Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have effectively ended the 2013 season with terrible pitching and untimely hitting, what are Blue Jays’ fans to root for (or against) for the rest of the season?
The easiest answer to this question is to root against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Rooting against the Red Sox and the Yankees is a natural activity for most Blue Jays fans. Now that the Blue Jays are playing “un-watchable” baseball, watching the Red Sox lose the division lead to the Tampa Bay Rays will have to suffice. I will also enjoy watching the Yankees continue to have a bad season on the field. For too many years now, the Yankees gotten away with finding replacement-level players that magically turn into guys that have career years.
If the Blue Jays are not available to root for, I will be rooting for the Rays because they have been playing good, fundamental baseball. Especially after the Blue Jays played such terrible defense this season, it is a treat to watch the Rays’ sound defense. Even though I will be rooting for the Rays to win the AL East, that is where my rooting interest ends. My primary reason for them to win the AL East stems more from a desire to prevent the Red Sox from winning
In the National League, I will be rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have a couple connections to the Blue Jays: Travis Snider and a long playoff drought. Snider may not have turned into the player Blue Jays’ fans hoped he would be, but he is a likable guy. I will be rooting for him no matter what team he plays for. The Pirates as an organization have been out of the playoffs for 20 years so rooting for them to make the playoffs feels good — maybe even the slightest bit natural. The Blue Jays are one year away from being the team with a 20-year playoff drought. So if the Pirates can make the playoffs in their 20th season, maybe the Blue Jays can do the same.
As a fan, it certainly sucks when your team hasn’t been good enough to make the playoffs. Fortunately in baseball, there are a few other good teams or individual player stories to root for.