Every year for as long as I remember I have uttered something to the effect of: “I think this year might be the year.”
As good or as bad as the Toronto Blue Jays roster was, I, as an ardent fan, was able to devise an incredibly rational argument as to why this year’s team would defy the odds and make it to the playoffs. In the past 15 years since I’ve become a serious fan I’ve been able to convince myself that the current roster would be the one. I’ll admit, it took some creative thinking, but being the optimist I was, I always thought it was possible.
But each year, as August rolled around, though I still tried to believe, there was always that little thing in the pit of my stomach saying, “you know it’s not real.”
And every year that little thing grew as August progressed. And when the kids returned to school everything returned to normal. And normal meant the Jays weren’t playing meaningful games.
Until this year.
As always, when spring training came into focus I was optimistic. There’s a lot of talent here, I thought. They could surprise.
Even as July progressed and the team was in a middling pattern, good enough to still be in it but not good enough to actually mean anything. But the offence, I said. Look at the run differential, I argued. They’re better than their record, I’m sure of it.
These last eight or so weeks have been, by far, the best weeks for me to be a Jays fan.
Tonight was the culmination of that optimism, of 15 years hoping for better results than last year. And they did it in typical 2015 Blue Jay way: bludgeoning their opponents into submission.
A few weeks ago someone asked online, who is your favourite Blue Jay this year. It’s a tough question, because really, who isn’t?
My favourite Jays players of all time, in order, are: Roy Halladay, Carlos Delgado, and every single member of the 2015 team.
In addition to being a team full of supremely talented players, they’re also incredibly damned likable. From dirt bags to cocky, overachievers to the quiet pitcher who’s mastered an impossible pitch, every player on that team is a joy to cheer for.
Tonight things became real. The 2015 Toronto Blue Jays will be the division champions, and will play in the postseason.
I watch every postseason. Every year I’ve watched it with great anticipation, knowing full well that my team is not in the dance.
This year it’s different. This year my team is not only in the dance, but poised to lead it.
In the past October was always met with a bittersweet sentiment from me. The postseason always makes for great baseball, but it always means the end of watching my beloved team.
Not this year.
This year I can watch my favourite team, on my favourite platform.
It’s Blue Jays baseball, in the playoffs.
I’ve been waiting 15 years for this.