Hating Your Favourite Team: 2013 Blue Jays Edition

Fool's Gold: Early Thoughts on the 2013 Blue JaysI knew back in April we were sold fool's gold. The Jays looked awful coming out the gate, and there was no inkling that they would reverse course and actually compete for a playoff spot. By the end of April, it was going to take a minor miracle for my brother to win our $50 bet. On paper, he saw a playoff team. On the field, I saw a team that would be lucky to win 75 games.

Before I proceed, let me just say that it's perfectly okay to hate your favourite team. I'm a Jays fan and have been since '83, and I'll die a Jays fan, but that doesn't mean I need to wear blinders and love what I see. There have been Leafs teams in the past that I've hated, and I happen to hate the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays. That doesn't make me a traitor or a bad fan or a bandwagon jumper. That just makes me a realist.

The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays are limping to the finish line, buried in dead last in the AL East with a dismal .444 winning percentage. They threw in an extra wild card spot and we're still 16 games back. I find it very, very difficult to watch this team that seems to lack discipline, fundamentals and major league pitching. I'd rather stroll down to the local park and watch Little League.

When you hate your favourite team, you're left with one thing: hope. Having mortgaged the future for this crop of overpriced underachievers, there's little hope for 2014. In fact, it looks like the same team, complete with the same overrated underachieving manager. What's going to be different in 2014?

radio-raheem-do-the-right-thing

It's okay to hate your favourite team, so long as you don't adopt a new one. I'd never do that... it's not in my DNA. I'll be back next April, tuning in and grasping onto whatever hope I can salvage from this pitiful wreck.


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Cambo

And the trend will likely continue until salaries are tied to performance- in every sport. How many times have MSLE teams scouted a prospect, gotten rave reviews, and signing them only to have them fizzle in Toronto.

Most of us likely get bonuses, or at least repercussions in our jobs if we do or do not produce. Why isn't the same principle tied to "professional" sports?

A player can have the WORST season of his career, and still get paid as if it was his best. So, where is the incentive to actually perform?

And really, we're not talking rocket science. It's baseball. Throw ball. Hit ball. Run. Catch ball. Get hurt and warm the pine for the remainder of the season.

And for this, we actually pay them MILLIONS a year???

August 28, 2013 @ 9:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cambo

It's simple supply and demand.

If you can't do your job, there are literally thousands who can replace you. Unless you're a skilled heart surgeon or astronaut or something cool like that. :)

But there are only so many people on the planet capable of doing what professional athletes do. They garner what the market dictates. Even a bum like Josh Johnson is going to demand a massive guaranteed contract before he'll sign with your club, and he'll get it... because there are so few people capable of doing what Josh Johnson can do.

And they're only worth millions a year because we watch on TV, buy jerseys, and go to games. If we all tuned out, the market would correct itself.

August 28, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

Speysidephil

As I said back in April, Gibbons should have been fired if things didn't turn around by mid-May.
When a Team collectively plays as bad as this team has, when there is absolutely no discipline on the field, then the manager has to take the brunt of the criticism.
Now we find out yesterday that he will be back next year. Unbelievable.

August 28, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

Argie

@ Speyside
I agree 100%. If AA doesn't fire him, they should fire AA.

August 28, 2013 @ 9:54 AM

4x4 Time

Sounds like Gibby and AA are safe, so -
Prediction (or hope) for 2014:
Gone via Trade - Bautista,Rausmus,Arencibia,Jannsen, Izturis
Gone via Club Choice on contract - Lind, Johnson, Davis
In via Trade - 2 Starters, 2nd Base, Fielder, Bench Depth
In via FA - DH, Catcher, Fielder

August 28, 2013 @ 10:39 AM

Wayner

@4x4 Time

2014 sounds like "House Cleaning" time?

I don’t understand the unwavering support that AA has in Gibbons. Gibbons and his staff have not done little to nothing to turn this team around or at least make them look championship calibre.

At most AA should have made it clear that Gibbons is safe, for now, but on shaky ground. As I said here before I don’t understand why Gibbons was chosen to lead this team in the first place. Rogers, after hearing AA and then watching last night’s loss should seriously think about replacing AA in the off season.

August 28, 2013 @ 10:59 AM

Derrick

Yeah, Gibbons should've known Happ would've gotten nailed in the head by that hit, or Morrow and Johnson would get injured for the majority of the season, or Jose Reyes would injury his ankle on that slide. Or Dickey would regress in performance from last year. What a horrible manager for not seeing that ahead of time!

C'mon Gibbons, why aren't you using that crystal ball every major league manager gets!

August 28, 2013 @ 11:59 AM

4X4 Time

@Wayner - I think this team needs to re-tool and concentrate on pitching help (guys that can pitch in the AL East) and can only do this in trade. Not sure any big ticket Free Agent will be coming here.Trading assets is likely their only option for the next couple of years.

August 28, 2013 @ 12:20 PM

Justin

I tuned the Jays out at the end of June. Haven't watched a game since then, haven't been reading any articles about them, haven't been looking up stats, nothing. My only affiliation with the Jays since July 1 has been looking to see if they win or lose. I'll be back next year, but for 2013 this team frustrated me to the point where I cut them loose. I hate this team.

August 28, 2013 @ 2:02 PM

Glen

You notice that no player has said one word about John Gibbons as manager this year?
I've heard a number of players speak positively about Chad Mottola the hitting instructor for the Jays and the work he's done for them.


Nothing for Gibbons.


It's as if he's not even there.

August 28, 2013 @ 2:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Now, if John Gibbons gets fired, we know it wasn't AA's decision.

Makes you wonder if they won't both get canned after this disastrous season.

August 28, 2013 @ 2:40 PM

Gary

@ Wayner

It's not just AA....listen to The Fan 590 and they seem to be saying the same thing.

I really hate the argument that is constantly thrown out at fans...."Well, he's not the one pitching or hitting or fielding". If that is the case then why have a manager?? Or let me manage....I'm sure the results can't be any worse. The purpose is to show leadership and have the team ready to play. This team was not even close to being ready to play and the errors keep piling up. And to think that Francona was available just drives me nuts.

August 28, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

Wayner

@Toronto Mike

If at the end of the season someone with a proven track record is available look for Gibbons to be gone despite what AA has said.

AA will have to make a very strong case to Rogers keep him around in 2014 after this season.

August 28, 2013 @ 2:56 PM

Argie

@ Derrick
I suppose the Jays are the only team that has suffered injuries?

Hiring Gibbons was like having a $100 Radio Shack stereo in your Ferrari. They brought in all of this high-prices talent and settled on a re-tread for manager. Made no sense at all.

August 28, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

Andrew

At least I'm still getting paid to be here....

August 28, 2013 @ 3:08 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Andrew

You deserve danger pay.

August 28, 2013 @ 3:09 PM

Tron

The Jays reek of crony corporatism. Perfect example is the Gibbons hiring. He wasn't hired because he had the best resume, or the most qualification, or even the hot shot new guy that everybody wants. Anthopoulos hired him by his own words because "he's comfortable with him". Well you hire a "yes man" and this is what you get. If you need any moe proof about crony corporatism, see the gold statue of the owner bought the team cheap and treated them like a small market team.

I also think Anthopoulos got a free pass his entire time here and the media exaggerated the "boy genius" vibe him. When he traded Wells for Napoli, that was good. But then turned around and traded Napoli for a crappy middle reliever. So pretty much Wells for nobody, and sure that's great for the "budget" but as a fan I don't care much about the budget of a non-salary cap league. Every season so far has been a worst record than the previous season under Anthopoulos, and somehow that is just acceptable.

I don't think I have ever seen a more selfish bunch of players than these Jays. No wonder everybody fell in love with Kawasaki, at least he gave a damn, at least it looked like he cared about the team. Most of these Jays players only care about their slugging percentage and other type of math geek stats and forgot that this is a team game. Even before this season I never thought this team was a "sure thing". These players (the current guys and the guys who came in) just didn't have the track record of having that sort of praise.

Finally you made a topic on this after much teasing. BTW as bad as the manager, GM, players & ownership statue is. The worst employee on the Jays is Mike Wilner, is there a guy who can turn off casual & serious fans equally as Wilner can. That guy is the worst on radio, and I am including the crazy rightwing hypocrite talk radio hosts. I don't think I ever seen a presenter of a last plase team giving a pass to players, management, coaches, but DAMMIT fans if you dare boo these guy, he will critize the hell out of you!! What a piece of work, fans pay money to watch this team, and they get criticized for the last place team.

August 28, 2013 @ 8:06 PM

Speysidephil

@Tron

I hear ya Tron, the whole mess is disturbing .
But in the end you have a bunch of high priced athletes who do not perform, it is the manager that must go. There is obviously no respect on the field for this guy as Glen eluded to.
Hell I would even settle for another year of Cito over this guy.

August 28, 2013 @ 8:18 PM

Derrick

@Argie,

You're comparing a radio in a Ferrari to a manager in a baseball team?

Actually, that is a pretty good comparison - if the Ferrari blows a tire or breaks down, is it the radio's fault? If the Ferrari out performs the other cars, can we credit the $100 Radio Shack radio?

If you want to compare apples to apples, let's look at the San Francisco Giants. They have, without argument, one of the best managers in the game, Bruce Bochy. Won the World Series last year. Made no major changes to their roster. They have a worse record than the Blue Jays. Is it manager's fault? Should the San Francisco Giants fire their manager? Probably not. The players just didn't perform this year.

So the Blue Jays players do not perform to their potential, and as fans we say "Oh, it's not their fault, they were not motivated enough by the manager. If they had a better manager, then the players would've wanted it more. It's the manager's fault. We'll hold them blameless and throw the manager under the bus." These are PROFESSIONAL athletes. Adults. Why do they need someone to motivate them?!

It's pitching people! The Blue Jays starting pitching this year was horrible and riddled by injuries.

In 2012 the Blue Jays team ERA was 4.64. In 2013 it is 4.40. Is Gibbon's gonna get credit for that? Should Farrell get the blame for last year? The 2013 Red Sox have a team ERA of 3.77. I doubt Farrell all of a sudden discovered the secret to success in Boston.

Let's use some logic in this analysis people!

August 29, 2013 @ 9:09 AM

TransplantedDowntownerBilly

So I'm a little late to the table for this one, sue me. I think the Jays organization screwed up royally with the whole "let's let Farrel go home" debacle. Terry was available as Cleveland hadn't inked him yet. That would have been a great one for one trade. And given Terry a big chance to stuff it down Boston's throats after those spoiled punks from the Chicken And Beer brigade railroaded him. There's motivation enough for betterment there.
Instead A squared dithered long after Terry signed with the Indians. And that dithering left him with only one choice... Gibbons. He probably came cheaper than Terry, too.
Having said that... Gibby didn't know that Jose would blow his ankle out ten games into the season, or Morrow's injury, or Happ's ball to the noggin. But he could have nipped JPA's problems in the bud right quick had he had any balls.
It's my theorey that Gibby is a lame duck and knows it. I think Gibby didn't expect to be here past this season anyways.
Prognosticating so much after The Big Shake Up made things even worse. I haven't seen that much fanboy drooling since my youthful pre video game days of Strat-O-Matic (spent many a lazy day after a long day of ball at Stan Wadlow or Topham park playing Strat O Matic)
It was even worse than Leaf Nation planning a parade route for June after an early October winning streak. Lay off the Kool-Aid people, Jim Jones is handing it out.
Perhaps we need stronger pitching in a very friendly hitter's park. Open the Dome every time Dickey pitches.. it might add the confusion back to his knuckle ball.
I never thought RR was an "ace". He just became a #1 starter after Roy left. He never had "Ace" numbers, just lucked into the prime spot on an otherwise very weak rotation. I could yammer forever about my beloved Jays, but I best end it here lest I write the magna effing carta.

So long and thanks for all the fish :D

January 13, 2014 @ 8:37 PM

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