With the 2019 season looking like a “rebuilding” year, here are some things fans can do to get through it
With the season nearly upon us, and spring training literally around the corner, baseball is returning and not a moment too soon. Let’s face it, it was quite the lackluster off-season with few transactions, and of course rumors to fill the news. It made the baseball void that much harder to take. While there is excitement at the upcoming start , what is a Blue Jays fan to do when faced with what could be a non-contending season? Focus on the game of baseball itself is the obvious answer.
Growing up a Blue Jays fan, for myself, it had more to do with the Blue Jays as the hometown team than the actual game of baseball. It didn’t require knowing all the intricacies of the sport to cheer my heart out for the win. A passionate fan doesn’t always necessitate a deep knowledge of the game, but when a season looms that might not be a winning one, falling in love with the game itself will certainly help. So what does a survival guide to the Blue Jays 2019 season look like? Here are five ways I’m making it through the season.
1. Find a way to appreciate the beauty of a well executed pitch.
We’ve all seen them, but have you really watched? When that curve ball passes the plate in perfect position, it truly is a wonderful sight. Mike Fiers of the Oakland Athletics has both curve and spin, so when you catch it, it’s amazing to see. When the perfect pitch is thrown, the pitcher and catcher both know it and catching their reactions is worth it. If you fall in love with a pitch, it tends not to matter which team is throwing.
2. Look for the play.
There is at least one in every game. It’s that crazy baseball moment that takes your breath away. It’s the front flip over a catcher to make it home – yes that happened in 2017 when then Blue Jay Chris Coghlan leapt over Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina to score a run and it was fantastic. Look for those, no matter where it comes from.
3. The catch
They happen all the time and are fun to watch. From Devon White’s famous 1992 World Series Game 3 catch to the quite entertaining fan catches, they are talked about and celebrated often. Win or lose, there’s usually a great catch in there somewhere.
4. The stolen base
This is especially fun to watch when it’s unexpected. There isn’t a baseball fan in Toronto who didn’t watch in shock as Kendrys Morales stole second base in the 10th inning against the Minnesota Twins last season. It was jump out of your seat, what the heck was that, kind of stuff that can put a smile on your face even in the 10th inning with concessions closing in the 7th. Stealing home is a – somewhat rare – sight that would make any baseball fan happy.
5. Watch who is coming up
This is not the season to sigh when a callup is needed. The Blue Jays farm system is in great shape. So many are looking at what is to come and it is exciting. The Vlad jr watch began last season but he isn’t the only one in the class that could reach superstar status. There’s both talent and pedigree coming, and it promises to be a great distraction during the upcoming season.
It took me a while to fall in love with the game, but when I did, it made all the difference. As much as I want the Blue Jays to bust out and go on a tear – which is possible because after all, it’s baseball – it’s all the intricacies of the game that make it so enjoyable to watch, despite outcomes. This season could be quite the ride Blue Jays fans, so might as well enjoy some great baseball because no matter what, there will be great baseball even if it’s one moment at a time.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.