Faded Toronto Blue Jays temp tattoo is a sad metaphor for disaster postseason
One week ago, Toronto had a sense of excitement — a feeling of big things brewing for the hometown Blue Jays. Just 48 hours later, the party atmosphere felt more like a funeral after a collapse unlike anything ever before seen in MLB postseason history.
Fans are still hovering in the range of upset to completely inconsolable, including one devoted Jays die-hard who is reluctantly holding onto her faded temporary tattoo, a water-soluble metaphor for an entire city's pain and inability to let go.
CJ Hajer is the kind of dedicated Jays fan who frequently attends team events and games, and even made a sign calling out umpires this season, only to have it confiscated by security.
She tells blogTO that she got the temporary ink as part of Fan Appreciation Weekend during the final home games of the season.
"It was such an optimistic time," says Hajer. "The Blue Jays had clinched a playoff spot and had finally started playing like the team we knew they could be – after an incredibly frustrating (and at times unbearable) season."
"After their heartbreaking failure to get to the Postseason last year, it felt (to me, at least) like there was two years' worth of playoff expectations riding on this October."
Thank you, #BlueJays. When I woke up this morning and was startled by my own arm, I realized I am definitely not a future tattoo candidate. Good to know.#FanAppreciationWeekend pic.twitter.com/alKlvLbvuD— CJ ⚾️⚕💉 (@CjHajer) October 2, 2022
"But we all know how that went. Shocking. Embarrassing. So disappointing. So sudden. Frankly, it was like the entire 2022 season (the highest of highs and the lowest of lows) played out in a single game. Rather fitting, if it weren't so sad. In an instant the Postseason was done. And I wasn't ready for it to be done."
"They'd finally made it. It was just getting going. It was just getting good, and then it was gone. In a catastrophic collapse too."
After the devastating Wild Card Series, where the Jays dropped a do-or-die Game 2 after holding a seven-run lead late in the game, Hajer says, "I guess I couldn't quite bring myself to wipe the tattoo off."
"Maybe it was that, by doing that, I would be forced to truly accept that the season was wiped out too? And I wasn't ready for that. Still not, to be honest. Of course, it could just be that maybe I'm lazy."
Like many disappointed fans, Hajer has her own thoughts on what the organization could change or improve upon this off-season.
She reiterates she's grateful that "no professional sports team EVER asks me for my thoughts on anything and so I get to be free of any responsibility for decisions/trades/hirings they make," and claims that "despite being entirely unqualified and far too emotional," she does have a few "uneducated" ideas.
"First, sorry, Ross, but I'd like to see Ross Atkins shown the door," says Hajer, justifying the hypothetical firing based on "Too many of his big FA signings (especially pitching) have not turned out. This year’s trade deadline did not bring in what the Jays really needed."
But if she had to narrow it all down to a few key changes, Hajer says "I want the Blue Jays to hire a hitting coach that actually was a successful hitter at the major league level."
Hajer seems to have faith in the team's core roster, saying that "a lot these recent years' failings were more mental than physical/talent related" and that the Jays could try a strategy that "emphasizes the psychological wellness and resilience of this team."
At this point, just about every Jays fan has an opinion on who the team should scrap, which free agents to chase, and just about every factor under the aging dome of the Rogers Centre.
But until the off-season, Jays fans will just have to mentally process one of the most heartbreaking losses in club history, and wait for the inevitable fallout in the form of roster moves.
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