The Toronto Blue Jays, like the rest of Major League Baseball, yesterday announced their schedule for the 2012 regular season. However, unlike the rest of Major League Baseball, the Blue Jays injected a little bit of boisterous optimism into their otherwise template-like news release.
The Toronto Blue Jays will open the 2012 Championship Season on the road in Cleveland on Thursday, April 5 against the Indians. The 2012 season will mark Toronto’s 36th season in the American League.
Say “season” again. Say “season” again. I dare you.
At the beginning of this season, I noticed that the term “swagger” was being used more than normal as a means of describing baseball players. As the catch phrase caught on, so too did examples of it in the Blue Jays’ roster. From Jose Bautista jawing opposing pitchers to Brett Lawrie’s unsubtle rounding of the bases after his first big league grand slam, the 2011 Blue Jays seemed to have a much different attitude than the previous incarnations of the team for whom mayonnaise was a spice.
Apparently, (if it wasn’t vice versa) this swagger has transferred from the field and caught on in the front office, and you know what, I really like it. I know. I know. I normally roll my eyes at such intangible nonsense, but it reminds me a little bit of what Jonah Keri wrote about in The Extra 2% when he described the shift in work place dynamics in the Tampa Bay front office after Stuart Sternberg became the franchise’s owner.
We’ve discussed it several times before, and it’s been written about by others, but as a team in the American League East that isn’t the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, their front office is going to have to be creative if they want to compete. Perhaps I’m looking too much into a communications department having a little bit of fun, but to me, this playfulness is evidence of that sort of creativity permeating the organization.
As for the accuracy of the news release, let’s use the phrase that every well-written, completely unhacky article ends on and say that, we’ll just have to wait and see . . .
Update: Ah, never mind. I guess every team calls it a Championship Season, as in it’s a race to a championship for somebody. To put things in perspective, even the Houston Astros call it this. Well, at least we have a pretty good example of reading what you want to read from neutral data.