Blue Jays Open A Promising Season
While the Blue Jays' first three games of the 2008 season against the New York Yankees may not have been as fruitful as us Jays fans would have hoped, it's really tonight's home opener against the Red Sox that will set the scene for the rest of the season.
It has been a long time since baseball fans in Toronto have celebrated a World Series championship (fifteen years now!) and an even longer time since the Jays had their humble beginnings on a snowy day at Exhibition Stadium in 1977. This year, however, the Blue Jays have moved past the "rebuilding phase" that has characterized the team for several seasons and are ready to be contenders.
I'm not singing the Blue Jays' praises just because I'm a season ticket holder. This year's roster include some best pitchers to ever wear a Jays uniform, as well as a solid slate of hitters than can produce some sparks when needed. It's not just me that thinks so: ESPN senior baseball analysts Rob Neyer and Buster Olney both predict that the Jays will win over 90 games this season.
Sadly, until realignment, our playoff prospects don't look so bright. Playing in the same division as perennial powerhouses Yankees and Red Sox â as well as upstart Tampa Bay â makes grabbing a division title or wild card spot pretty tough despite our fantastic roster.
So while our playoff chances are slim, there's still hope. After all, wouldn't you love to see another celebration like this?
For those of you out there that haven't bought into the Blue Jay hype just yet, let me just say that baseball today is a much different game than it was when you were in middle school. The games are routinely well-attended by a great mix of people, and the really cheap (you can get some seats for $5 for some games) tickets make baseball a much more accessible sport than, let's say, Maple Leaf Hockey.
And of course, it's always nice to watch a winning team from time to time, no matter how accustomed we've become to watching the Leafs lose. Who knows, we might just surprise everyone and beat out the Sox for the wild card this season.
Sure, it won't be the same without Jumpin' Joe Carter, but Toronto's ready for another championship parade, and this year's Jays have all the parts necessary to make it happen.
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