Who is the ALCS scapegoat?

on October 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

The Toronto Blue Jays were finally able to muster some offence and they avoided being swept by Cleveland. Although the tribe still has a stranglehold on the series there is a small glimmer of hope that Toronto can be only the second team in baseball to come back from 0-3 to win a series. The Red Sox did that to the Yankees in 2004 and guess what? Terry Francona (now with Cleveland) was the winning manager back then. So if it happened for him, it could certainly happen against him as the baseball gods find coincidences like that wildly amusing. Honestly though the chances of the Blue Jays pulling this off are incredibly small, but as someone smart once said…

The series has been closer than the 3-1 margin might insinuate, but one team eventually will be declared the winner and one team the loser. There have been incredible performances on both sides, especially the pitchers from both teams, but instead of saying which player will win the series for their team, I am willing to state which person will lose the series for their respective team.

If by some miracle the Blue Jays come back to win, then the one person, the only person whose fault this will be is Trevor Bauer. As you are all aware, Bauer required 10 stitches on the pinky of his throwing hand after he was cut while working on his drone fleet the night before the ALCS started. I get it, boys love their toys but there is a time and a place for everything. Francona had to switch his start from Saturday to Monday, which made Josh Tomlin pitch on short rest. Bauer then started Game 3 but only lasted 4 outs as the stitches opened up and they could not control the bleeding. Funny enough, they did win both of those games, but the stress he has put on the rest of his team is enormous. On top of that, Francona can’t put him on the DL for another pitcher either because that will forfeit Bauer’s chance to pitch in the World Series. The one fear Cleveland fans had when the playoffs began was their starting rotation because they already lost two starting pitchers to injury. Francona has managed his pitchers brilliantly so far, but due to Bauer’s short stint in Game 3, he may have made his first mistake by bringing in his ace Corey Kluber for game 4 on short rest. The Jays won. Rookie Ryan Merritt will now be the starter for Game 5, the same Ryan Merritt who has a career total of 11 innings in the Majors. Despite being up 3-1, Cleveland’s starting rotation is in further tatters and Bauer is the one to blame. It makes you wonder what the heck was he thinking?

Now if the Blue Jays lose, you only have to look as far as last year’s hero. Jose Bautista has played mediocre defence (should have caught that ball in Game 3); he has been awful at the plate (batting a miniscule .071) and has been even worse off the field as he can’t keep his mouth shut. These are not just bad numbers, they’re horrible. In this series he is 1/14 with 3 walks and 7 strike outs. He has left 7 runners on base and is an absolute shell of his former self. Every player has struggles and every player goes through slumps and it is unfortunate that his has come at this time. In situations like this, you need to start thinking about how best you can help your team and stop worrying about what other people are doing. He has always been known as someone who argues/whines (take your pick) with umpires. He has to realize that, just like the Texas series, he needs to concentrate on winning and nothing else. But noooooo, he couldn’t leave it at that could he. After riling up the umps, let’s rile up the rookie as he said this about facing Merritt, “With our experience and our lineup, he is going to be shaking in his boots more than we are.” Really Jose? Really? You are down 3-1, you have contributed nothing this entire series and yet you have the gall to say that?

I know I am an inconsequential fly compared to you but if you are open to a bit of advice then listen to this. If your bat doesn’t start doing the talking, you will be the reason why the Blue Jays are not in the World Series. How do you like “dem circumstances”?

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