We are now into late November and as of press time, the Toronto Blue Jays have still not found a way to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a contract. He is still a free agent.
I think the Jays’ management team needs to realize that it would be very difficult to replace someone of his talent and should make his re-signing their main focus.
Yes, I know I wrote a similar column about Encarnacion in August. But as a fan, it has been frustrating to watch, as on any given day he could be snatched up by a competitor. There have been rumours, this off-season, about rivals such as the New York Yankees showing considerable interest in him.
Now, to their credit, neither side has closed the door on a possible return, according to multiple news outlets, despite the recent signing of Kendrys Morales. But this is a player, in my opinion, the Jays truly need, to remain competitive in the tough American League East division.
Encarnacion finished the season first on the team in home runs with 42 and second on the Jays in hits with 158. He also had 3 home runs and 10 hits in this year’s playoffs.
As well, he is third on the franchise’s all time home run list, behind Jose Bautista and Carlos Delgado.
I don’t think it is just his stats alone though, why fans want him to return. Encarnacion also brings an infectious attitude to the team. From the famous “Edwing” celebration, he does when he rounds the bases, to the swagger he brings to the diamond at each game, Encarnacion has become a fan favourite.
The Jays lost one of those fan favourite types last year in Munenori Kawasaki, after he signed with the Cubs, and with a fan base like the Blue Jays have now, they can’t afford to lose another.
The Jays, in my opinion, will likely lose Jose Bautista to free agency, and have already lost pitcher Brett Cecil to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Blue Jays’ management needs to show fans they can still bring back one of the pieces that helped the team go all the way to the ALCS, again this season. This year’s playoffs saw fans fill the Rogers Centre again, as the hope of a possible World Series win was abundant. The franchise can’t afford to lose that momentum now, and in my opinion losing Encarnacion will not resonate well with the Toronto fanbase.
General Manager Ross Atkins needs to get this deal done soon, before another star ends up saying goodbye to Toronto.
Once again, we have made it to November, and the Christmas season is slowly starting to creep up.
Now, I know we have just started this month and this column may be too soon of a reminder, but the evidence of the season is already all around us.
I have noticed a lot of the stores in the Region already have Christmas items up for sale, and I have already been to one Christmas themed event, the Bazaar and Bake Sale at the Immaculate Conception Church. Looking at the upcoming schedule, it looks like, once again, this month is jam packed with holiday themed events. The recent snowfall just seems to be a further reminder, as well.
I know in a previous column I talked about how time seems to speed up as we get older, but let me just say that Christmas time always seems to sneak up on me. It always seems too soon to be thinking about the holiday.
Of course, let me be clear, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy covering these holiday events in the community. It is always interesting for me to see possible gift ideas at the holiday sales or the variety of festive floats in the annual Christmas parades. However, there are times I wish time would slow to allow me more time to savour moments, and more time to shop.
Yes, I admit, I am one of those people who takes a while to get into the true holiday spirit. And, as of now, I am not mentally prepared for this holiday season. To me, it feels like as soon as we get through October, there is a mad dash to get everything ready for Christmas. There never seems to be enough time to prepare.
Hopefully the stores and radio stations will hold off on playing Christmas themed music until, at least, near the end of this month to prevent any further unnecessary reminders to the general public about the upcoming season. I also find the Christmas music to be somewhat repetitive, so it can be a tad annoying to hear the same song multiple times during the day.
You can call me a humbug if you want, but frankly it is just too soon for me to be thrust into thinking about Christmas.
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy