Thursday, April 11, 2013

Patience is the hardest of virtues

(That's Axl Rose. Because he was rad back then. If only I had the photoshop skills to turn that into a Blue Jays cap... )

Confession time: 

Sometimes I hate Blue Jay fans.  Well, let me backpedal - hate is such a strong word.  Let's say that sometimes Blue Jay fans drive me crazy.

Now, before you judge me the way I have judged many (so, so many, if twitter can be believed...), I will pre-emptively and readily admit that this is probably more a character flaw of mine than yours.  I should understand that it's just human nature, it's 20 years of baseball frustrations.  It's many more than 20 years of Toronto sports fan frustrations (hey - I'm not rubbing that in - I'm from Winnipeg, man!).  It's the buildup of a winter of excitement and promise.  It's the end result of a mad promotional push by the mother corporation for this team when really, we didn't even need it.  We were already on pins and needles waiting for the first pitch.  Expectations can be a bitch.

Except... it was also only 7 games.  Seven games!  Of a one hundred and sixty two game schedule!  That's 4% of the year.  Four percent.  Who can determine anything definitively about a team after completing four percent of the schedule?  I can't.

And... again, while I can understand the frustration, and the convenient outlet twitter provides to vent that frustration, what I cannot understand is the #firegibbons crowd... mixed in with calls for the return of The Manager.  Hoooo boy.  I knew it was coming - it was always going to come - but I figured May at the earliest.  Not the first week of April.

This Toronto Blue Jays club is a very talented team.  There are holes, yes of course there are.  Thin bench.  Infield defense (especially sans Brett Lawrie, which throws the whole infield alignment out of whack).  But the talent on the roster is undeniable.  A slow start doesn't make it not so, it makes it... a slow start. 

Cy Young winners one year do not become worthless pitchers the next.  National Leaguers do not forget how to play the game when switching leagues.  Home run champs and .900 OPSers typically aren't instant dogmeat the next season, and if they are, we won't know this 7 games in.

That's not to say this all works out.  This could be a .500 team just as it might be a .600 team.  Division champs, wildcard team, or middle of the pack... we just don't know yet.

But let's wait a while to see how this all plays out before giving up on the team.  Let's have fun doing it instead of screaming for wholesale change after dropping a few series.  I'm certainly not trying to tell you how to be a fan.  I'm not your blog daddy (around these parts, that's Tao).  I am, most certainly & definitely, not trying to tell you to cheer for this team in the exact manner that I cheer for this team.  We all have our favorites, our baseball ideologies, a certain way of enjoying the game.  Sports would be boring otherwise.

I guess I'm just asking you to be reasonable.  Be reasonable!

Alex Anthopoulos put on his big boy pants in constructing the roster this winter.  Because of this, we have become fans of a potential contender.  Can't we do the same?


Anonymous said...

Bang on Ack - couldn't have said it better myself.

Logan said...

Well said sir. Well said. Jay fans complain that no one wants to play in Toronto and then boo the new guys off the field in their first couple games? Sometime's it is a disgrace to be associated with this fan base.

Chad said...

I think it's just how some people watch sports -- to react and overreact. I know I do sometimes. What I don't get is people who seem to enjoy baseball in the same way a programmer might enjoy elegant code compiling.

Kind of tiring seeing constant tweets and re-tweets of Wilner and the Drunk Jays Fans guys shaking their heads at the dumb fans referencing numbers all the time. I am watching the minutiae of Blue Jays because I am irrational about them.