Well, then. We've had ourselves quite a couple weeks as Blue Jays fans, haven't we?
Between the Maicer Izturis signing, and then THE TRADE (TM) and most recently the Melky Cabrera signing, your humble correspondent has barely had time to catch his breath. There's been lots of smart, passionate and well-written stuff put out there -- both online and in the good old MSM -- about what's been going on, and I don't want to rehash it too much here.
So without getting too philosophical about what's transpired, and what might still be coming down the pipeline, I have a few short thoughts.
I've been a fan of this team for a long time, but only for the last, say, six or seven years have I followed personnel changes closely enough to form strong opinions about them. I was a much younger man in the early 1990s, and the significance of the Joe Carter/Roberto Alomar trade, or the Paul Molitor or David Cone or Dave Winfield acquisitions, or the others that turned a good team into a great one, were mostly lost on me. I was happy that my team was getting better and ecstatic that they won two championships, but I didn't spend much time thinking about how all that was happening, at what cost, or about whether it would last. I was mostly thinking about who might be able to get me booze for the weekend without getting carded.
Now, I'm an older, more dedicated, (I like to think) more informed, and more opinionated fan than I was in those days. I've tried to recognize the team for what it was for several years: a usually good, never great, fairly entertaining bunch that kept my attention and made me appreciate baseball a little more all the time. At the same time, I understood and accepted that there was a difference between the way they approached the business of the game and the way teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and other big spenders did. I could still enjoy them for what they were.
The past seven to ten days may not have completely turned that whole paradigm on its head, but it's as close as we've seen to that happening. Whether the Toronto Blue Jays, and their corporate ownership at Rogers, now intend to remain a top-5 or top-10 payroll in baseball for perpetuity remains to be seen. But for the time being, the franchise has cast their lot with the big boys.
The expectations are different now, and they might not live up to them. And even if they don't, we'd all be well advised to think back to how we felt this week -- this dizzying blend of optimism, anxiousness, hope and a bit of fear -- and remember that it was still about as good as we've felt about this team for roughly a generation.