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Like everyone in the city of Toronto I was caught up in the magnificent run of the Blue Jays, which sadly came to a heartbreaking loss in Game 6. We’ve been season’s ticket holders for six years, so watching the development of this brilliantly orchestrated and very talented ball club has been extremely gratifying. Alex Anthopoulos through patience, great scouting, good drafting, aggressive moves and some good old fashioned luck did a job nothing short of spectacular.
The blue print is simple; load the organization with depth at every position enabling the kids to develop, thus then allowing the GM to make the trades he did at the deadline. Otherwise, those trades never happen.
I’ve expounded in the past that all of us Leaf fans have to pray that the good folks at MLSE are paying attention and adhere to the model. From what we have seen so far, it looks like that is the case. When things get bleak this year (and at some point they will) plop in front of your TV and replay game 5 of the ALDS to remind you of what is possible. It’s interesting to note that coach Mike Babcock encouraged the Leaf players to attend that game to experience the electrifying environment and what they could be a part of one day. Reading the player comments after game 5, it worked because to say they were overwhelmed, would be an understatement.
This now brings me to the point of today’s blog. With the terrific storyline centered on the Jays and you could make similar cases for the other three teams in the final four, why is it everything but that?
Jose Bautista hit the biggest home run of his career and third biggest in franchise history, yet all anyone wants to talk about is the bat flip. Really?
I watched in utter astonishment as Texas pitcher Sam Dyson who served up the fat pitch that ended his teams season dis Jose for flipping his bat after the epic dinger.
Is this stuff serious? That’s all you were concerned about and why you chirped Edwin in the batters box? This clown just served up a batting practice pitch to the best home run hitter in baseball since 2010 and instead of apologizing to his teammates, was worried how he got shown up?
What about game three pitcher Derek Holland wiping his butt with a Jays rally towel before game one at the Rogers Center; that’s not disrespectful to the game and opponent? Not to mention the thousands of kids at the game and now hundreds of thousands viewing on social media. Now the baseball gods took care of that jerkoff Holland in game 3 when he was lite up like an airline runway. Maybe he should have saved the towel to hide his face from the embarrassing performance he put on?
Its’ no coincidence that ALCS champs (it took 3 attempts to type that) the Kansas City Royals let their talking take place on the field. They did it with great offense and defense but our Jays gave them all they could handle, especially after Jose’s clutch 2-run shot tied the score late in Game 6. But it was not to be even after Toronto had runners at 2nd and 3rd with none out in the 9th, then retired in order to put the final nail in the Jays coffin.
What’s lost in the Blue Jays great season was the response of the fans. The message has been sent to Rogers loud and clear, which is, you make the effort, so will the supporters of the ball club. The city and country have embraced this team with open arms and despite the outcome, the future has never looked brighter for our Toronto team. The “team-first” approach was entrenched way back in spring training and while we have heard white noise before, management appears committed to the challenge this time and that’s extremely positive.
Folks we live in a society of the “me first” attitude and needn’t look any further than my favourite egomaniac, self-centered athlete, Lebron James. He represents everything that’s wrong with sports today and the classic example; the vote with fans, whether he should slap his hands with talcum powder before each game, along with what number he’d wear. Seriously? But he is the face of the game and it sells, unfortunately. Dr. James Naismith must be turning in his grave.
You don’t think fellow golfers wanted to wrap a club around Tiger Woods head when he’d make a putt and follow up with the hockey fist pump? Talk about showing up an opponent. But he was the face of the sport and was increasing the viewership along with the purses, thus everyone accepted it.
Who remembers Rickey Henderson, May 1, 1991 breaking Lou Brocks all-time stolen base record, jumping up and calling himself the greatest? Can you say selfish, egotistical and a jerk? Yeah maybe, but let me ask you this, where you thinking that the night of October 24, 1993 after he lead off the bottom of the 9th and scored on Joe Carter’s World Series winning home-run? Of course you weren’t.
I realize the sizzle is what sells the steak, but at some point the substance becomes a factor and must either make the grade or move on. Grown men play kids games that allow us to wrap ourselves in the moment, forgetting about the strains of life we all deal with on a daily basis. But like anything in life when money’s involved, the element will emerge from the most unlikely sources and unfortunately we must learn to block that out.
We as fans get to live in the moment, when nothing else matters except what’s happening on the playing surface in front of us. I will forever remember where I was the moment Jose hit both those historic home runs and that my friends is what it really is all about. Now if only the Leafs can take us on a similar ride one day, is that too much to ask?