Full disclosure: This post was going to be the beginning of a Daily Duce, but it feels better to do it separately. Hold tight, we’ll be through this nonsense quick and then it’s back to reality. I promise. At least until the next time.

Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets that with three-quarters of the season in the books, the Jays are on an 84-win pace, and need to go 26-15 to reach the 89-win mark that would most likely assure them of a playoff spot. A win or two less might be good enough for the second Wild Card, but that’s pretty much the rub. It’s a daunting task. It was always going to be one. But the Jays, despite their inconsistencies and their inability to find an impact player to improve the roster dating all the way back to the off-season, aren’t incapable of pulling it off. Especially with Lind and Encarnacion finally back to health.

No, really. There was lots of talk of “garbage clowns” in the comments section of last night’s post-game post, and… well… in a long, unwieldy comment I tried to add some perspective to the invective, shitting (probably dumbly) on the tao of playoff probabilities and insisting (rightly) that the Jays are no more the team that’s gone 3-8 over their last eleven than they were the team that went 11-3 over their previous fourteen. But it was commenter “Roy Hobbes” who truly got to the nut of what’s been so infuriating about this season’s conversation, beyond the obvious battles with the truly insufferable doomsaying unserious shitstains, explaining that “manic Jays Fans that feel the need to completely reassess every faction of this team after every single loss are exhausting.” Hear, hear.

That said, I get that people hate to be told not to be emotional, especially when it comes to sports. So much of what we get into it for is precisely emotional. I know I’m fighting a losing battle here, maybe even an utterly pointless one. But I like to think that this blog is about more than just the goings-on of a baseball team, but the whole conversation surrounding that team, and when I see it going off the rails, I think it warrants comment. And, evidently, it’s been off the rails a lot this season.

That’s understandable, I suppose, in what has been such a dramatically up-and-down year. But what I don’t get is when people who want so badly to vent insist that us folks trying to keep a level-enough head while following this sport that demands level-headedness simply for the sake of preserving sanity are insisting that everything is fine. That’s the antithesis of what I’m saying. Nothing is fine — not for the Blue Jays, not for the Yankees, not for the Mariners, or the Tigers, the Royals, or even the Orioles. It’s almost never going to be “fine” in the mid-August portion of the MLB schedule. The idea that the only possibilities for the team are either “fine” or “fucked” completely misses the reality that is the murky middle.

Do we want to see the team play better? Do we want them to be gaining games on the teams they’re chasing rather than losing them? Of course. But that can change quickly, as should be blindingly obvious to anyone who has even just watched this season, let alone lifelong fans of the game. It is not the nature of baseball, no matter how often lazy reporters and fans want to circle jerk over narratives about “statement games” and “winners” with the ability to impose their will on the sport, for everything to play out smoothly in one direction. It’s maybe not natural for a team to be quite as volatile as the Jays have been here in 2014 either, but wins and losses come in clusters. And just because one team is at a high ebb and another playing poorly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is tumbling into irrelevance and the other is staking its claim to greatness. It’s just not that simple.

That doesn’t mean that we need to kid ourselves about the difficulty of the situation that the team playing poorer is in, or that we can’t be upset about the way things might currently be going. It certainly doesn’t mean we can’t be upset at missed opportunities to make the team better, or at being stuck at the situation we’re in with respect to ownership and payroll. But all that frustration shouldn’t be mutually exclusive to having an understanding of what a good situation the club is in, how many great possibilities still exist along with the usual deflating ones, and how a loss or two or three doesn’t alter much at all — or, especially, how it doesn’t reveal the true nature of a club. Not in a sport where all of one team this year has won more than six games for every ten, or with a team that’s about to get two of the best hitters in baseball back for the final six week push.

The season is going to go how it’s going to go. The front office is capable of what it’s capable of. You don’t have to be optimistic — realistically? I’m not terribly so either at this point — but how about you stop groping around for reasons to get off the ride at Every. Single. Possible. Fucking. Opportunity?

I mean… do what you want, I guess, just be aware you might end up being called a garbage clown for it.

Comments (106)

  1. Roba and afdg nod in solidarity

  2. I know there are some folks who simply take it to a mindnumbingly dumb fucking level, but sometimes people just need to vent about their sports teams. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and I don’t think this is a bad place to do that.

    • And if you vent hastily constructed, poorly reasoned arguments on a public comment board and other folks happen to bring up your sewer-jester lineage, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them doing so.

      • I think that kind of stuff is the norm on other boards, I think the bigger issue is that the discussion is a little more evolved here. There is a layer of analytics and this rare thing called “common sense” that keeps me coming back to this site. It’s the Maple Leaves fans that kind throw a wrench in the program with their venting after every loss and every 2nd day that goes by without a trade being made.

      • Haha…Sewer jester

    • There are plenty of forums for people to vent without any defendable argument. They should seek those.

      I, like many, like to come here because folks are “usually” a little more rational, like a good joke and can swear.

      Vent, it’s your right people, I just ask that you make it colourful, clever or humourous.
      It’s as Hobbes said, “exhausting” to read the same stupid shit over and over. Kinda poisons the place.

      • I punch my own face and ridicule myself every time I read the facebook jays comments. I makes me hate Blue Jay fans. Here, its not so bad and we can get some humor from the shitstains that go on about “who says no first” or the trolls looking to give the gears to a long time commenter. I still find it funny that the Rogers has the balls to show what a typical Blue jays fan is like in the commercial where Lawrie goes to the dry cleaners. There are some that know their baseball but there are sooooooooooooo many more that just spew uneducated shit and misinformation that they think they know.

  3. But what I don’t get is when people who want so badly to vent insist that us folks trying to keep a level-enough head while following this sport that demands level-headedness simply for the sake of preserving sanity that what I’m doing is insisting that everything is fine.

  4. Well said Stoeten.

  5. Dear Garbage Clown,

    Please take a hike into Algonquin Park and play hide and go seek by yourself.

  6. That’s all fine and well but….season’s over.

    Season’s over, folks.

  7. Well said

    Wonder what afdg says now

  8. Does Donald Sterling warrant being called a clown for trying to overturn the sale of his team that was made final yesterday?

  9. Stoeten –

    You won’t get any argument from me about how fickle fans are. Nor how emotional and irrational they can be.

    That should be a given.

    So what gets tiresome in fact is not the fans, but your constant talking about the fans. Plenty of us don’t give a shit, and there is nothing worse than seeing one of your ‘arguments’ against unsourced, unquoted, may-not-exist garbage clowns.

    If you want to make an argument that Player X is undervalued, then make it. If you want to talk about why Gibby’s decision was right or wrong, then make it. But to keep bringing ‘dem fans’ into it in Every Goddamn Post makes you look insecure. If you DO want to take on a particular message board user or commentator, then quote them in full.

    The Jays haven’t made the playoffs in two decades. The fans are not the problem. Focus on the problem. That’s the writing we want to read.

    • #NotAllFans?

    • They absolutely do exist and they often take over entire threads. Which then results in a powerful need to respond to them.
      Also Stoeten has frequently “quoted them in full” in the past.

      • Agreed, Look at any Sportsnet article about the Jays, and indeed, the morons take over the entire message board. Some people don’t think that’s a problem, but it is – it lowers the discourse and fans the idiot flames to the point that nonsense like “Bautista isn’t a leader” or “Gibbons is a bad manager because players smile and laugh” develops teeth. When that happens, players start wondering why the hell they should keep playing here. Most fans out there don’t seem to know what a treasure we have here in Bautista. Cheer them on, don’t tear them down.

    • Please. Weeding out the irrational from the dialogue is one of the main reasons I enjoy reading DJF.

    • Well you don’t have to read the site, Steve. Why don’t you just go read Steve Simmons or some other piece of garbage that will “focus” on the “problem”, Steve?

    • Jfc

    • As I said in the post, the blog is about more than just the goings-on of the team, it’s about the whole conversation. That aspect isn’t going away. You’re welcome to ignore it. There is still plenty of content that suits your wants.

      • I think what frustrates me the most is when you chain people to their chairs and tape their eyelids open and force them to read every post you write. Or at least that’s what I assume you’re doing, since there seem to be so many complaints about the topics you discuss.

        Seriously though, complaints and discussions about the content of posts are generally reasonable and understandable, even if we all may disagree. Complaints about the topics themselves are just stupid.

    • Yup. Nailed it. Win every once in awhile and that will shut people up…

    • I totally disagree with this, Steve … the collective that pays attention to the Blue Jays INCLUDES the fans … even when players do not (and should not) read stuff like this blog, they are connected to and affected by the hatred dumped on them by people who say, “we need to vent” … nothing supportive grows from people who demand that others satisfy their needs without some kind of exchange and what is important in what AS is writing here, is that the amplification of destructive memes does not help the team. He probably will disagree because this veers close to chemistry at a larger level. But Quantum effects no matter how small do add up … The players and management have to continue as if all this other energy from the fans does not exist because to pay attention to it would be deadly. It is hard to be in this room when, what to me, are childish, immature humans through their garbage all over the place. The ones who take a false premise and endlessly argue for the logical outcome of that for weeks on end are the most insufferable. So yeah, I think it matters in here what goes on in here.

    • hey its his fucking about he writes whatever the fuck he wants.
      i personally think Stoeten is one of the most level headed writers out there when it comes to the blue jays..

      we have had our disagreements about Goins and Morrow but, i come back everyday and find this blog to be a good source of BJ info.

  10. Blue Jays are gunna play, how we feel makes no difference just enjoy it for what it’s worth.

  11. Fuckin’ drama queens…

  12. Well, like I said in the other thread, I think the “garbage clowns” make up a small portion of the community, and the community is hearty enough that they don’t need to be made the centre of the conversation as often as they have recently. Like they just have been. Again.

    (Incidentally, I’m gonna trademark “Garbage Clowns” and try and sell an animated series to Nelvana. I’ll make sure to give the characters cute, DJF derived names)

    Delete the egregious ones, ignore the minor ones, and let’s get back to ripping at our own flesh and the Jays drive us through a wonderful and awful final month and a half.

    • Imagine if this blog had the garbage clowns that exist in TSN comments or even worse The Sun (my god that is a horror show). A

  13. A wise man once told me it is much easier to be negative than positive. Human nature finds solace in negativity – in finding reasons things won’t work, rather than why things will. It takes effort to look for a silver lining. Doesn’t make people garbage clowns, just makes them normal – some more normal than others.

  14. It really, really hurts watching this team fade away year after year. I can get keeping a level head, but I don’t think sugar coating slim playoff chances late in the season is necessarily sober analysis. Right now is a time to panic if you care about the Jays’ playoff chances, they are slipping away rapidly and there is good reason to be alarmed, disappointed, even angry.

    • There isn’t an issue with that. Its when people after 2 losses scream “Seasons over! Fire Everyone! “Every year they blow it” Was I disappointed and angry to have stayed up watching those last 2 losses? Of course they sucked big time.
      Stoeten says they are in the murky middle just like the other teams not named Oakland or Los Angeles. Things can change in a hurry. If they are 2 games back of a WC in mid Sept or 5 games of the division, things still can be okay especially when those 6 games against Balt and 4 against Seattle are huge.
      They could lose the next 7 and make it almost impossible, or what if they win 5 in a row and Baltimore loses 4. Who knows what will or wont happen.. enjoy it. I was 7 fucking years old last time baseball at this time mattered. This doesnt happen every year and it hasnt for a long time.

    • The thing about now being a time to “panic” is that panicking accomplishes sweet fuck-all. By all means, panic if you want. But don’t expect you’ll be able to convince too many of the rest of us to join you.

      Whether this year’s boat catches the trade winds in its sails or goes down in a miserable blaze of rubbish and ribaldry, those of us who are more inclined to kick back with a couple of brews and watch no matter the result are going to have a much better time.

    • It is never time to panic.

  15. Nails post.

    I’ve been telling friends since the offseason that I’d be stoked for any meaningful baseball in AUGUST. That was the bar, for me. Every season for decades has basically been reduced to exhibition games after the All-Star break, and you know what? This year, while volatile as fuck, has been more compelling than anything for god knows how long. We’re still looking at the standings! It’s awesome.

    The reassessment of “every faction of this team after every single loss” is mind boggling. The best team in the league in any given year will lose 70 games! Also, no team in history has ever won and lost the exact ratio of games, in sequence, that their winning percentage reflects (I haven’t actually fact checked that, but I’m guessing that’s true?). As illustrated in this post any team that can go 3-8 in one stretch can also go 11-3 in another.

    We’re on a white-knuckle ride in August, and it’s AWESOME.

  16. #gojaysyouassholes

  17. I get pissed off at the losses but then remember that its August and I am still watching baseball when most years i have tuned out by now.

  18. Incidentally, even though you say baseball is “a game that demands level-headedness,” I’ve been a fan since Danny Ainge was the freakin’ shortstop, and I’ve always lived and died with the game I’m watching. Sure, intellectually I know how long the season is, the marathon vs sprint cliche, and all that. But I still get overly high after a win and overly low after a big loss. It’s great. And you’ll never convince me that this is not the correct way to watch the game I adore.

    • Danny “Two Sport” Ainge?! Jesus fuckin’ Christ: my head just exploded!!

      • I’m just glad I was a kid and didn’t realize how truly hideous that Jays team was.


    • I think that’s how even the most reasonable fans react to a game. Most of them just don’t let their emotional reaction drive them to a blog comments section to vent about how that one game defines the entire season.

    • fuck teddy we’re not trying to tell anyone not to ride the roller coaster, but to be screaming and whining about the valleys and try to fire someone as if that will help, … it’s like people have forgotten they got on the ride BECAUSE it was a roller coaster.

      • But that’s kinda a strawman, isn’t it? I mean, most of the guys here don’t act like that, and the ones that do are easy enough to ignore.

        In the meantime, I’m planning to scream at the TV every bloody night until October. And hopefully thereafter. Level headedness? Pah, I say!

        • Scream at your TV all you want, and it’s not you, it;s the ones that try to provide ME with some logic that if I am not screaming I am delusional or that I should be hating Rogers

  19. 26-15 is within the realm of reason. We’ve seen how streaky this team is. If getting Edwin back helps us streak again, we got a chance. Who was it that said that the team was cold in April, hot in May, cold in June, hot in July, and if the pattern keeps up, cold in August and hot in September?

  20. The reality is that the average fan of any team from any city that hasn’t won a damn thing in 20+ years is going to be a garbage clown… doesn’t make it right, just stating the sad reality. I’m as sick and fucking tired of losing as the next guy but people are just so insane. Hey, look, it’s August and we still care! Nails!

  21. Yeah, it’s a losing battle because people will believe what they will want to believe, no matter how ridiculous thpse beliefs may be. Nonetheless, they deserve to be called morons for doing so.

  22. my future lineup hopes as of Friday:

    vs RHP

    Reyes – SS
    Melky – LF
    Bats – RF
    EE – DH
    Lind – 1B
    Diner- C
    Colby – CF
    fat Juan – 3B
    Kawa – 2B

    vs LHP

    Reyes – SS
    Melky – LF
    Bats – RF
    EE – DH
    Diner- C
    Valencia – 1B
    Tolleson – 3B
    Pillar – CF
    kawa- 2B

    • I like.

    • *swoon*

    • Myself I’d take gose in cf vs lefties
      pillar in LF and Cabrera DH with ee at 1st tolleson on 2 and Valencia at 3B

      One weak bat in nine hole with great d and speed works for me. Later in the game if behind can ph for him. If winning bring in Kawasaki to 2 for defence and keep gose in

    • Did reimold die or are we down on him now? Id have

      Vs LHP
      Reyes SS
      Melky LF
      JBAts 1B
      EE DH
      Reimold RF
      Navarro C
      Valencia 3B
      Pillar CF
      Tolleson 2B

      Vs RHP
      Reyes SS
      Melky LF
      JBAts RF
      EE 1B
      Lind DH
      Navarro C
      Fat juan 3B
      Colby CF
      Kawasaki 2B

  23. Appreciate the humbleness in:

    “shitting (probably dumbly) on the tao of playoff probabilities”

    Reality is, that’s the best we’ve got. Those odds take in projections (also, the best we’ve got per MGL’s great set of blogs that made it’s rounds a few weeks ago as well as the ebbs and flows of a season. I haven’t seen anything that beats them, so I’ll go with them.

    Teams right now are making use of hitF/X or trackman to figure the run value of a particular launch angle and speed off the bat, while the rest of us are left with wOBA. And we use it, because it’s the best we’ve got. It’s not perfect, but I’ll certainly take it over blind faith or games back all day. Of course they change, but not worth an outright rejection until something better comes along…. or does anyone know of anything better?

    • Isn’t that the beauty of this game? It’s not predictable. The odds and stat projections give guidance but they are merely best guesses (usually not even good ones) that’s all. And it’s not likely they will ever be anything more.

      Best ball quote ever is it ain’t over till it’s over yogi Berra. More relevant for baseball within one game and a whole season than any other sport. Hope springs eternal when you play or watch and that’s the joy of it.

      Guys slump and get on fire for weeks at a time and teams 8 games back with nine to go win the pennant – or whatever it was with braves collapse and dodgers winning a couple years back and countless other examples.

      I think Einstein would have been fascinated by baseball because of the unpredictability. God does not play dice he said and agonized to discover a deterministic formulation of the nature of the universe but never could and actually ended up progressing science into a direction of formulations based on unpredictability. The baseball gods in all likelihood do play dice. Einstein and anyone else have a better chance proving outcomes of the universe deterministically than outcomes of baseball.

  24. clown garbage and a response to clown garbage

    this place has gone downhill

    remember when this site was about baseball?

    me neither

  25. Thanks for the vote of confidence lol. clearly anybody who confuses me with afdg is either willfully ignorant or doesn’t actually read what I post and instead relies on reading others comments to my posts in order to form their opinion of my comments.

    I’m completely ok with leaving the whole discussion of what mistakes were made and bny who until the offseason, because in reality, it’s yet to be proven one way or the other.

    I’m getting as sick as some of the same discussions as everyone else,

    I think most people know where most regular posters stand. For me, I love the team, hate the ownership, and don’t think AA is a very good GM.

    With regards to Headley, the only reason I talked baout him so much is that several people (and Stoeten) not only disagree with me (which is entirely reasonable) but also made known how idiotic it was to even suggest such a thing and commence with personal attacks. When someone attacks your position AND you, your going to somewhat enjoy bringing it up as that position gets proven more and more correct.

    And sure, a big part of my posting personality is to be somewhat of a contrarion. To see the vitriol spewed forth at anyone who posited valid criticisms and concerns (not talking about blatant trolls) made me want to take an opposite position, and I found myself entering into positions that were more negative then how I actually felt. It’s funny, on my other board, which is more skewed towards pessimism, I’m known as one of the bigger homers/kool aid drinkers of the board.

    In any case, all of the talk about AA and Rogers etc can wait until the end of the pennant. If we do falter, we can talk then about how shares blame and in what capacity. Until then, we’re still in it so any talk is premature.

    Who knows, Headley could hit a wall and Juan Fran could go on a tear, proving me wrong and AA right.

    We shall see. In the meantime, remember how boring this site would be if we all agreed. Reasonable opinion on both sides is needed for stimulating debate. Some of my opinions are proven right and some are proven wrong. But as long as they are reasonably defendable (which I feel confident all of mine are) then they shouldn’t face hostility for voicing them.

    • oops, was supposed to be a response to Teddy and Canard at the top

    • Not sure how your argument for Headley has been ‘proven more and more right’.
      Danny Valencia has been comparable.

      • Except Headley is an every day player and has put up a .354 OBP playing everyday in 79 PA. Valencia has put a .341 OBP in 41 PA, almost half.

        And Headley is a gold glove defender.

        And Headley would have take the vast majority of Juan Franciscos AB’s, so it’s addition by subtraction.

        And all of this is moot anyways, because the trade offered was Francisco for Headley.

        • Thing is in my mind righteousness here is not black and white based strictly on the outcome. It means something yes but there is so much luck/unpredictability involved too.

          AA for instance should be judged on the merits of his moves and the roster and the outcome and his handling of players and media. Has to be judged somewhat on outcome of course – is the outcome here even so bad?

          On negative side goins as 2B was clearly not wise. Relying on jpa as catcher while trading Gomes and Mathis (yes Mathis) was not wise. Not signing SP was risky but has worked out. Santana signing hardly makes this team better and other FA signings make it worse without even considering payroll. If AA should be fired it should be based on long term progression of the club and his Achilles heel would be when he jump started contention window with trades. IMO that was a total misstep and would have preferred staying the course and making those trades or signing free agents this offseason or next to supplement young cheap controllable talent. But had Bautista ee Lind aging so took a gamble that may pay off.

    • #martinpradotho

  26. Some days I feel like I don’t have the emotional fortitude for a MLB playoff race. Sadly, I’ve had no experience at it in my 23 years of life, so I’m learning on the fly here.

  27. On a lighter note, this made me laugh wildly deep into the night……………. while I sat in a corner of a dark room rocking back and forth……

    Players, fans enjoy Reddick’s walk-up music:

  28. YES! AND Yes!… Winning, especially winning it all, has such a low probability it is much easier for people to invest in the loss or the terrible or the bad than the potential for good… investing in the good takes passion for the game, investment, stamina and a belief (or understanding) that it can be done… people who shit on the potential of winning and when the team they like loses says “I told you so” have gained nothing because they committed to nothing, put their heart into nothing. This team needs believers not half invested dipshits… werd

    • Those people are totally kissing out on the joy of this game. Investing in hope and watching the comeback is what makes being a fan and player of this game so great

  29. It’s a game. We love it, we hate it, we go along for the ride. It’s awful going 20 years to see the team you love keep missing the playoffs and that frustrates people. C’est la Vie.. But hey, as good and as bad as we have seen this year, at least we don’t have to listen to “Stadium Love”…

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