)
It's important that we not lose sight of the good things that this team has going for it, and the bright spots that we can forsee on next year's roster and beyond. We'll be there throughout the off-season with our pom-poms, leading the cheers.
But it is equally important that we not overlook what an absolute shit-show the majority of this season has been, and that we not allow ourselves to get so comfortable that we give some of those responsible for it a free pass and a second chance to shitty up the next season or two.
Fire Cito. Fire J.P.. Let's move on.