2013 is Everything for a Generation of BlueJays Fans
- Updated: January 7, 2013
We played the 1992, 1993 and Back2Back VHS tapes until we had to use the tracking button and the cardboard cases disintegrated into pulp. Every single one of us has at least one article of clothing or memorabilia with a championship banner emblazoned somewhere in gold. We don’t just have an old Jays hat, we have 16, and they are full-back, snap-back, leather, all blue, white panel, green under-brim, new logo, old logo and every logo in-between. We all have a jersey or shirsey that now appears ridiculous, a faded Troy Glaus, a torn-up Billy Koch, that Gustavo Chacin we’ve ripped the sleeves off and now cut the grass in.
Every single offseason we’ve talked about how next year will be the year. From the mid-90s up until late 2012 we’ve had the same conversations. About the acquisitions management should make and ownership okay. Who we should trade for who, who we should sign, drop, promote. How our players will somehow soar to new heights next year or see a return to form or become people they are not. We discuss the state of the system, whether our farm assets are progressing, regressing, well-stocked, ready for the bigs. We talk coaches and uniforms and ticket prices and salaries. We talk and hope and the outcome is always the same.
Ever since 1993 the pattern has held, with a few exceptions. The spring brings hope eternal for the Blue Jays as for every team. April sees a few wins, some promise, maybe even a slim divisional lead. May is either a plateau or a sign of the impending collapse to come. June sees the Blue Jays return to the spot on the bench they have made most comfortable over the last two decades, somewhere near the basement of the AL East, to the spitting fury and disappointment of every one of us. July and August are excruciating. Failure, loss, injury, defeat, misery, irrelevance.
We stop watching the old highlights. We put our big old Blue Jays sweatshirts back in the drawer, still covered in celebratory beer from Opening Night. We don’t wear our new Jays hat as much anymore, they’re 39-49 and out of the Wildcard race again anyway. We still go to games, we still cheer, we still watch them when we have time. But before we know it, it’s gone from “You see the Jays last night?” to “You see the Jays last night? ‘Cause I didn’t.” This has happened for 20 years. 20 years. A large chunk of all of our lives. But then the offseason of 2012 happened.
Dickey, Johnson and Buehrle injected into the rotation gives us one of the most fearsome pitching staffs in baseball. Reyes and Cabrera give us a 1-2 punch we have been lacking for years. Right behing them the slugging heart of the order, Bautista and Encarnacion. Bonifacio and Izturis sure up the infield, outfield, bench and pinch-running spots. The bullpen is deeper than it has ever been in AA’s tenure. Almost every single hole has been filled. No more wishful thinking, the times we had to ‘hope’ this or that would miraculously happen are no more. Sure, there are no guarantees and every World Series Champion still needs miracles. But dust off your Blue Jays mugs, get those jackets down from the attic, pillage Value Village for every piece of vintage 90s Blue Jays anything they carry, re-spool the VHS tapes, start playing catch, yell “Touch ‘Em All Joe!” when you go from your bed to the bathroom in the morning. We are 7 years old again… 2013 is already magic.