Blue Jays wish gone wrong

on July 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

Be careful of what you wish for because as they say, you just might get it. That’s a very popular and pc friendly way of saying, karma’s a … well… you know. It was witnessed by all during last year’s baseball season with the Texas Rangers vis-a-vis the Toronto Blue Jays.

Everyone in Toronto remembers the punch that was heard around the American League. The entire state of Texas was bragging about it. How Rougned Odor landed a straight right hand square on Jose Bautista’s jaw. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beauty. But last time I checked, these two teams are involved in the sport of baseball, not boxing.

No wonder Jays fans were elated when they swept the Texas Rangers thereby knocking them out of the playoffs for the second straight year in a row. The dismissal of the Rangers was made even sweeter as an Odor error was the catalyst of the series winning run. Karma my dear friends, has an attitude.

Therefore it should go without saying that you best be careful what you wish for. Now I’m not going to suggest the reason why the blue Jays are doing so poorly this year is related to the paranormal, but I thought it would be a good idea to at least look into the matter since all the other reasons have already been discussed ad nauseum. But just in case you aren’t aware, let me quickly summarize it for you.

The team can’t score. They are ranked 26th out of 30 teams in batting average and 27th in run production. They’re pitching, which only last year was regarded as one of the best rotations in the league, is doing slightly better, but not much. Only 10 teams have allowed more runs than the Jays have. You add that all up and that’s a pretty good reason as to why they are tied for second last in the American League with a 44-54 record. Remember when we complained that they were only 1 win away from being .500? Ahh the good ol’ days!

As I read recently and have to agree, there are really only three Blue Jays players that are playing at or above expectations this year. They are Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman and the man I have chosen as the culprit behind all of the Toronto Blue Jays woes this year. The first time All Star, Justin Smoak. Yes people of Toronto… I am going there.

It was just over a year ago when this Shakespearean tragedy unfolded. The dastardly duo (there always has to be a villain) of President Mark Shapiro and General Manager Ross Atkins extended Justin Smoak’s (the protagonist) contract for two years at just over $4M per year plus a team option for a third. This was a contract that even Shylock didn’t like. Fans (the angry mob) were outraged, why spend your money on him when you had so many other free agents to sign, most notably Edwin Encarnacion. Fans took to all platforms of social media and were quite critical of the extension. Nothing personal against Smoak, but what he proved the fans correct by his performance that second half of the season.

Ball players are professionals but they are also human. Smoak must have heard all that snack from reporters and fans for the duration and his play deteriorated. You know he would love to prove all these naysayers wrong, not from a selfish standpoint, but to earn his pay and be a big contributor to the team. Who could blame him if he wished that he was the best Blue Jay player in 2017. Speaking statistically, that wish has come true. He leads the team in batting average (.299), home runs (27), rbi (64), OBP (.376) and hits (100). These accomplishments are far from the expectation anyone had. At best fans hoped he would be a “serviceable” first baseman until they could get a real one. In fact none of these stats seemed possible in any form of reality last year. Is it so hard to believe then that Smoak’s good fortunes have come about from the supernatural?

I do believe Smoak made that wish and I do believe karma granted it to him. I don’t have any problem with people making that wish other than.. you best be careful what you wish for. I believe that Smoak may have forgotten to include the fine print. He should not only have wished to be the best baseball player in Toronto, he should have wished to be the best player on a team of great players. Afterall it’s pretty hard to win a division all by yourself.

The Blue Jays are having a terrible season because Justin Smoak wasn’t specific enough on his wish. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

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