For years, fans outside of New York and Boston have cried foul, unfair and downright bullshit as the Yankees and Red Sox pulled out their wallets and bullied their way through acquisitions and perennial superiority. All the while, the Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles of the AL East were left hoping that one day they could hang with the big boys.
While Tampa did it with home-grown talent and the Orioles are currently doing much of the same, the Jays decided that their young talent needed a little something more, and while no one expected it — stole that last can of who-hash.
Much was expected from an impressive young group of Jays in 2012, but instead of trusting Brett Lawrie, Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia to their own devices (and health) for ’13, Toronto GM Alex Anthopulos decided to bring in Jose Reyes. And Josh Johnson. And Mark Buehrle. And Emilio Bonafacio. And John Buck. Out of nowhere. And today, picked up All-Star MVP, Giants postseason castoffÂ and confirmed PED-user Melky Cabrera to roam the pasture at
Rogers Centre SkyDome.
For all ire and envy and resentment, the Jays are now guilty of doing exactly what the Evil Empires have been doing for years — buying contention.
Look, I am as hypocritical as anyone, I am thrilled that the Jays may celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1993 World Series championship with their first October appearance since that magical year. But, I won’t lie, it still feels a little dirty knowing that it won’t be the homegrown talent leading the way, but rather the additions doing the heavy lifting.
Yes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will still bludgeon homer after homer, but what the Jays needed most was pitching, so even if Romero rebounds to have the type of All-Star season he had in 2011 or Brandon Morrow harnesses his immense talent, it won’t change the fact that it will have been Johnson and Buehrle’ who will have made the difference for the rotation, while it surely will be Reyes’ lead-off presence that transforms the line-up from dangerous to uber-lethal.
Let’s be clear, because I don’t want to come off as whining — I am merely trying to reach out to Jays fans, and of all the small market AL East squads, really: The next time the Yankees or Red Sox go out and buy a player, remember this week and all that Toronto has done.
As Erik Kuselias used to say on ESPN Radio, “Go home, put on Barry White and turn the lights down. But remember, if you don’t get any, it’s not Barry’s fault.”