This team is proving that they can contend offensively within their division, and they are. With the leading homers in the league and millions of dollars less than other big-payroll teams, there’s a “back-to-basics” system working its way through the roster. I was reminded earlier this week that experts claimed the Jays would only win 60 games in all of the 2010 regular season. Granted, it was a tough loss last night but the four consecutive games they won prior to last night’s loss to the Rays, have been beneficial to the building of this team. It’s June 2 folks and they’ve already had 31 wins which makes one believe those so-called expert opinions, will prove untrue in future months.
Every at bat, they’re swinging for the fences. Every game seems to stand alone as a game that could keep them in it as they continue to play solid baseball. Keep your eyes on Jose Bautista, the next time he strikes out swinging. He doesn’t just saunter back to the dugout; he becomes frustrated to a point that his disappointment speaks volumes. For three seasons, he has flown under the radar and this season, he’s making himself known – and for good reason. With 16 home runs so far in 54 games, he’s already surpassed the 13 dingers he recorded in 2009. Not to mention, he’s leading the Major League in home runs and adds his 16 to the [vastly unexpected] Jays’ total of 91, which is 21 more than the second best teams in the league, the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox. Records and names have been written in the books of the Blue Jays in recent weeks, and the expectations that were anything but great pre-season, have been surpassed but new expectations have been put into play. Now, the expectations shift to see if they can withstand the top teams within the AL East, play as well at home as they do on the road and most importantly, if they can continue their offensive streak.
Regardless of the sport, when a player has a big hit or scores a great goal, the people in the stands react and it only enhances the experience of being there to see it. The talk of home runs brings me to a recent conversation I had via Twitter, about why it’s better at the game. These are not my opinions, but rather the opinions of the people who follow the team and are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays. When asked, what’s better at the game, this is what a few fans said:
@CorySilver: @thestoryofagirl Hearing the crack of the bat, or the ball hitting the leather of the glove. Can’t get that experience from your couch.
@Jay_A_Nixon: @thestoryofagirl it is better @ the game because you cannot catch a HR ball sitting on your couch
@CivicBroncos1: @thestoryofagirl Because there’s absolutely NO WAY you can catch a souvenir baseball when you’re parked on your couch at home. #jays
@davidparadis: @thestoryofagirl It’s better AT THE GAME b/c of the sounds – the bat, the ball in in the glove, so much clearer than TV.
@lookitslawrence: @thestoryofagirl the atmosphere is amazing; you can feel the tension and excitement
@be_myangel: @thestoryofagirl The same reason live music is always better: it becomes a shared experience. #jays
And finally, the most relevant to my previous ramblings:
@Pat__C: @thestoryofagirl It’s better at the game for bragging rights! I was at the game when the Jays broke the most home runs in a month record!
You said, it: it’s better at the game. I could tell you every reason why I think it’s better at the game but unless you’re at the game to see it for yourself, you wouldn’t believe me or necessarily feel the same. Baseball in general is an experience that stands alone. I was standing at centre field at 9:30 Sunday morning looking around the empty stadium, preparing for a promotional day for fans that are sticking by something they believe in, having seen success far more recent than 1967 (albeit, the Jays didn’t exist then). 54 games in to the 2010 season and they have proven the experts have been incorrect thus far. The idea that it’s better at the game will come up again, and in the meantime keep your eyes on the Homer Happy Blue Jays.