Learning to Believe in the 2014 Blue Jays

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Logo BannerIf you’ve been paying attention to the world of baseball, particularly, you know that the Toronto Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball right now.

For a lifelong Blue Jays fan, it’s been a little hard to process. It’s been 21 years since our boys of summer made the playoffs. 21 years since they last had a lead this large in early June. 21 years since we were told this thing could be real.

As of today (June 6, 2014) the Toronto Blue Jays own a 38-24 record with a .613 winning percentage, 3rd best in baseball. They have +53 run differential, 3rd in all of major league baseball. According to ESPN they have an 89.6% chance of making the playoffs, also 3rd in all of the big leagues.

June 6 AL East Standings 2014And then we get to what the Blue Jays are doing better than everyone else… 1st in runs scored, 1st in home runs, most players with 10 or more home runs (5), the 1st 10 game winner in the league (Mark Buehrle), and they have a 6 game lead over the 2nd place New York Yankees in the American League East.

But…

It’s still a little hard to believe.

I’ve been in love with the game of baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays since I was 5 years old. Ironically, that was the season of the great collapse in the last 7 games of the season and the Tigers stealing the division. But I did get to witness division titles in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993… it was a great run.

We’ve been waiting to get it back ever since.

Juan Francisco and Brett Lawrie 2014 Toronto Blue JaysIt’s easy to watch Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion mash the ball and circle the bases, we’re used to that. But seeing Brett Lawrie tie his career high in home runs in early June, that’s new. Seeing Juan Francisco both handle himself at 3rd base and at the plate was not expected or planned. Melky Cabrera’s remarkable bounce back season was a wish that someone made when they rubbed a genie’s lamp. Having BOTH Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar offer significant contributions to the team was a dream someone had when everything was going wrong last season.

So what do we do?

The superstitious among us know better than to guarantee anything or say things other than “it’s a long season, there’s a lot of baseball left, we’ve got to keep winning games, we just hope we’re competitive in September, etc.”

BUT the hopeful in us are drawing comparisons to 93. We’re happy that we have a feeling of confidence when the Blue Jays are leading by 2 runs late in a game. We look at our lineup and don’t see easy outs. Hell, we even believe in our pitching staff.

I’m not here to tell you that you need to plan a parade route.

I’m also not here to tell you that you shouldn’t be hopeful for another 60 wins this season.

I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next 3 months of the baseball season.

But every day it’s getting a little easier to believe that it’s going to keep being fun to watch and cheer for these Toronto Blue Jays.

#GoJaysGo

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Learning to Believe in the 2014 Blue Jays

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Logo BannerIf you’ve been paying attention to the world of baseball, particularly, you know that the Toronto Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball right now.

For a lifelong Blue Jays fan, it’s been a little hard to process. It’s been 21 years since our boys of summer made the playoffs. 21 years since they last had a lead this large in early June. 21 years since we were told this thing could be real.

As of today (June 6, 2014) the Toronto Blue Jays own a 38-24 record with a .613 winning percentage, 3rd best in baseball. They have +53 run differential, 3rd in all of major league baseball. According to ESPN they have an 89.6% chance of making the playoffs, also 3rd in all of the big leagues.

June 6 AL East Standings 2014And then we get to what the Blue Jays are doing better than everyone else… 1st in runs scored, 1st in home runs, most players with 10 or more home runs (5), the 1st 10 game winner in the league (Mark Buehrle), and they have a 6 game lead over the 2nd place New York Yankees in the American League East.

But…

It’s still a little hard to believe.

I’ve been in love with the game of baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays since I was 5 years old. Ironically, that was the season of the great collapse in the last 7 games of the season and the Tigers stealing the division. But I did get to witness division titles in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993… it was a great run.

We’ve been waiting to get it back ever since.

Juan Francisco and Brett Lawrie 2014 Toronto Blue JaysIt’s easy to watch Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion mash the ball and circle the bases, we’re used to that. But seeing Brett Lawrie tie his career high in home runs in early June, that’s new. Seeing Juan Francisco both handle himself at 3rd base and at the plate was not expected or planned. Melky Cabrera’s remarkable bounce back season was a wish that someone made when they rubbed a genie’s lamp. Having BOTH Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar offer significant contributions to the team was a dream someone had when everything was going wrong last season.

So what do we do?

The superstitious among us know better than to guarantee anything or say things other than “it’s a long season, there’s a lot of baseball left, we’ve got to keep winning games, we just hope we’re competitive in September, etc.”

BUT the hopeful in us are drawing comparisons to 93. We’re happy that we have a feeling of confidence when the Blue Jays are leading by 2 runs late in a game. We look at our lineup and don’t see easy outs. Hell, we even believe in our pitching staff.

I’m not here to tell you that you need to plan a parade route.

I’m also not here to tell you that you shouldn’t be hopeful for another 60 wins this season.

I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next 3 months of the baseball season.

But every day it’s getting a little easier to believe that it’s going to keep being fun to watch and cheer for these Toronto Blue Jays.

#GoJaysGo

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