Fresh off practically inducting Brett Lawrie into Cooperstown, Jayson Stark of ESPN has come with another epic tome of Blue Jays optimism. Or… at the very least one third of a 1200 word blog post.
In his latest– or thereabouts– for the “Worldwide Leader,” he lays all kinds of positivity on us:
“I’m ready to predict the Blue Jays are going to shock the world and make the playoffs, as the second wild card, for the first time since Joe Carter’s home run returned to Earth 19 years ago,” he says, taking a shot in the dark with the hopes of being the one guy who got it right when the AL East dust settles six months from now.
“The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Blue Jays are the first team to win 23 of its first 28 spring training games in 15 years, since Jim Leyland’s 1997 Marlins did it,” he reminds us. “And you know where they ended up.”
“Over the past 20 years, only two other teams have won more than 75 percent of their spring training games, according to Elias,” he adds. “The other was the 2009 Angels. Their spring record: 26-8 (.765). They then went out and won 97 games for only the third time in the history of the franchise, and swept the Red Sox in October.”
So… it’s destiny? Apparently. Y’know, according to a pattern culled from a tiny sample size of an arbitrarily end-pointed meaningless number. PLAN THE PARADE!
He’s not wrong, of course, that the Jays are going to be a difficult team for anybody to beat on any given night when Brett Cecil isn’t shitbagging meatballs down the upper third of main street. “Scouts and executives around Florida continue to buzz about how this is one of the best lineups in baseball, from top to bottom,” he says. “Heck, a guy who had an .859 OPS two years ago (Colby Rasmus) is probably going to hit ninth.”
But pulling a 2008 Rays-esque year-too-early steamrolling on the flawed deities of the division? Yeah… probably. PLAYOFFS!!!!!1!