In an effort to combat writer’s block, often times this writer will send a message across the Quinte Skyway Bridge to our sister paper the Picton Gazette to solicit an idea.
Inspiration was struck in a passing comment by Gazette editor Jason Parks.
“What’s your editorial, a Jays love letter?” he quipped.
This question was posed while the wounds of the Toronto Blue Jays’ monumental collapse in the latter innings of Game 2 of the MLB Wild Card series were still fresh. The Jays led 8-1 in that must-win game.
And then, disaster. A bloop and a blast made it 8-5. The Jays tacked on another run and seemingly had regained control of the situation until the eighth inning. Canada’s own all-star closer Jordan Romano was on the mound. The bases were full of Seattle Mariners, but he was one out away from escaping the jam, four outs away from winning the game. Seattle’s J.P. Crawford hit a shallow pop up that MLB’s stat geeks predicted had a 75 per cent chance of being caught by centrefielder George Springer. Instead signals got crossed as shortstop Bo Bichette and Springer both attempted to catch the ball, resulting in a scary collision.
As if the potentially serious injury weren’t bad enough, the ball dropped to the turf and three Mariners came in to score on the play. Just about everyone in Canada knows what happened next. The Mariners scratched out a run in the ninth, the Jays didn’t. If there’s any silver lining, the Mariners’ roster does include Kingston’s Matt Brash, who honed his skills pitching in the KASSAA baseball league, facing off against the NDSS Golden Hawks.
As for the Jays, just like that, a 92 win season over in the blink of an eye.
Indeed for those of us who follow the team from April to October (and then countdown all winter until Opening Day), the events of Oct. 8, 2022 won’t sit well for the next five months. To say it ruined Thanksgiving would be a bit of an understatement. (If my mom reads this, the ruined Thanksgiving had nothing to do with the turkey).
As easy as it would be to let the quick postseason exit cloud the regular season accomplishments of Canada’s lone major league team, it would be a shame to let that happen. In a time when Canadians coast to coast could use a pick-me-up, the Jays were there to provide that all summer long. As ancient history as it might seem now, it was only back in April when we weren’t even sure if there would be a season at all as billionaire owners battled millionaire players over how to distribute their unsightly billion dollar revenues. As cringe worthy as that was, they did eventually reach a deal and provide fans with a nightly distraction from the troubles of the real world. And despite the disappointing finish, it was still a heck of a ride.
And just in case Toronto fans aren’t done torturing themselves, the Leafs season got underway last week, just in time to break hearts all over again.