Friday, May 28, 2010

Bring it on

For some, the cycle of observing the Blue Jays goes a little something like this: If they are winning, people point out the weakness of their opponents, or the fact that they have yet to really face the big boys. If they lose, it's because they just flat out suck.

So with the next 12 games on the schedule lined up against their AL East rivals in Baltimore, New York and Tampa, some of those perpetual naysayers have pegged this as "The Test" of the team. This will provide proof as to whether if they are a team that could win 90 games and stick with the Yankees and Rays through the summer, or if they are the team that most had figured would spend more time scraping the bottom and battling the O's to stay out of the basement.

But here's the thing: We don't think that these next two weeks are going to actually prove anything. If the Jays come out of those series under .500, it doesn't mean that they should pack up their tents and call it a season. Nor should we start putting the prosecco on ice in anticipation of championship glory if they come through this stretch successfully.

Besides which, we suspect that if the Jays were to run wild like the Hulkster through the Yanks and Rays, it still wouldn't satisfy the naysayers. We're sure there would be another stretch of games that they would propose to be "defining" a week or so down the road. And if the Jays go into the final week of the season still in contention, someone somewhere is going to ask the proverbial question: "Are the Jays for real?"

If being proven right is your goal as a cynical sports fan, you'll invariably get rewarded for your pose. But we're rooting for the Jays to make the cynics squirm for as long as they can this summer.

Because "told you so" would be so much easier to hear in late September.

12 comments:

Holden Ballfield said...

My last tweet was on this as well. Good to know we're thinking similarly. I am fucking sick of hearing/reading about how the Jays will almost certainly falter. Yeah, if I were putting a $1000 on it, I wouldn't bet they will make the post-season. But please, Wilner, DJF et al, shut the fuck up about it. We get it. It's a long shot. They are the Abe Simpsons of Jays fans. "Ah, the team will blow it. Yep, they blew it. I knew it."

William said...

The season is a marathon and yet everybody (including me) gets all excited about what the runners are doing at mile ten of 26. Part of it is the media which feels the need to hype up a series they are televising or writing about to justify their coverage.

Each game and each series is important because only a handful of games will separate the teams at the end, but one can't take too much stock in what's going on in the present. Heck, just two weeks ago, I was writing that David Ortiz was dead as a baseball player. Oops.

Ty said...

I agree with most of that, but I do think those 9 games vs. the Rays and Yankees are more interesting than any stretch so far this year. Of course they won't automatically decide the Jays' fate for the rest of the season, but playing well against the two best teams in baseball would certainly be a nice confidence boost for players and fans alike.

That said, there will always be naysayers -- heck, remember back in September '08 when Wilner still refused to believe the Rays were 'the real deal'? The Jays will always have similar detractors, and a few successful series against divisional rivals won't change that. That shouldn't be reason to neglect the importance of these series, though; as long as the MLB sticks with this unbalanced schedule, games against the Yankees and Rays will always be more important than most, and playing nine games in a row against those teams -- especially considering where they are in the standings at the moment -- is a big deal for this team.

Holden Ballfield said...

A Fire Mike Wilner website might be in order, but fuck me if I would listen to him long enough to write a witty deconstruction of his work. Plus, I'm not exactly as funny as Ken Tremendous.

There will never be a site like FireJoeMorgan unless those guys come back.

Mattt said...

Amen...

Parker said...

For the record, I think that Andrew Stoeten, Dustin Parkes, and Mike Wilner are all morons. However:

The Jays got off to an awesome start last year, and then followed it up by being the worst team in baseball for the last three months of the season. Optimism is fine but, as Winston Wolf would say, let's not start sucking each others' dicks just yet.

Pollyanna said...

The Gay Jays Fan (where is he, I miss him?) might be sorry to hear you say that, Parker.

I'm not optimistic, I just totally think this is going to be the best year ever!

The Ack said...

We just gotta keep our spurs from jinglin & janglin'...

Fangarello said...

If the Jays win the series against the Rays & Yanks, I'm throwing caution to the wind & indeed putting the Prosecco on ice. In fact I'm going mix that Prosecco with Campari & sweet vermouth and toast 'em with a drink the Italians call a "Sbagliato" ("full of mistakes") in honour of the team that wasn't supposed to do anything impressive this year. Drink that, cynical bastriches!

DaveC said...

Cynicism being a coping mechanism, I understand the reactions. Jays fans were burned last year after the hot start, and given how many of our boys are outperforming their career numbers, I don't think it's unwarranted.

Let's enjoy it while we can(Marcum! A-Gon 2.0! Bow-tista! VERNON!), but I don't think it's unreasonable to be bracing for the near-inevitable fall back.

Leaker19 said...

I get no joy when they win. Winning is only a relief from the pain of when they lose. When they won the first Seattle game, that was 15 wins in 20 attempts and I was riding high. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop though. After stubbing their toes on Arizona and the Angels, I'm thinking, is this what the other shoe looks like? This is the life of a fan hoping his team will be good instead of knowing they will be good. From '85 to the early 90s I knew the Jays were good. Win it every year? No. But I knew they would be competitive and not some total embarrassment. The last 15 years have been rough. A decade or so of wishing your team has enough juice to finish third can really take it out of a guy.

Tao of Stieb said...

Fuck it. I'm drnking Sbagliatos tonight.

I love when the commenters come through with drink recommendations.