Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stop Digging

The last time I showed my face around these parts, it was to be as cautiously reassuring as possible about the lengthy injury the Toronto Blue Jays starting shortstop had just incurred.  That was a simpler time, wasn't it?  It really was early then -- a mere ten games into the season, when we all innocently believed a slow start would right itself quickly, and that despite the departure of an offensive catalyst at the top of the lineup, the remaining talent on the roster would shine through.

It's been a bit of a blur for me since, I'll confess.  Even if I hadn't watched the previous evening's loss, the day in, day out jabs from co-workers about whether I was worried yet served as reminders that the team was still struggling to string anything positive together.  I'm a guy who spends way more time than is healthy paying attention to the things that happen with this team, and it's even been hard for me to grit my teeth and shake off another series dropped.  My alternative has been to simply zone out a little bit.  I'll go play for my own softball team or get some yard work done and not feel too terribly if I've happened to choose to do so on a day when they decide to take a 10-run shit-canning.

But they do have a way of pulling you back in, do they not, these Jays?  This frustrating, fascinating team provided yet another glimpse on Sunday of just what they can bring to the table.  Brandon Morrow went eight innings and had one rough one among them, from which he escaped admirably.  They hit line drives and deep flies, they ran the bases relentlessly, and they came away with ten runs.

So, you know, "Today was a good day," he said to nobody in particular, ironically in the same manner of the spouse of a terminal patient providing comfort to visiting relatives.

But recoveries, even the unlikeliest ones, all begin with a good day.  What you're hoping for is for the good days to start outnumbering the bad days, and for the bad days to get a little more bearable each time.  One good day isn't enough, but it's better than the alternative and better still if the next day follows suit.

Jesus, that sounds pretty melodramatic just reading it back to myself, but here we are.  The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays aren't a terminal patient just yet, but the vehicle that hit them wasn't just a freakin' Smart Car making a slow right turn through the crosswalk either.  They've been thumped handily on at least four separate occasions, and when they've been close, as Jose Bautista said, every little mistake they've made seems to have cost them a game.  They consistently leave themselves very little margin for error, which can make life in the big leagues pretty difficult.

While I'm on a roll with the overwrought metaphors:  you can subscribe to the theory that they've dug themselves a bit of a hole from which they can climb out.  Maybe you're more extreme -- maybe it's a canyon  in your view, from which they may only hope to scale their way to some middling plateau.  Maybe you think they've crashed to earth with such velocity that the resulting wreckage is not only incapable of emerging from the smouldering crater it created, but that any salvageable bits should be sold for scrap.

Me?  I just want them to stop digging.

1 comment:

J. B. Rainsberger said...

This game was almost perfect. If they'd scored only 6 runs, it would have been absolutely perfect. They got a lot of luck, but not so much that they could feel like they didn't deserve the results.

They hit a lot of line drives. A bunch of them fell in, but not all of them. The Seattle defence took away a few hits from them, and they survived. Morrow fell apart for 20 minutes, and they survived. They got one big hit from an unlikely source, but enough hits from the likely sources. They got a few breaks, but not all the breaks.

If nothing else, this game reminds the team, and perhaps the fans, what slightly-more-normal luck looks like. :)