I love The Big Bang Theory, and my favorite character on the show is Sheldon’s mother, Mary Cooper.
On the fourth episode of the series, “The Luminous Fish Effect,” Mary Cooper grows tired of Sheldon cowering in his room, simply because he doesn’t get along with his boss and tells her son, “I’m done fishing.”
Eight games into the 2017 Toronto Blue Jays season, I’m done fishing…
This is a team that’s been to back to back American League Championship Series.
Minus Edwin Encarnacion (Cleveland) and Michael Saunders (Philadelphia), the Jays return their starting lineup from 2016, along with one of the best rotations in baseball.
And for some reason, the offense is what you’d expect from a Little Leaguer facing Clayton Kershaw.
Never mind the fact Toronto was just swept, AT HOME, by the MILWAUKEE BREWERS…
…A team so young and inexperienced, if I challenged you to name a single player, other than Ryan Braun, in their Opening Day lineup — odds are you’d fail.
Tonight was a perfect example of the offensive impotence plaguing the Blue Jays.
Marcus Stroman dazzled yet again, exceeding the pitching performance that earned him MVP honors during the World Baseball Classic, less than a month ago.And yet, a Jays team equipped with plenty of All-Star bats, could not score him a single run.
If the sound techs at Rogers Centre played the famous “Charge!” bugle call tonight, it’s obvious; the cavalry ain’t coming, and the Jays are still losing.
It doesn’t get any easier from here, with the rival Baltimore Orioles making the trek north of the border to begin a four game series in Toronto on Thursday night.
Division leading Baltimore just split a short two game set with the Red Sox in Boston, hammering five home runs in a 12-5 rout at Fenway Park on Wednesday evening.The Red Sox follow the Orioles on the Blue Jays schedule beginning Tuesday.
So if Toronto can’t handle the Brewers, how much trouble will they be in this time next week when they begin a grueling seven game road trip that takes them to Anaheim and St. Louis?
This is not shaping up to be a pretty month for these Blue Jays.
And in the past, April hasn’t been kind to the Jays.
But previous squads managed to tread water and finish near .500 for the month. At this rate, Toronto will be lucky to leave April with five wins.
“But Matt, they’re not losing by much!”
I’d respond with, “much can make all the difference.”
Two weeks ago, USC and Olympic swimming legend, John Naber, dropped by campus to discuss his swimming career.
During the presentation, I noticed he competed at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal with a mustache.
When the same John Naber competed for USC, he was clean shaven.
I asked why.
“Because I felt confident enough I’d win a gold medal with the mustache. When I competed for USC, every second mattered to our team’s success, so I shaved.”
If a world class swimmer understands the concept of margins, why can’t a billion dollar baseball franchise?
If Ryan Goins is not picking up hits, stop sending him out there every night to strike out.
Start Darwin Barney instead.
What’s really hard to believe is, a team that hit 221 home runs in 2016 (1.36 per game), has hit exactly four through eight games. The San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner hit two on Opening Day, and he’s a pitcher.
The Blue Jays are honestly in this predicament because of self inflicted wounds.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The Blue Jays knew in the offseason their bullpen was a major liability. It was last year as well, and partly why they finished as a Wild Card, and Boston took their division crown.
Did they do anything to improve it?
Not unless you count letting one of your best relievers walk, and trying to patch things together.
Also, how much longer is this team going to continue with the Aaron Loup experiment?
We’ve seen the results, they’re not good.
I don’t fault them for Encarnacion. They offered him more money and years, and he still walked.
I do fault GM Ross Atkins and President Mark Shapiro for abandoning the plan they outlined at the beginning of last season: get younger, get faster, diversify.
Instead, they signed Kendrys Morales, who represents more of the same “home run or bust” mentality the Jays are stuck in, and that has let them down in back to back ALCS’.
Toronto hasn’t gotten younger or faster, and continues to trot out the oldest lineup in baseball on a nightly basis.
EVEN THEN…the Blue Jays should still be able to win ballgames, or at least score more runs.
Troy Tulowitzki is still the best shortstop in the American League, Josh Donaldson is the second best (Manny Machado) third baseman — when healthy, and Jose Bautista proved during Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic he still has the power that made him the famous “Joey Bats.”
We’re eight games into a 162 game season, so is there time to turn things around?
Absolutely, but that will require this team pull themselves up and hit.
Stroman and the rest of the pitching staff cannot go out there and win without the offense clicking.
Injuries plague every team, so I don’t want to hear “Donaldson and Travis are hurt” or “Sanchez has a blister.”
AGAIN, we’re eight games in…
If the Jays start wasting away in April, this is going to be an incredibly long season for fans in the 6IX.