Time for them to go

Is the regular baseball season over? I can only hope so. I’ve been a member of two different Blue Jays subscriber groups since that first day at Exhibition Stadium in 1977 so I have seen some bad years, but none was as awful as the most recent. Fans cheered more heartily at a well-caught foul ball in the stands than anything that happened on the field.

Before the season began, there was a lot of hype about the impact rookies would have. Well the oldsters disappeared and the young-uns joined and we’d lose seven in a row, or twelve out of the last sixteen. We were stuck at .400 for most of the year. If there were moves to acquire major league talent, I somehow missed them. And what is this strategy about having the starting pitcher stay for only one inning? You use up a lot of arms, sometimes eight a game, leaving nobody for the following night.

You go to a game now, and the Jays shirts worn by the patrons all reflect glory days of the past: Alomar, Encarnacion, Donaldson, Halladay, Bautista. We’ll know the future’s finally arrived when more of the active players are represented as fan favorites. Of course, the whole game has changed since the Jays first arrived in town. Nobody hits for average any more. It’s all strikeouts and home runs. But no one seems able to hit those homers with their buddies on base.

Does it make a difference that the Blue Jays are the only team in the American League with corporate ownership? Rogers Communications must be wondering why they bother. They certainly aren’t putting big money into salaries; this year’s payroll was among the lowest in fifteen seasons. In all my years as a fan, I watched fewer televised games this year than ever before. There’s only one answer. The Jays have been doing poorly, with no apparent strategy, since President Mark Shapiro arrived from Cleveland and brought some of his henchmen with him. Time to fire Shapiro, general manager Ross Atkins, and coach Charlie Montoyo. Surely just about anybody else could do better.


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