Another chapter of Toronto Blue Jays baseball is over. This chapter has to be one of the more embarrassing ones in recent history.
For those who haven’t been following this team this year, the Toronto Blue Jays were swept in the Wildcard series against the Minnesota Twins, losing both games. Now, yes in the history of professional sports teams there have been many playoff sweeps, but the Blue Jays stand out. This is the third straight year the Blue Jays have been swept in the opening round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs, and the Jays have not won a playoff game since 2016.
But, there’s also one statistic which makes this latest playoff sweep the most embarrassing of the last three. Through two games, the Jays bats went silent, scoring only one run. In a win or you’re eliminated game on Wednesday, October 4th, the Jays were shutout, unable to score a single run. At least in the previous two playoff sweeps, the Jays were able to score at least three runs. The pitching for the Jays was mostly solid through two games, only allowing five runs against them. All it would have taken to win Game 1 was four runs, and all it would have taken to win Game 2 was three runs.
I was lucky to have witnessed the years of Blue Jays playoff excitement in 2015 and 2016. Guys like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion wowing crowds with home runs and a famous bat flip. It seemed like then-general manager Alex Anthopoulos had all the answers, and was willing to make the big trades necessary to keep this team in contention. The current Blue Jays core is a far cry from those teams.
What’s followed has been a revolving door of team Managers from John Gibbons to Charlie Montoyo and then John Schneider. Only one of those three names had playoff success with the team, John Gibbons.
Last month, I wrote that if the Jays missed the playoffs, the team should look at hiring new leadership in their front office, including a new general manager. Well, the Jays made the playoffs, but they didn’t win a playoff game. So, I’d argue it is a similar result to missing the playoffs. Thus, I maintain that change is still needed in this organization. If nothing is changed, the Blue Jays can expect a similar result in next year’s playoffs.