It's easy in the middle of the season to get lost in the mire of your team's most recent events.
Talk to most of us (Jays fans, bloggers, tweeters, commenters, what-have-you) in over the Winter months, and we were all pretty sanguine about the prospects for the 2011 team, and the degree to which we would bear with some temporary pain for longer-term gain. It should have been obvious that such a stance would be much harder to maintain once we were looking at Corey Patterson in the two-hole everyday.
Oh sure, back in the months of offseason rosterbation and speculation, no one was picturing such an eventuality. But then again, we weren't figuring on a lot of the downside that has come to fruition in this first third of the year.
Because if you'd told us about the cavalcade of calamities that have befallen this team before the season started, there's no way that we could have pictured much more than a 100-loss season, and maybe worse. It's entirely possible we would have folded the blog and found another hobby...like javelin catching.
Seriously, look at the misery thus far...marvel at it! What would you have expected if we'd told you back then that as the Jays were about to play their 50th game:
That Brett Cecil and Travis Snider were justifiably demoted.
That Adam Lind came back, only to get hurt.
That Jo-Jo Reyes pitched worse than expected? (And really, not much was expected to begin with, aside from a few kind words from yours truly.)
That Aaron Hill has gone from turning into a pumpkin in 2010 to becoming a rotting carcass of dilapitated two-weeks-past-Halloween pumpkin in 2011.
That Mike McCoy will get 45 at bats, will be deservedly demoted several times, and still put up better numbers than Aaron Hill.
That Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Hill and Rajai Davis combined to have as many home runs as Chris Woodward (or us, or you for that matter!)
That Corey Patterson and his .737 OPS would seem like an offensive asset when compared to Juan Rivera (.662), Rajai Davis (.649), Aaron Hill (.616), Edwin Encarnacion (.586) and Travis Snider (.540).
And then if we were to tell you that the Jays managed to stay within three and a half games of the AL East lead, and sat just a game below .500...Would you be relieved?
Thus far, the season has played out worse than we could ever have expected. Well, with the notable exceptions of the One Man Gang, José Bautista (4.5 fWAR!) and a very respectable rookie campaign from J.P. Arencibia. But still...you see what we're saying. For all that's gone wrong so far, there's an upside to this season, and our heroes aren't even all that far off the mark.
Unless, of course, things get really bad.