After a recent loss, the Toronto Blue Jays had lost 3 straight games to the New York Yankees in a 2 day span. Wait. What? Is that even possible? Yes. And it just happened. Can you say rock bottom?
Let’s face it. Every Toronto Blue Jays fan was excited coming into this season. I mean, everyone was busting out their old retro jerseys & hats, sharing ’92 and ’93 stories like it was just yesterday. On top of that, the Jays we’re the odds-on Las Vegas favorite to not just win the American League East, but to win the World Series.
Before the season started, the Blue Jays had 7.5 to 1 odds to win the World Series. The Dodgers and Angels we’re next at 8.5 to 1, followed by the Nationals and Tigers and 9 to 1 and 10 to 1, respectively. The Blue Jays odds to win the World Series today, currently sits at 250 to 1.
Think about where the Jays sit right now. Dead last in their division. They are the 20th best team in baseball. 20th!? How could everyone have been so wrong about this team?
The reality is, the Marlins trade only gave the Jays only one nice chip. Jose Reyes. Aside from Reyes (who missed the first half of the season), the other new pieces have been either absolute busts, or just plain average.
Let’s take a look and analyze the Jays off-season acquisitions that everybody was raving about (Not named Jose Reyes).
Josh Johnson – Acquisition Rating: 2 out of 10
Are you kidding me? This guy makes more money that the entire current Atlanta Braves starting 5 pitchers, combined! Oh, and Atlanta is in first place by the way. Josh Johnson should have been sent down to the minor leagues months ago. This guy is flat out terrible. His record is an atrocious 2 wins and 8 losses and his ERA is 6.20! Is that a sick joke!? Even Ricky Romero had a better ERA last season. And look at where he is now. Johnson is the most overpaid pitcher in the entire league. Period. Next.
Melky Cabrera – Acquisition Rating: 3 out of 10
Melky didn’t come over in the Marlins deal, but he has been a bust signing by A.A. to say the least. Last year, the World Champion San Francisco Giants, elected to not even include Cabrera on their playoff roster and they ended up winning the World Series without his services. Melky got his ring, but what kind of message did San Fran send the rest of the league, when they didn’t feel they even needed him to improve their chances of winning? After last night’s latest loss to the Yankees, Melky Cabrera has now missed 39 games this season due to injury. So basically, not only is he nowhere near as effective when he’s not on steroids, but he’s injured half of the time anyway. Bust. Who’s up next?
R.A. Dickey – Acquisition Rating: 4 out of 10
Jays acquire NL Cy Young Award Winner, read the headlines all off-season. I have a huge problem with the hype people gave Dickey before the season started. I don’t give a shit if he’s great with the media and is an all around well spoken & nice guy. The reality is R.A. Dickey has only had one great season in his entire career. He pitched extremely well last year, there is no debate. But what about the fact that he has spent more than half of his career in the minors? And not just that, he was only slightly better than a .500 pitcher while in the minors. Dickey has served up a Major League worst 27 home runs to the opposition this year and is really struggling to keep his knuckler in the park. It’s not that difficult to watch the game tape. Don’t you think after Dickey’s breakout season last year, that team’s would study and master how to counter his knuckle ball? Ahhh, technology. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? R.A. Dickey is 38 years old. He’s pitched in the MLB for 16 years and has only had 10 or more wins twice in his career (Last season and 11 wins in 2010). Let’s put that into perspective for a second. Josh Johnson has more 10+ win campaigns (3 total) than R.A. Dickey. And he’s 9 years younger. Take that in for a second. On to the next one.
Emilio Bonifacio – Acquisition Rating: 2 out of 10
Let’s see here, Bonifacio doesn’t even play for the Toronto Blue Jays anymore. Why? Because Toronto traded him to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later or cash. So wait, you’re telling me we traded this guy for literally nobody? Good. Great. Awesome.
Mark Buehrle – Acquisition Rating: 5 out of 10
Meh. The guy has been average. Sure, he’s had a couple of nice outings lately, but overall, he has had only an okay season. People say, “But we need him to chew up innings”. Actually, no! I’d prefer a pitcher that can consistently win me games. I don’t care if it’s only for 5 innings. As long as they are strong innings. That’s what a bullpen is for. If you are great one game, and can’t get out of the third inning in the next, than your team is simply just rolling the dice with you. Buerhle’s perfect ways are a thing of the past. What else do you got?
John Gibbons – Acquisition Rating: 0 out of 10
Let me understand this correctly. The Blue Jays traded their Manager from last year (John Farrell) to the Boston Red Sox, for Mike Aviles. They then shipped Aviles to Cleveland, along with upcoming prospect Yan Gomes, in exchange for only Esmil Rogers. Did I mention that the Boston Red Sox are currently in first place in the ultra competitive AL East? Fantastic.
Essentially, The Jays gave up their Manager to a division rival and now that team is thriving under him. The bluebirds then gained an average pitcher, in Rogers, and lost promising youngster, Yan Gomes, in the process. Toronto fans, are you frustrated yet? Bringing in Gibbons made absolute no sense to me. The ink on this guy’s severance agreement wasn’t even dry yet and then the Jays went and hired him back? Why would anyone fire somebody and then hire them back for the exact same job, only 5 years later, thinking that the result was going to be different!? John Gibbons is a lazy slob. I can’t stand watching him waddle out to the mound.
The acquisitions of Johnson, Cabrera, Dickey and Bonifacio we’re all failures, but the Gibbons move definitely takes the cake. John Gibbons couldn’t light a fire under a player’s ass if I gave him a blow torch and a tank of gasoline. The Jays can’t rid themselves fast enough of this former player, turned wannabe coach. For the second time.
The bad off-season acquisitions are not the only reason why the Toronto Blue Jays have hit rock bottom. It MUST also fall on Jose Bautista’s shoulders. The undisputed “leader” of this team, has been anything but a leader. I will never forget the clip that I caught a month ago, showing Bautista upset in the dugout. And this wasn’t just one of his every other game temper tantrums. This was different. He was up to bat, with the based loaded and 1 out. He proceeded to pop out and then stormed back to the bench. Where it gets interesting, is when Edwin Encarnacion then steps up next and proceeds to crush a grand slam. The Rogers Centre absolutely erupts. It was Edwin’s second home run in the same inning (first time that was done in 20 years) and it put the Jays up 12 to 6 in the game.
A leader that wants to win would naturally be happy. Right? But the camera then catches Encarnacion entering the dugout, high fiving all of his teammates, smiles everywhere. Except on Bautista’s face. Instead, Jose is pouting on the bench with a pissed off and unhappy look on his face, like someone just killed his dog. Grow up Jose. Put your ego aside for the good of the team, or get the hell out of town. End of story. If you are not going to be happy when another one of your teammates succeeds for the good of the team, than you are a selfish player and don’t even deserve to be playing alongside them.
The Blue Jays are presented with a number of decision’s this coming off-season. They went from the favorite to win it all, to the most disappointing season in franchise history. If they ever want to compete in the tough AL East, they need to rid themselves of cancers such as Jose Bautista. In addition to that, Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle either have to step up, or step out. As for Josh Johnson and John Gibbons, it still surprises me that either of them still have a job.