Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays news and links. This edition: September stress, R.A. Dickey & more!
Well, well. Since the beginning of September, we’ve watched the Toronto Blue Jays slip from leading the division all the way to barely holding a Wild Card spot on this fabulous Monday morning. With a dozen games left in the season, time is not on their side. They cannot afford to lose any more ground. Now that that stress is out in the open, let’s take a nice leisurely stroll through the latest news and links, shall we?
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*Brendan Kennedy of The Star has some advice for you if you are unsure about how to handle the 2016 version of meaningful September baseball. While the list is definitely helpful, the real awesomeness from Kennedy comes in the explanation of what is behind the stress we’re all feeling these days. It turns out that the brain actually does a terrible job of remembering that it’s just a game. Turns out testosterone and cortisol levels fluctuate depending on whether your team wins or loses. It would be no surprise that, over the past two weeks, you’ve been feeling down. Your body chemistry has actually been altered with the slide in the standings. If last year’s winning made us happy (which it did), then the opposite has to be true.
What is interesting is that, as fans, we’re feeling this stress and anxiety as if we were players. They feel the same, only magnified. One has to wonder if that is behind what is going on with this club. The expectations of last season are difficult to love up to and as a result, players could be trying harder, which would only serve to increase stress, rather than decrease it.
*In case you were not watching or listening to the broadcast for fear of throwing something at your TV/radio out of frustration, you missed the 13 minute bee delay. That’s right, the game was stopped due to a swarm of bees taking over the field. Imagine a whole team of grown men running around to get away from the black and yellow visitors. CBC had some fun with it by bringing us a list of puns to up date us on the event. For a brief moment, it allowed us to forget about the larger playoff picture and just focus on remembering there is an outside world beyond baseball.
*R.A. Dickey felt the sting (see what I did there?) of possibly pitching his last game as a Blue Jay recently. After his rather solid outing over the weekend, he told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet that he thought about that as he walked off the mound. He let his mind get all sentimental for a brief moment. He acknowledges that this is likely the end of his time in Toronto, which has been rather up and down. Dickey was rather candid about his awareness of the disappointment Blue Jays fans may have in the trade that brought him north. He knows what the club gave up.
He also knows the risk that he took on in coming to pitch in the AL East. That’s something that we often overlook. Dickey was able to negotiate with then GM, Alex Anthopoulos, to get a contract agreed upon. He knew he was coming to the AL East, to compete in the toughest division in sports. He very well could have gone somewhere else to better his own numbers. But, he says he wants to be on a championship team. It was something that brought him to Toronto and it is something that is guiding his agreement to go along with the club adjusting its rotation, even if it means he is not in it. He wants to help win.
*Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe always has a good deal to say about a good number of things. On Saturday, MLBTR passed on a list of such things. You may be interested to know that Cafardo listed a few names who might be candidates to replace Blue Jays manager, John Gibbons. On the list is former Blue Jays assistant coach, Torey Lovullo, Bud Black and Eric Wedge. Seeing Wedge’s name will only add fuel to the fire that president Mark Shapiro is using his Indians connections to fill spots on this club, which…come on.
The bigger issue here is whether the organization should be looking to replace Gibby at all. This September tailspin is going to see someone answer in one way or another. The players are the ones not performing. But, you can’t fire them all. As well, our Catherine Stem has a post coming out on the team chemistry later today. Perhaps, Gibby is to blame there. There is something missing with this team. They don’t have the same fire they had last year. Is that the manager’s fault? More importantly, will upper management see it that way? Should they?
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.