Some Toronto Blue Jays fans are worried, others remain confident while still others don’t really seem to care the about the team’s current struggles. How should you feel?
There’s no point in denying the obvious – the Toronto Blue Jays (78-64) aren’t playing great baseball these days – but does that mean fans should toss in the proverbial towel and give up on the team? There are 20 games left in the season, and the Blue Jays still hold a playoff position. Is the end really nigh?
From what I can gather, there are essentially three different ways that fans can react to the Blue Jays’ struggles in September, but remember: you were warned in advance that meaningful September baseball can be stressful.
Reaction #1: Surrender
“The season is over – this is so typical of the Jays!” “Talk about Toronto sports teams always choking, go Raptors!” “I thought these guys were good?”
The Blue Jays are 3-7 in their last 10 games, ceding first place in the division to the Boston Red Sox (80-62) and dipping ever closer to the also-rans in the Wild Card race. With an anemic offence and a rare spell of bad pitching from the rotation, the season is basically over. It would take a miracle and a sudden reversal of the Blue Jays’ recent performances to salvage the season, but there’s no way they catch the surging Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles (78-64) now. Only these teams can seem to win these days; the Blue Jays are dead in the water (air?).
It’s time to start focusing on next season. Bench Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson, fire John Gibbons and Brook Jacoby, trade (!) Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki, and prepare for life without Edwin Encarnacion. Things are only going to get worse from here on out – it’ll be another 21 years in the wilderness before this team gets it right.
It sure sucks being a Blue Jays fan.
Reaction #2 Relax
Despite the optics, the Blue Jays still remain firmly in control of their own destiny. They can hold onto their current playoff position by returning to winning baseball, and they can even make up some ground as the Red Sox and Orioles begin the week with a three-game series against each other.
Toronto’s next 10 games are against non-playoff teams, which offers them an opportunity to figure things out before closing out the season against their primary rivals in the American League East. If you want to panic, look at Boston’s schedule over the next 10 games: they face the Orioles seven times sandwiched between a three-game visit from the surprisingly resilient New York Yankees (76-66).
Toronto’s next three opponents? The Tampa Bay Rays (60-82), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (63-79), and the Seattle Mariners (75-68). The opportunity is there, so there’s no need to panic.
We got this, guys.
Reaction #3: Shrug
If the Blue Jays aren’t good enough to make the playoffs this year, then they’re not good enough to make the playoffs this year. It’s that simple. Your life won’t likely change in any significant way as a result – the sun will continue to rise, you’ll continue to punch in and out of work every day, you might even find more time to spend with family and friends – though it might be discouraging to think you invested all that time into bad baseball.
You can’t control how the Blue Jays perform. Whether you watch a game or avoid it, there remain two possible outcomes for the team: they will either win or lose. You can’t change that, alter it in any way, or avoid it. The Blue Jays’ performance is independent of your own existence – there’s no actual connection between the two – so why stress about it?
Your life won’t end, and unless you consider yourself one-dimensional, your identity won’t be thrown into crisis. Enjoy the good times, but don’t over think and overreact to the bad times. After all, this is just baseball (albeit bad baseball).
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: C Stem- JFtC
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As a long-time Jays fan, I’ve invested more time in bad baseball than a sane person would allow. Fortunately, I was finally rewarded with some post-season action last year! This year?