Fools' Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue Jays #DisappointedInThisTeam

Fool's Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue Jays"We've got a good team. I like this team."
- John Gibbons, Blue Jays Manager, April 20, 2013.

John Gibbons and I disagree about at least one thing. I don't like this team. At least not yet. 18 games into the season I've caught good parts of at least 15 of them, and I don't like what I see.

There's nothing to capture your fancy.. nothing to get excited about... nothing to like. Something's missing, and I'm not sure what that is. This team seems to have no personality and no cohesion. I was flabbergasted when we managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the 8th yesterday, but not the least bit surprised when the Yankees beat us in 10. It's at a point when watching my Jays, a team I've loved since 1983, isn't fun. It's becoming painful.

The marketing machine behind Rogers' Blue Jays have tried their very best to force the Twitter hashtag #LoveThisTeam down our collective throats, and I still see the occasional die-hard optimist using it, but you won't see it from me. After 18 games, there's nothing to love. The starting pitching is more miss than hit, the defense has been spotty and the hitting has been very disappointing. A 7-11 start isn't the end of the world, but it's a difficult pill to swallow following unprecedented pre-season hype.

And really, that hype is a huge part of the problem here. This team has accomplished absolutely nothing and we bought in on blind faith alone. I'm as guilty as anyone, gleefully predicting a World Series championship in March. Now after 18 games I'm certain it will take a major change to put this team in the playoffs.

All that glitters is not gold, and our 2013 Blue Jays are not the world beaters the hype machine sold us.

Before you comment that it's still early, I have one question for you. When is it not too early to dislike the performance of your favourite team?


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Comments (28 - click here to join in!)

Kevin

Agreed. This team isn't very likable.

I hope that changes.

April 21, 2013 @ 1:36 PM

Claire

Yes - agreed! It's just all so - meh. I was looking at the Jays website yesterday, and there was an article on how Gibbons thinks it's time for the team to 'play better.'
You reckon?

April 21, 2013 @ 1:58 PM

Blind Dave

I said in the winter (wait, it's still winter...) that I was excited about this team for the first time in years. But I am also a cautious optimist, and I do realize that in most sports situations, teams have to learn to lose before they can win. But these are not the Jays of '85-'91. They are not even close.

All caution aside, I am very disappointed and have no confidence in this team as it stands today.

April 21, 2013 @ 2:02 PM

Steve

It's never too early to dislike the performance of your favourite team, but it is too early to dislike it to the point where you're ready to write them off as season long losers. I've made a promise to myself not to panic until June. It's difficult, but I think I can do it. Great teams have bad starts. it's happened, I believe even to some of the great Jays teams of old.

It was hard not to get caught up in the hype, but I keep reminding myself that great individuals don't always make great teams, especially not immediately. Also doesn't help that there have already been several injury issues.

April 21, 2013 @ 2:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Steve

No, I'm not writing them off as season long losers, but I don't at all like what I see.

Having said that, they could go on an 8 game winning streak starting today (currently beating the Yanks 2-1) but I'll be shocked.

The 1989 Jays started 12-24 before they sacked their manager. Trading for veteran Mookie Williams was another shot in the arm that season.

I'm wondering if this team doesn't need a veteran leader to pull things together.

April 21, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

Vice Tee

Agree, this year's jay's are all hype

April 21, 2013 @ 2:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Now down 3-2 in the 5th...

Sigh.

April 21, 2013 @ 2:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

What I'm seeing here in the 6th.... that's what we need to see. Signs of life and a 2 run lead.

April 21, 2013 @ 3:30 PM

Steve

@Mike You mean Mookie Wilson? those were some great times. Loved watching that guy.

And maybe you aren't writing them off, but it's amazing how many people are. During the Boston series on the first weekend, I had already seen at least 1 person ask Mike Wilner on Twitter who the leading candidates to replace AA and Gibby were if they were to be fired. Amazing.

Oh, and the Jays are leading 8-4 now.

April 21, 2013 @ 4:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Yes, Mookie Wilson.... no idea where I got Williams from.

April 21, 2013 @ 4:14 PM

Steve

You probably were thinking of Jimmy Williams. Believe that was the manager they canned that year to make room for Cito.

April 21, 2013 @ 4:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Steve

That's exactly what I was thinking about. Jimy Williams was canned for Cito and Mookie Wilson came over later.

Those were fun times because we watched the winning team grow... this team is more like fast food. Instant success is expected... today's win notwithstanding, I think we should adjust expectations and demonstrate some serious patience with this team.

April 21, 2013 @ 4:41 PM

Glen

The Jays are at or near the bottom in every offensive and defensive category in the AL.

This is not the fault of GM Alex Anthopoulos, manager John Gibbons, the Rogers ownership nor the fans who are filling the dome every single game.


The players OWN this train wreck of a season.

April 21, 2013 @ 6:01 PM

Booner

Unbelievable. We are 10% of the way through the season. Players are just now starting to find their groove. Heyward, Kemp - horrible starts but are we to think they will have horrible seasons? Not me. Same goes for Jays. Way too early to jump to any conclusion, we are 8 and 11 at this moment.

Losing Reyes hurts, and biggest disappointments thus far to me are Edwin and Bonifacio on offense. Lawrie has had a rough start but will put it together soon. No doubt in my mind if he is healthy he produces in long run. Bautista has missed a good chunk and has 3 bombs in limited games. JP looks good. Rasmus has hit for power. Melky looks decent.
First few times through the rotation was rough, but Dickey has started to pitch well, Johnson looks shaky but stuff is there, Buhrle will find his grove, always does. Morrow two horrific starts but my guess is he puts it together by June. Bottom line is I'd rather have this convo at mid-season when we have a proper sample size to analyze. All we need is a few games in a row where Bautista, edwin, Lawrie and others start hitting in tandem.

Still the team to beat in the east. The Red Sox are 12-5 and first in the East. Are they really that good? Trust me, they are not.

Jays still team to beat in the east. We win games and stay competitive, Reyes comes back and we hopefully stay healthy. If we stay healthy, we are definitely a playoff team.

These guys are too good to play like this over 162 games. Missing Lawrie, and Bautista for many games is also a big reason we are 8 and 11. We are gelling, taking its time, I have little doubt.

Over hyped? Maybe, But a very good team bound for the playoffs? (regardless of first 19 games played) - This guy says book it.

April 21, 2013 @ 7:27 PM


Keith

The only thing I've liked so far with this team is Kawasaki.
Other than that, to take a phase out if Public Enemy's book: Don't Believe The Hype

April 21, 2013 @ 7:58 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Booner

(This is my brother Ryan, FYI)

How about a $50 bet.

And answer this one question for me... do you love this team?

April 21, 2013 @ 9:47 PM

Derrick

19 games into a 162 game season? That's less than 10 games into a hockey season! If the Blue Jays were a hockey team that's a 4-5 start to an NHL season!

You know who started 4-5 this season? Your Toronto Maple Leafs! And this season is only 48 games long!

April 21, 2013 @ 10:39 PM

Pigeon Toed Dave

Totally agree with you Mike.
Right now the whole team stinks. The manager should be in the locker room kicking garbage cans around and letting each and every one of them know that he will not put up with their performance and start bringing guys up from the minors. Bring in Carlyle to rattle their chains.

April 22, 2013 @ 6:41 AM

Wayner

This is not a team ...just a collection of very talented individuals. I'm not sure that John Gibbons is the one to build them into a team.

"Staying healthy" is a tall order to fill…Injuries are always a part of any game. They just have to deal with the ramifications better...perhaps better training or a deeper talent pool to draw from.

Panic time? I'm saying it’s still too early. It’s a long a season. Let’s wait until after the hockey season with full attention on the jays before we push the panic button. At this point no one in authority will do anything anyway…

April 22, 2013 @ 8:19 AM

Gary

I agree with you Mike. I have said this before....they look unprepared. How can they be so unprepared while other teams seem so much more cohesive. I have to look at Gibbons and wonder if they have the right manager.

I hope they put it together and I hope I am wrong.

April 22, 2013 @ 8:37 AM

Cheryl

Well, who cares, but as for giving up on a team, never give up until you know they won't do anything in the playoffs and hope for next year.

April 22, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

Andrew

Well, 130,000 people enjoyed the Rogers Centre this past weekend, so I guess some people still believe. I know that a lot of those fans are Western New Yorkers coming to see the Yankees, same as it was two weeks ago when Boston blew in for a few days, but some things are working and some things aren't.

The full lineup hasn't played once this season and won't till All-Star break. They need to become a team, not just assembled parts.

I wasn't expecting them to win the world series or even a wildcard spot. I want some games that mean something, anything in the fall, when after I've worked 60-70 games at that point it's fun to goto the ballpark.

As I said after the first home stand, everyone just take one step back from the ledge....besides, the Leafs are in the playoffs, so the Jays won't matter till that circus ends

Cheers,
Andrew

April 22, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Andrew

"besides, the Leafs are in the playoffs, so the Jays won't matter till that circus ends"

That's the truth. While the Leafs are in the playoffs, the Jays can enjoy the complete lack of spotlight. Maybe when the city tunes back in they'll be out of the AL East basement.

April 22, 2013 @ 11:50 AM

Booner

Sure, I'm down for $50. Jays make the playoffs. Done. I can't wait until July when we are rolling and everyone jumps back on the wagon.. If I am wrong, I will man up.... and be $50 poorer.

April 22, 2013 @ 6:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I like my position better.

If we don't make the playoffs, I was right about this team not looking like a playoff team, and I get $50.

If we do make the playoffs, my team's in the playoffs! THAT'S AWESOME.

April 22, 2013 @ 8:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

FYI: The season is now 12.34% complete.

April 23, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

Booner

Which leaves us with 87.64% of the season to improve. Happ pitched well. Our offense is not going to struggle all season if we keep the core of Edwin, Jose, Lawrie, JP and Melky. Eventually we will start to hit. So if Johnson can figure it out and Happ can pitch like last night, and with Dickey (pitching well), Morrow (two bad starts but has the stuff to bounce back) and Buhrle (pretty rock solid historically) we will be okay. What I see on paper tells me that this will not continue. What i see on TV (not so good) doesn't play as large a roll in my analysis. The numbers tell us this won't go on like this all season. I hope that is correct. I am pretty sure of it.

April 23, 2013 @ 3:59 PM

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