Updated Sunday, 10:43pm
Well, the sun did indeed rise Saturday and Sunday morning despite the events of Friday night.
The team that has captivated both a city and a country flatlined an joined all but two major league clubs on the sidelines watching the World Series, again.
Make no mistake, the Blue Jays of 2015 were little less than awesome.
They managed to do the impossible,draw all interest away from an undeserving hockey franchise that usual under the microscope 24/7.
As this is not the place for traditional sports stories, I will let the pro’s conduct the post mortem.
All I will say about Friday night is this, when you go 0-12 (or 13) with runners in scoring position it is going to be hard to win.
If we polled Blue Jays fans and players alike on the scenario that ended the game at seasons end, there is not a person alive who wouldn’t have drooled at the prospects: Josh Donaldson, likely the league MVP at bat, 2 outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd and we are down by a run.
That’s the stuff dreams are made of.
In the hockey world, on the pond or on the driveway we envision being the star in a game 7 on a breakaway, a penalty shot with the game on the line.
In baseball it’s the same thing. You want the bat in your hands to win it all.
This is NOT an indictment on Donaldson, but truth be told it’s the scenario you would want.
Kind of odd having all of Saturday and all of Sunday to reflect before the talking heads take to the mics on Monday morning.
By then, there will be little left to say about Friday night.
The focus will be on “tomorrow”.
So what do I think about as the season ends????
I think about the wall to wall coverage the Jays benefited from over the last 4-4.5 months.
Although they aren’t supposed to, and although many won’t admit it, many who cover the games we love were rooting for the Blue Jays.
That’s something we haven’t seen in a long time.
Barry Davis’s arms in the air reaction to a homerun was, in a word refreshing.
Following the games on twitter reading positive sentiments, and yes, cheers from media types for the local team was fantastic.
When was the last time you saw raw emotion like this by a member of the MSM:
— Doug Smith: Raptors (@SmithRaps) October 24, 2015
Kudos to the Doug Smith’s of the world.
Perhaps it’s not just me, but it’s the first time since I’ve been writing here that the media and the fans were one.
We haven’t seen that with the Maple Leafs.
It was starting to build with the Raptors but they fizzled out.
It was great.
So to those in the media who stretched the unwritten rule a little bit, thanks!
It’s nice to know some of you actually are fans of the games you cover; it’s great to see that the little boy or girl in you can still exist.
To those of you who actually sat in the stands, and I know of several of you who did… an extra hat tip to you.
So what about tomorrow?
Well, I’d put a lot of money on sports radio ratings taking a dip here in Toronto. The morning shows will be especially hard hit.
Mccown has had a ton to talk about during this ride.
Once Blue Jay mania runs out? The return of Bored Bob.
What does the fan do with Blair and Brunt? They’ve become must listen to radio. Once baseball is done, are they (for the offseason)?
These are the things that I am curious about.
As for the Jays themselves, buckle up. Alex Anthopoulos’s deal is set to expire at month’s end. Long time executive Paul Beeston is about to exit. This is going to be fascinating to watch.
I have no clue what’s going to happen. However I can tell you here’s the word on the street:
The Blue Jays, Rogers and new President, Mark Shapiro want Anthopoulos back.
The question is does Anthopoulos want to come back.
Everyone who I have talked to in the know says the same thing, it’s no better than 50-50 that Anthopoulos returns.
This is not about money. Rogers would likely pay Anthopoulos as well as anyone else.
Word is that neither Anthopoulos nor Beeston are all that familiar with Shapiro. That’s not good or bad, it is what it is.
Anthopoulos has been left to his own devices with a massive business/ownership supporter in Beeston. That’s not likely the role Shapiro (the search for a new President started before the Jays made their deals or went on their run) signed up for.
So, you may see articles like the one Steve Simmons wrote Saturday claiming that Anthopoulos is all but certain to return, I am not so sure. Too many people are saying the same thing for them all to be wrong. I am not saying it’s a done deal that he’s leaving, all I am saying is there’s a good a chance he is not returning as there is he is returning.
The Simmons story really doesn’t say much, except for this:
“But what’s strange is this: Sources also indicate that Anthopoulos has neither signed a contract, negotiated a contract with incoming team president Mark Shapiro, or agreed to anything resembling terms or dollar figures going into next season, which only serves to confuse what appears to be apparent.”
This could be settled in 24-48 hours. Negotiating the deal is not hard.
The question is what does Alex want to do; make no mistake he is in the drivers seat.
When I wrote this article Saturday am I was referring to this article by Steve Simmons:
“Alex Anthopoulos is expected to return as general manager of the Blue Jays next season, sources inside and outside the organization confirmed on Friday night.”
“But one source said Friday that he didn’t “foresee any circumstance that would result in Alex leaving. I believe this will get done.”
So while not saying it’s a done deal,certainly looking positive wouldn’t you say?
Compare that with this article on Sunday:
“If Shapiro wants to be too hands-on in baseball matters, don’t be surprised if Anthopoulos declines whatever offer comes his way. This isn’t about title or term. It’s about real responsibilities. And really, considering what Anthopoulos has accomplished and what happened this season, all this should have been settled long ago.”
Which is exactly what I’ve been hearing. Less than 50-50 AA comes back.
Now did you read Jeff Blair??
“The guess here is money and term is less of an issue in getting a deal done with Anthopoulos than is power-sharing and job security of other holdovers – including manager John Gibbons, perhaps. What we don’t know is the extent of philosophical differences, if any, between Shapiro and Anthopoulos and whether a contract has been extended but not signed or where no deal has not been offered. We also don’t know …”
Buckle up Blue Jays fans…this is going to be fascinating…