However, over the last week, as I’ve tried to come to grips with the fact that something I’ve dedicated so much of my time to has ended with all the efficiency of a headache stopping, I’ve come to the conclusion that lists are the most efficient way for me to relate what this season meant to me.
It was such an up and down affair that the only thing comparable in my mind are the dozens of relationships that Stoeten’s mom has formed with different men in her neighbourhood. At one minute you’re in the throes of ecstasy as John McDonald gets a walk-off base hit to beat the Colorado Rockies, the next you’re bemoaning situational hitting as Vernon Wells pops up to second base. As a Jays fan there were moments to be proud and moments to be ashamed.
Because it’s always important to go out on a high note, let’s begin with the top ten lowlights from the Blue Jays season:
10. Shitty Media Coverage
I don’t mean to be a shit in the Toronto media’s cut, but . . . well, actually yes I do. As much as I enjoy the work of Wilner, Blair and even the guy from CP on occasion, I’m beginning to think that Toronto’s major media coverage of the Jays is every bit as whiskey-soaked as Stoeten described during Spring Training.
When not claiming that Matt Stairs played catcher for an inning (I’m looking at you Stellick) or calling for Gibbons head because Frank Thomas isn’t bunting, the Toronto media are spouting off uninformed opinions with the frequency of a Jays Talk caller.
I know he’s a dead horse that’s been beaten to death by every Toronto fan with a computer (save the dozen rotating sicophants who write into his mailbag each week – six of which are his own aliases), but Richard Griffin’s exceptionally ill-educated opinions, terrible analogies and complete lack of interest in facts warrants a special mention for incompetence. Mr. Griffin, I’m sure you’re a fine fellow, but your shtick is growing tired and your writing is especially awful and nonsensical. I recommend covering the Leafs.
9. Visiting Tigers Fans
Last season I had nothing but kind words to say about fans coming from Detroit to Toronto for a ballgame. Our Southern neighbours cheered for their team, but did so respectfully and were always quick to talk about baseball in a way that most Jays fans aren’t. They were basically the exact opposite of Red Sox fans.
I don’t know if it was the rising Canadian dollar or their loss in the World Series, but Tigers fans were complete assholes this year. I mean one time this season they were heckling Marty Pevey on a Thursday night for Jesus “Butterfield” Christ’s sake.
On one occasion Stoeten got into it with a Ginger fuck face from Detroit only for his girlfriend to step in and defend him. Say what you will about Red Sox fans, but at least they’re not pussy enough to get their girlfriends to defend them. Pathetic.
8. Ryan Greer
Actually, not enough said. Toronto Living sucks and your career is a joke. Your name is synonymous with having a hair style that you’re too old for and a sense of humour high people don’t find funny.
7. The Losing Streak
The saying goes that you can’t win your division before the All-Star break, but you certainly can lose it. As such, we all should’ve realized that this season wasn’t meant to be on Thursday, May 10th when the Jays lost their ninth in a row.
If I wasn’t such a glutton for punishment and attracted to the types that like to play with your heart like it’s a dog toy for her pet whippet, I would’ve walked in early May. I would’ve said enough of this nonsense, let’s go Indians.
Instead, I spent the next five months hoping against hope for the miraculous. Even before a September series against the Red Sox, in a moment of delusion, I noted that a Jays victory would put them only four games back of the division lead. God, I’m stupid.
6. Steve Trachsel
There were some painful games this season: the Zambrano collapse against the Red Sox, the 10-1 loss at the hands of the Dodgers’ grease ball. However, nothing was worse than watching Steve Trachsel pitch.
All this talk about ridding baseball of performance enhancing drugs and no one has thought about eliminating the biggest buzz killer in baseball, Steve Trachsel. The human pause button takes somewhere between three and four lifetimes between pitches and refuses to throw a fastball over the plate. Watching him play is like watching a stripper in a fat suit dance for hours without taking off a single layer.
5. Vernon Wells And His Rally Killing Pop Ups
The Jays hitting was so unexplainably bad at times this season that for a brief moment I actually wondered if they weren’t just unlucky enough to constantly face lifetime performances from the opposing pitchers.
While the rest of the Jays found new and interesting ways to kill rallies all year, Vernon Wells was faithful to one technique. The sky high pop up, just past second base, became Wells’ calling card this year and by the end of the season was just as predictable as getting a warm beer from the Rogers Centre beer vendor who looks like Harry Potter in a highway collision with puberty.
4. Bullpens Are For Resting
While I can manage the fuck out of a fantasy league team or an MLB: The Show virtual team, I’m fairly certain that a squad at my reins would have all the team chemistry of a Dave Matthews and Chad Kroeger Super (Shitty) Band.
Nevertheless, I have to ask why pitchers were sent to the bullpen this year and kept there never to appear again. I’m talking about Josh Towers, Jamie Vermilyea, Jason Frasor and even Brian Wolfe for a time. If they can’t be trusted to pitch mop up duty, they really shouldn’t be on a Major League roster at all. At one point this season before September callups there were eight pitchers in the bullpen and only three being used regularly.
Seriously, what gives?
During that time, no one could claim that the Jays couldn’t use some speed coming off the bench for pinch running late in games.
3. The Wave
As usual, Stoeten said it best earlier this year in his post titled, “The Wave Can Go Fuck Itself.” I don’t know what the average fan considers an accomplishment, but managing to start a wave at a baseball game is somewhere between taking out the trash in the morning and being able to spit on command.
Despite how obvious this should be, idiots actually take pride in getting this going at a ballgame and, worst of all, they do it at the most ridiculous times. Seriously, there’s no need to stand up in front of me or pay attention to the other side the stadium when there’s a two-out rally going on in a tight ballgame.
Purveyors of the wave should not be allowed in the stadium.
2. Linkin Park
Unless I was extremely hungover or just plain lazy, I tried to say something disparaging about the musical marketing ploy named Linkin Park every Friday. While my hatred was often exaggerated in a desperate attempt to be funny, it was very real. I hate Linkin Park more than any other band in the history of music, even Heart.
I know this doesn’t really have as much to do with the Jays season as some of the other things in this list, but I’m just as upset that this band continues to make “music” as I am that the Jays didn’t make the playoffs. That’s how much the Jays mean to me.
1. Jays Fans
Finally, Toronto sports fans are rivaled only by their compatriots in Philadephia as the worst sports fans in the history of sporting events. However, at least in Philadelphia they actually know how the game of baseball is played.
Throughout this season I was in awe of the people seated around me and the behaviour and remarks they pull out during a game.
For all the evidence you need, I highly recommend going through some of the DJF Cam posts to see photographic evidence of these not quite still births.
Fan of the year though has to go to the complete shit stain of a human who carried his two sodas while getting an usherette to help his own mother down the steps of his section. I’ve sort of come to expect a lack of baseball knowledge among fans at The Cable Box, but a lack of human decency is a completely different matter.
You, sir, are the opposite of everything that DJF stands for and like the wave, you can go fuck yourself.