Hey there baseball fans. I know the last day of May might seem to be a little late for my first Blue Jays post of the year, but I can explain.
First there was the Canadiens play-off run. I was hooked. Some days it still feels like I’m coming down from that high.
Also, I’ve been trying to write some non-sports pieces. I love sports and find them easy to write about so I decided to try and stretch my brain.
And last, I needed time to fall for these Blue Jays. As a life long fan that might sound silly. But this a new team. These 2010 Blue Jays are making a new name for themselves. And I’ve been watching a falling in love.
The whole thing started as a crush in February with Spring Training. I was optimistic but sceptical. One of the things that had made other versions of the team so easy to love, regardless of results, was gone. Roy “Doc” Halladay was traded to one of my 3 least favourite sports cities in North America (Philly, New York, Boston) and I was left with a little bit of that empty feeling inside. Now, the writing had been on the wall. Things weren’t working out, but it still hurt to see him with another jersey. I loved those teams and my biggest reason was gone.
And then Spring Training started. My favourite time of year (or top 3 at least). My birthday is right there and baseball is back with a brand new season of hope and possibility. Love. This year Alex Anthopolous told me that we were rebuilding. That I needed to be patient. But he said that we’d compete hard, we’d try out best and we’d have fun. I liked that. Even if he was lying he said what I wanted to hear. And sometimes that’s enough.
I also got to see the shiny new bling that AA bought me. And while it may not have been Tiffany’s, it wasn’t Bargain Harold’s either. He got me a new Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop and a John Buck and a Jose Molina to catch. And I smiled when I unwrapped them. I said thank you, but I wanted more. I asked about the pitching now that Doc was gone. AA handed me another package and told me not to get my hopes too high when I opened it, but it would still be cool. So I took a breath and I unwrapped Kevin Gregg, Brandon Morrow and Dana Eveland. I forced a smile but inside I wasn’t sure what to think.
Fast forward to Opening Day. I was bubbling with excitement. I can never help myself. Shaun Marcum was back in the big leagues and leading the charge in Texas. And mon Dieu was he awesome. His near no-hitter was like that risky lean in for a first kiss. My adrenaline was flowing like crazy and I was happy. But honestly, it was just one kiss. I needed more.
And then a funny thing happened. Things stayed fun and exciting. I started falling faster and deeper. The young pitchers, lead by Marcum and, my new favourite Blue Jay, Ricky Romero stayed awesome. And the hitters, oh baby the hitters. Including late addition Fred Lewis (thanks AA) I have been spoiled by the unexpected power and production from this line-up. John Buck, A-Gon, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and most importantly, Vernon Wells have kept me blushing. More than anyone else, a healthy and productive VW makes my heart sing.
Now, there have been hic-ups. I can’t pretend that it’s been all sunshine and roses. Jason Frasor and Scott Downs have hurt me a little. Adam Lind and Aaron Hill have some promises to fulfil as well. And Lyle Overbay. Lyle is like bad cooking or snoring. Not enough to stop you from falling in love, but that thing you complain about to your friends.
Now, maybe I’m still being a bit premature with all of this. We’re only 50 games into our relationship. But I can feel myself falling deep in love with the 2010 Blue Jays. Lord help me and prepare me for late September heartbreak.
I needed time to fall for these Blue Jays. As a life long fan that might sound silly. But this a new team. These 2010 Blue Jays are making a new name for themselves. And I’ve been watching a falling in love.