Have the Blue Jays overnight changed the Shift of Power in the AL East?
Seemingly out of nowhere the Toronto Blue Jays have elevated themselves to being the most talked about team in the American League East. Yes, you’ve read that right.
With the Yankees entering a haze of uncertainty, that even their massive amounts of money can’t correct and the Red Sox still trying to ‘find themselves’ after mega-deals gone wrong, the time is ripe for a new contender to emerge from the AL East. We saw glimpses of the tide changing for years from the Tampa Bay Rays, but they could never seem to get over the hump. Years of relying on a strong farm system, just couldn’t mask the fact that all their major players save for Longoria and Price have upped and left.
The Baltimore Orioles have made their presence known and have began to throw darts at the mighty Yankees and Red Sox. After more than a decade laying in ruins, the Orioles have stumbled back into relevancy under the management of Buck Showalter. But there was always that ‘other’ team in the AL East, hiding out in near obscurity and cloaked in an azure dome perched on artificial terrain–the Toronto Blue Jays. The team has been in baseball limbo for almost all their existence, except for a brief period in the 90’s in which they went all the way.
Funnily enough 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of their World Series victory, and what better way to commemorate than with a star laden team? The Blue Jays have had the fortune of being at the right place at the right time, without having to lift even a nail to really get these players. Marlins owner Jeffery Loria’s greed played right into the opportunistic Blue Jays who readily swallowed up any contract they were throwing, and the pickup of one of baseball’s biggest pariah’s Melky Cabrera, was a shrewd underground pickup.
While baseball is still a long ways a way, and there remains much work to do before the Blue Jays can truly been seen as a threat, the ground work has been laid. A roster with the likes of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to add to players like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion could be a thing of beauty. First things first, the Blue Jays need a manager who can guide this ‘rag tag team’. We’ve seen what the bluntness of a Buck Showalter can do for a franchise that was as beaten down as the Orioles, so maybe the Jays would do well to go for someone with that approach.
But we’ve seen time and time before that big names on a roster don’t always mean instant wins. That was the case for the Miami Marlins of last season who were so bad that they’re now…Toronto Blue Jays…case and point. The team has come together in an nontraditional matter, almost as if they were abandoned their. Let’s face it, no player dreams of playing in baseball in Canada, so it was pure fate that these big names came to city. They may as well embrace their situation and put baseball on the map in a hockey driven city. Winning cures all problems.