Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of Thoughts of the Week!
This week I want to talk about the Toronto Blue Jays as they continue their final series of the season against the Baltimore Orioles and picked up a massive win against the Orioles tonight.
Before this series, Toronto just concluded a tough series loss against the rival New York Yankees that has dropped them out of a playoff spot. When I watched the series, I found it tough to see the Blue Jays bats going so cold after setting so many record-breaking seasons.
Marcus Semien just set the MLB record for home runs by a second baseman. Alongside Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette have all had over 100 RBI’s this season.
However, the team is currently one game out of a wildcard spot with only three games left. So why is this team fighting to get into the playoffs and not cruising their way into an AL East division championship?
A couple of reasons. One, the division is super competitive. The AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays continue to lead the division and have done so for most of this season. Also, the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox currently hold the two wild card positions.
Another critical reason involves the bullpen. In so many games this season, the bullpen has given away significant leads, and now those games have caught up to Toronto. The worst part for the Blue Jays is that it was projected to be must better. Before the season, a pivotal injury to former all-star Kirby Yates was a big blow to the bullpen group.
A trade for Brad Hand was supposed to solidify that group, but he flamed out so badly in Toronto that he was released only a couple of weeks after he was acquired.
Overall, I do not have much confidence that the Blue Jays will make the playoffs this season. They will probably end up a game shy of a spot, but I do not see it as a negative. This group is much different from the club that made it to the postseason in 2016.
This team is much younger, for starters, and many of their players have tons of years left in the big leagues that will no doubt see them set more hitting records.
I also believe in the management group. After a shaky start for Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro, I feel that they have cultivated good young talent and have proven to be capable of surrounding them with great veteran players like Semien and George Springer.
One more point I wanted to touch on before I sign off concerns the results from the Canadian federal election. As I suspected, there was very little change, and Canada continues to have a minority Liberal government.
I still have no idea why the Liberals called this election and what was gained other than remember where I had to go to vote. One bright spot involved seeing a “Vote for Pedro” sign outside of the polling place I went to, which was nice.
I do feel that this election gives us a good look at how most of the country feels as we start to leave the pandemic and the restrictions it caused. While they like Justin Trudeau, they don’t want him enough to give him full power.
Another telling fact of how poorly this election was received came from data showing that turnout was down around 5% from the 2019 election (67%) and the 2015 election (68.3%). Mary of that was due to COVID-19, but many people knew the result and did not feel the need to go out and vote.
It will be interesting to see how this government works with the other parties. We cannot keep having elections every couple of years because all the parties can’t get along.
Anyways, that is all from me for this week’s edition of TOTW.
Talk to you later!