It’s kinda crazy how much #ComeTOgether encapsulates both the Blue Jays and fans experience this year. These promo lines are made in the beginning of the year and are usually super cheesy and let’s be honest don’t necessarily amount to anything. But “Come Together” was just something else.
This team really needed to come together the way they did to succeed. Nothing was consistent earlier in the year. Although we had a great opening day line up with all-stars scattered throughout it we were below .500 midway in the season. We were like a puzzle that was just missing a couple of pieces.
The first parts of puzzles were shoved down our throats when we had to face the realities of injuries. Underdogs like Goins and Colabello were brought up from Buffalo to help fill holes left behind by amazing players like Reyes, Travis, Bautista, and Saunders. The two took what was given to them and shined making huge plays, scoring game changing runs, and eventually becoming everyday players in the postseason.
In similar fashion, a shaky start from our starting rotation early on forced the team to look elsewhere for consistency. Estrada, the reliever that many saw was the outcome of a bad trade, became the stabilizing factor (although it took a couple tries) helping us hold on until the trades occurred and eventually became our postseason ace.
The trade acquisition were really the final pieces of getting the puzzle to come together. Once the trades occurred everything just clicked for the Jays. Getting those key pieces showed confidence from the front office that they believed that the team could achieve great things. That confidence translated to determination for the team and we saw what happened. They hit harder, played better defense, and our pitching from both starters and the pen were much lights out (for the most part). The Jays went from being 8 games behind the first place Yankees on the morning we all heard about the Tulo trade to once again becoming the AL East Champions.
But I think most importantly is that although we got all-star names like Price and Tulo, AA emphasized that we got character guys. Guys that were not only superstars but were team players. I can only imagine the impact Tulo had on a fellow young shortstop like Goins, or the mentorship Price provided for our future ace, Stroman.
And on the fans side as soon as news broke that the Tulo and Price acquisition were made fans quickly came together to not only see the new Jays but support the boys that have been part of the family for so long. People may cry bandwagoners but I have to argue it’s how you make new fans. I for one am one of those people who although would nonchalantly followed the Jays only fell in love with them this year. And how can you not with the great group of boys in that clubhouse. This was most apparent when I attended a Monday night sold out game in September, all by myself (cue the song). Not once did I feel like was alone because there 45,000+ cheering along with me.
Confidence soared for the Bluebirds. Even when they were losing you always felt that there was a Jays rally on its way. Which was probably why ALCS Game 6 hurt so bad, there was rally it just fell a little short, 90 feet short.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s almost magical how well this team came together this year. Friendships were made, a brotherhood created, and the team and the fans came together.