Already Third

JaysBeing a Blue Jays fan is unfair. The Yankees and Red Sox have been trying to one-up each other since the baseball season ended. Boston signed Curt Schilling. The Yankees responded by signing Gary Sheffield (all but official), middle relievers Paul Quantrill and Tom Gordon and traded for Javier Vasquez. Rumours are now floating about that the Red Sox will trade Manny Ramirez to the Rangers for Alex Rodriquez. Any way you look at it, the Yankees and Red Sox are involved in an arms race and the first casualty is the Toronto Blue Jays.

The American League East, a division of five teams, has finished in the exact same order for six consecutive seasons. The Yankees and Red Sox finishing one-two with the Blue Jays finishing third. With only the one wild card position available, it's virtually impossible for the Jays to advance to the playoffs. New York or Boston will win the pennant with the other likely securing the wildcard. We can't finish higher than third so long as we share a division with these two franchises. I suppose this is our cross to bear.

So, although I am still optimistic that the Jays can compete in 2004, realistically I know there's a seventh consecutive third place finish in our future. It could be worse. I could be an Orioles fan.


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