The reason I haven’t been posting as often as I usually would for the past month or so is that I am working as a counsellor for a bunch of 10 year olds at a summer camp in upstate New York. My Internet access is limited. The reason I tell you this is not because you should care; you shouldn’t, but because after Thursday’s trade deadline – in which I spent a lot more time on twitter than I did doing my job (shhh… Don’t tell my bosses) – I have learned to accept the situation the Blue Jays are in. Why? Because, as I have learned recently, sometimes circumstances just are what they are. Let me explain.
We have hockey leagues in this camp that I work at, the counsellors draft a team of 9 and 10 year old campers into teams at the beginning of the summer. My team, shockingly, finished the regular season in 3rd place (out of 6 teams), and after winning its first two playoff games, was set to compete in the best of 3 championship series against the 4th seed team that, as the underdog, had made it to the finals.
In the first game, my team, the “Flyers”, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, proceeded to squander it, take it back, lose it again and continue to do this until the score was 5-5 heading into the final 3 minutes of play in the 3rd period. With just under 3 minutes to go, my best player rifled a shot from about half court, which ricocheted off the other team’s goalie and into the crease in front of him. My second offensive player proceeded to charge the crease, hoping to tap the ball in and give my team the sweet victory we were all yearning for. Their defence however scrambled to the front of the net, and dove on the ball. Next, one of the defensive players covered the ball with his own hand, and slid it underneath the goalie’s hand, drawing a whistle from the referee, thereby ending my team’s chance to score on the play. The move was obviously against the rules, but the referee missed the call, and an argument ensued. My team lost the argument, and wound up losing the game in triple overtime.
To say my star player was a bit upset is an understatement. As a 10 year old, his natural reaction was to cry, but the swearing was definitely audible as well. He was pissed off because he had fought hard for the entire season and he had a golden opportunity to win. However, because the referee was in a bad position and made a poor call all his hard work had been all for naught.
Getting back to the point of this post, the Blue Jays, like my team, have fought extremely hard this season, and for the first time in 21 years, are playing meaningful games deep into the end of the season. The playoffs are in sight, and everybody knows it. We the fans saw the ball rolling around in the crease, and we just wanted Alex Anthopoulos to be able to go run up to it and score by acquiring a useful piece or two to help strengthen this team for October. Rogers, like the referee, stopped that plan by not giving Anthopoulos the funds needed to make a move that would give his team the 6-5 lead with two minutes left in the 3rd period.
Was I mad that the referee blew the call and the game? Sure, but like I told my own team, the Blue Jays have made it this far and shouldn’t let the mistakes of a few individuals ruin their season. There’s no need to put a damper on all the fun they have had up until this point.
For me, this is my first opportunity witnessing meaningful baseball being played by the Blue Jays in August…ever. For those old enough to remember, it is the first time since 1993. Would it have been nicer if Rogers wouldn’t have cheaped out in the off-season, and again this past week when Alex had opportunities to make this team better? Sure. But there’s no need to lose focus. Don’t turn off the TV. Continue showing up to games. This team is fun, as they have showed all season long and continued to show just 4 nights ago in a thrilling 6-5 victory over Houston that featured a ton of exciting baseball (Aaron Sanchez and 4 #dingerz in the same game? Yes please!)
So what if the Blue Jays didn’t make any trades. The Blue Jays are pretty damn good already. Does it matter all that much? When is the last time you had the opportunity to be upset that the Blue Jays didn’t buy at the deadline? 2006? 1998? Either way, it’s been a while.
I’d love nothing more than for the Blue Jays to march into October and sweep the entire thing, but before they can do that there’s another two months of baseball to be played, and I’m going to be watching every moment of it.