So last night I wrote about the Jays and their tumble out of sole possession of first place in the AL East… and into a tie with the Orioles for first place in the AL East. The response to it so far probably hasn’t been what you would expect if you only looked at my too-frequent haranguing of shitty negative people and little else on this site or Twitter. Most people around here get it! They don’t need or want any of that type of hand-holding through things that they already know.
But does that mean I’m fighting some phony battle with straw men, like I’m occasionally accused of? I don’t think so. Not only are commenters here just a small fraction of a readership that itself represents just small fraction of the entirety of Jays fandom, but it’s not like we have to go far to find the kind of infuriating sentiments. Not even as far as the TSN.ca comments, or the ones on BlueJays.com, or Twitter.
I don’t say that merely to excuse my beating on this dead horse, but just to point out that straw men aren’t straw men at all. This conversation exists. These people exist. Most of us know a whole lot of them outside of the online realm, frankly — and, as such, are probably a whole lot more polite with them than things tend to get around here — and my stance is that I see value in combating such attitudes, elucidating reasons why what those people are saying is ridiculous, and… y’know… making sure they know that we know that they’re shitheads.
I don’t know. I guess all of this is just a long way of saying, “Here’s some dumb stuff that was actually written in response to the previous post, by people who really do exist, and why it’s dumb.” So… here it is…
bionic bird says:
whats the difference between this year and last. Last year they won 11 in a row and then played .400 ball the rest of the way. This year 9 in a row and now .360 ball so far with a supposedly better team. They tease us every year. The offense has been mia for a month. Its all home runs or nothing. I just dont see anything changing
To wonder what the difference is is to show that one is simply not paying attention. The Jays were 38-36 last year when the eleven game streak ended on June 23rd. Yes, they played .409 baseball the rest of the way, but… the difference? Let’s look at the difference. Between that date and the end of the season the Jays were without the following pieces: three-fifths of their rotation missed significant time (Brandon Morrow’s season was already over, Josh Johnson’s last action came August 9th, J.A. Happ wouldn’t be back for nearly six weeks), Jose Bautista would miss the final six weeks of the season, Sergio Santos was still five weeks away from returning, Colby Rasmus would miss a month, Steve Delabar would miss a month, Brett Cecil would pitch just one inning over the season’s final month, Brett Lawrie would miss three weeks, Edwin Encarnacion would miss the season’s final two weeks. More difference? J.P. Arencibia played regularly through that whole time as one of the worst offensive players in a hundred years. Melky Cabrera played with a tumour on his spine and was a shell of the player he’s been this year (until he was shut down for the last two months of the year). The club didn’t have a Drew Hutchison or a Marcus Stroman to step in when Morrow and Johnson faltered. Esmil Rogers made 20 starts for the 2013 Jays. Todd Redmond made fourteen. Morrow and Johnson (ERAs of 5.63 and 6.20 respectively) started 26 combined. Ramon Ortiz and Chien-Ming Wang combined to start ten. Seven more went to Chad Jenkins, Ricky Romero, Aaron Laffey, and Sean Nolin.
What’s the difference? Are you BLIND??? You’d have to be to imply that the club that played .400 baseball over that span has anything to do with what the Jays are now.
And all home runs or nothing? The Jays have hit 113 home runs. They’ve scored 404 runs. It’s a big part of their offence, yes, but all or nothing? And you don’t see anything changing? What a sack of utter horseshit. Does it even have to? Counting backwards from last night, here are the Jays’ runs scored over the last fifteen games: 1, 7, 4, 0, 3, 4, 7, 3, 7, 8, 3, 1, 14, 4, 3. That’s 4.6 runs per game, which is exactly what the fifth-best run-scoring team in baseball has produced this season. That team? The Toronto Blue Jays. No, they can’t keep running lineups out there like the one they’ll go with tonight, but — newsflash! — they won’t.
Agree. A team of individually talented players who appear to be repeating a pattern of failure. While Stoeten will scoff, teams do have a certain character or atmosphere surrounding them, something that is impossible to define but goes beyond the sum of their individual stats. This team feels like a scrappy sub .500 team. Much like their manager.
The only reason I will scoff, phoenix, is because that’s fucking stupid. First off, those apparitions are the product of imagination — and not just “the collective imagination,” as I almost wrote. Though such tropes sometimes can be overtaken by lazy narrative crutches used by the media and fans and become part of the broader discussion, so much of this is totally individual — I bet there are hardly any fans who will agree with you that this feels like a “scrappy sub .500 team” (because that’s seriously, seriously stupid, FYI) — or at the very least so subjective that pretending that it’s something you can know is amazingly laughable. Last year, was John Farrell a returning hero taming a bunch of bearded baseball wildmen and leading them back to their rightful glory, or was he a fuckface traitor falling ass-backwards into an otherworldly closer he was able to ride to a title with a little help from his annoying beardo-dickholes? And what is he this year?
When it comes to this nonsense people see what they want to see, or they see what it’s easiest to pretend is real. So why it is that you want to see things this way is probably a question you should be asking yourself. But might I submit that it’s because you fear getting emotionally invested in this team only to eventually find yourself hurt by them. I think we all can relate to a fear like that, but for fuck sakes, suck it up and enjoy life while something great is right in front of your face. And if you can’t bring yourself to do even that, at least don’t pretend your whatever nonsense you’ve invented is real and worthy of anyone’s attention. It isn’t.
See: Maple Leafs, Toronto.
A culture of collapsing seems to stick to teams in this town.
I hope this one isn’t serious, because it’s obviously absurd. And that’s not only for the tinfoil-hatted idea that what one team in any particular city does has anything to do, karmically or whatever, with another (which, of course, is hilarious), but also because anybody even remotely half-serious about the Leafs this year (i.e. anyone who knows enough to laugh at Steve Simmons) knew that that it wasn’t so much a collapse as it was the fact that they simply weren’t ever very good shining through in the end. That’s how it works over a long season, and that’s why the Jays should be right in the thick of it over what should be a tremendously fun summer for those of us who understand the difference between reasonable concern like, “Hey, they could really use some infield help because the roster is thin there,” and someone venting utter nonsense as they bray, “This team feels like a scrappy sub .500 team. Much like their manager.”
Again, though, I must stress that these voices are in the minority. It’s just… seriously?!??!
This is much, much, better:
Interbreeuw Duvel says:
Holy negative suckholes batman! So these are the guys Stoeten is ranting about. Little wonder! Look, the team is flawed, ownership is flawed – whatever. The Jays don’t need a perfect team or perfect ownership – they just need a better team than the O’s, Yankees and Rays. Whether they have that or not is undecided. Which is great because it makes watching the games all the more exciting and interesting. I’m with Mr. Hankey (and not just because he’s good at cleaning vomit stains). I like the team, they’re fun to watch and there’s room for improvement. I’m just delighted we’ve got a hell of a lot of baseball that matters to play for the rest of the season.
Perfectly said. GO JAYS!