0, 1, 2, 5, 0. Even if you have Bob Gibson pitching every night, you won't win too many playoff games with such an anemic offence. The team that lives by the home run certainly can't do much without that home run.
Michael Saunders homered in Game 3. Josh Donaldson homered in Game 4. Both HRs were solo shots. The one game where the offence showed life was the single game Toronto won in the American League Championship Series.
Reaching the ALCS 2 years in a row is laudatory success for the Toronto Blue Jays. But fans are wondering why the team couldn't get to the World Series.
Sometimes leaders take the flak to spare teammates. Jose Bautista danced around whether the umpires weren't as fair to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS. We heard this last year in both playoff series but not during the 2016 ALDS.
Bautista was correct but the problem is in saying it out loud. The best revenge is on the field. Whining, even when it's true, is not a good character trait.
In the heyday of the Toronto Blue Jays success, the team would lead baseball in attendance. In 1987, 1989-1994, the Blue Jays had the best attendance in the American League.
After the 1994 strike, attendance fell. In 2010, the team had the 3rd worst attendance in the American League.
In 2016, the Blue Jays drew 3,392,099, the highest mark since 1993. The 2016 mark is the 5th highest in team history. The increase from the 2015 mark of 2,794,891 was 597,208, a 21% increase over last year.
Douglas Cardinal had a really nice point. Cardinal wasn't after the Cleveland MLB franchise to change its name, though he and millions would love that change. His application wanted the Cleveland team to not display the nickname and truly horrible logo on the Cleveland uniforms and for Rogers to avoid showing either during the telecast.
The team has a C for Cleveland on its cap. You can have Cleveland across the jersey. Logos aren't required on uniforms and seriously, "Chief Wahoo," is the worst. To have the offensive logo on the hat is inexplicable.
The application would have only applied to the games in Toronto and would have no impact outside Ontario.
An Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the application for an injunction before Game 3 at Rogers Centre.
Rogers had a point in that the company can't control what is in the crowd and the TBS feed, which Rogers shows in Canada, is out of Rogers control.
Cardinal's argument was that the name and logo amounted to racial discrimination in violation of Ontario's Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. The chances were not significant that the attempt would work but we did have a conversation as a result.
U.S. collegiate sports don't have this issue as much because several U.S. universities changed their nicknames: Marquette, Miami of Ohio, and Stanford are some of the universities that changed their nicknames.
While racism is racism in pro sports, there are varying degrees. The Washington NFL franchise has the worst nickname. The Cleveland issue is about the nickname but the logo is far more offensive. The Edmonton CFL franchise has shown some sensitivity but also referring to the club as the Esks. But we know what that is short for in the nickname.
Toronto Blue Jays Playoff History
We know that innocence until proven guilty reigns in both the United States and Canada. Ken Pagan has been charged with mischief in the beer can throwing episode during the American League wild card game.
Thanks to The Globe and Mail, we also know that Pagan no longer works for Postmedia. Postmedia owns the Toronto Sun that offered a $1,000 reward for information on the beer-thrower’s identity.
Besides justice in this case and for the racial slurs that allegedly came from the crowd, we would love to see justice serve as an incentive to not keep having trouble with Blue Jays fans in the playoffs.
photo credit: MLB/TBS