It’s post Labour Day. The kids are back in school, it’s getting darker earlier, and in this parts along the Niagara peninsula at least, its been hot as hell this past week.
As have the Toronto Blue Jays.
Winners of five straight, the home squad find themselves in among a group of five teams fighting for the final wild card spot. And with the Athletics in free fall mode, both wild card spots could be up for grabs shortly. And yet, I’m sensing a real hesitance to embrace it.
Yes, the Jays still have a tall hill to climb. Yes, it’s not going to be easy. And yes, they blew a lot when they completely forgot how to win in August. But if I told you at the start of the season that the Jays would be going into the first weekend of September 4.5 games back of a wildcard spot, what would you think? You’d probably be pretty fucking ok with it. You might even say you’d be happy because it meant they were playing meaningful baseball in September.
And yet, there’s been a discussion among many circles, namely the Fan 590, about whether or not this is meaningful baseball. As is usually the case, it’s in the eye of the beholder.
The negative arseholes would tell you there are too many teams and too far to climb. And yet, do you think the Yankees fans are thinking like this? I would rather guess they’re not, despite the fact the two teams are pretty much in the same position.
Perhaps people are loathe to embrace the team because of years of letdowns. But then, really, why the hell be a fan? Sure, there might be another letdown, but is that really a cause for concern?
This is meaningful baseball. The way I look at it, if the front office/manager are still playing to win, it’s meaningful. Every indication I can see is that they’re managing to win every ball game they can.
And…it’s 4.5 games. They’ve gained two games in a week. And with some very winnable games mixed in with eight games against direct competitors for that final spot, things can change quickly.
They need to be hot down the stretch. There’s little room for error. And they need a touch of luck.
But embrace it. This is meaningful September baseball. They’re in the hunt.