Josh Donaldson hate-watched The Bachelor with you
August 19, 2015 1:49 PM   Subscribe

The Toronto Blue Jays, owners of the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports, are finally in a bona fide pennant race for the first time since 1993. Despite scuffling through the first half of the baseball season, the Jays' season quickly turned around as a result of a crazy 48 hours prior to the Major League trade deadline that landed the Jays two of the best players in the game to accompany an already impressive line-up. Toronto is abuzz about the Jays for the first time in a generation, having sold nearly half a million tickets since the big trades. Toronto journalist and Jays fan Stacey May Fowles created a how-to guide for new members of the bandwagon. This Blue Jays squad is not your typical baseball team.

While the new players, Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, got all the headlines after the trades, the centre of the team has quickly become Josh Donaldson, the third basemen acquired in the off-season in a trade from Oakland. Donaldson is challenging Mike Trout's normally unquestioned status as baseball's best player and has won over Toronto fans. After leading the Jays to another win with two home-runs last night (auto-playing video), Fowles' twitter feed turned into a reflection on how Donaldson has become the good-guy boyfriend Toronto sports fans have been waiting for. The man himself even chimed in.
posted by dry white toast (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I was at the game for Tulowitzki's debut, and it was the most fun I've ever had at a baseball game. I'm used to loooong games at Fenway. I decided that day they'd be my alternate team, after my home team. I have good luck with my alternate teams taking off. I pity rooted for Peyton Manning in 2000 (you lost the wild card to the Dolphins!) and he turned out okay. Yay for the Jays!
posted by Ruki at 1:57 PM on August 19, 2015

"The dollar is worth 70 cents. Shania Twain is on tour. The Blue Jays are in first place. You damn millennials actually brought the 90s back." - Ren Bostelaar
posted by srboisvert at 2:02 PM on August 19, 2015 [16 favorites]

I'm a very casual Jays fan for the dumbest reason imaginable - I like their triple-a team, the Buffalo Bisons - so this whole thing has been a totally unearned joy for me. I hope they go all the way.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 2:19 PM on August 19, 2015

As a Phillies fan currently digesting the trade of a franchise icon and knowing I have to watch my awful team face the Jays for one more night, I hope Josh Donaldson goes colder than whatever the coldest thing in Canada is.
posted by gladly at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2015

"The dollar is worth 70 cents. Shania Twain is on tour. The Blue Jays are in first place. You damn millennials actually brought the 90s back." - Ren Bostelaar

They also wore white panel caps on Sunday.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Really happy to see a well-done blue-FPP-worthy SportsFilter post, but sad that last night's win came at the expense of my hapless Phillies, who apparently traded Chase Utley for a bag of magic beans this afternoon.

The Jays' rotation is still somewhat questionable after Price, but that lineup is just a murderer's row of bats you don't want to have to throw strikes to.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

Hah, jinx, gladly.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2015

Ah, that explains the crowds of blue-shirted 905ers I have to fight with on Line 1 every evening.
posted by scruss at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2015

I liked this line:

'The New York Times put it best, stating that the Jays are a team whose “true abilities were hidden by a poor record”'
posted by axismundi at 3:05 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Man, if the Blue Jays make the playoffs then the Mariners will own the longest baseball playoff drought. I don't know how to feel about this. Congrats Blue Jays, I guess. Your team is legitimately awesome.
posted by john-a-dreams at 3:36 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know how to feel about this.

Angry at the M's ownership? Though maybe we need a new baseball palace, ours is well over 10 years old. And congrats to the Jays.
posted by maxwelton at 3:59 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow, some of those "Josh Donaldson is awesome because he x" tweets are pretty fucking weird. Specifically, no you don't save extra seats at the cinema, what the hell, I used to respect you, Canadians.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 4:11 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seriously. I can get behind a lot of the things that Josh Donaldson does for his girlfriend, but that is just wrong, especially if it's at a popular show time for like, Fury Road, Trainwreck or Frances Ha.
posted by Flashman at 4:18 PM on August 19, 2015

Although I have a Game 1 program from 1977 due to my T.O. family connections, the Maritimes still is part of Red Sox Nation so it took me until 1981 to switch allegiance. There were a lot of good years back then, but it's been pure frustration since 1994 with indifferent ownership, questionable management, bad planning, and underperforming teams. Something's been developing for a few years, and this year it finally feels like they're coming together. It's like the late 1980s teams turning into the early 1990s ones.

This is a team built from talent and characters. Pillar fills highlight reels with his defence. Donaldson diving into the stands to temporarily preserve Estrada's perfect game. David Price is all kinds of awesome, from his popcorn request after being traded to Toronto to unpaid shilling for DQ to standing at the top of the steps on his off-days, bat in hand, ready to pinch hit if asked. The Edwing, parkour Martin, Dickey's knuckler returning to form... there's contributions from all over.

And even when it's been bad (Travis going down after a Rookie of the Year start, Saunders out for the season after stepping on a sprinkler head in the spring, the loss of Stroman) there's still been something good. To have Stroman decide to finish university while recovering from injury (and tweeting during class) just shows the type of players they've brought together this year.

No matter how this season shakes out (and I hope it's more than a Wild Card spot), this has been fun to watch.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

What's also great about this is who's missing from the Toronto sports equation this year: Rob Ford. Not having him around - and no doubt he'd always be trying to steal the Blue Jays limelight like a crack-addled Hamburglar - makes it a lot easier for non-sport people like myself to jump on the bandwagon, which after having read this post I'm giving some serious thought to.
posted by Flashman at 5:06 PM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

Look, I believe in Stephen Vogt. But if I had to trade his career season for Donaldson's...

Toronto, please get him a ring. You can gloat about how the World Series actually includes non-American cities and everything.

Also, Billy was drunk when he made that trade and I'll take that belief to my grave.
posted by East14thTaco at 7:53 PM on August 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

There were plenty of people in Toronto who were furious about the Donaldson trade when it happened. A challenge trade where the Jays gave up a fan favourite Red Bull fueled, Canadian born and bred third baseman for a late-bloomer. Because these Blue Jays have such bad history with guys who suddenly figure out how to hit like a superstar when they're in their late twenties, right?
posted by thecjm at 11:24 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

And any Jays thread would be incomplete without a link to Andrew Stoeten's blog the Birds All Day podcast. Stoeten is formerly of Drunk Jays Fans. Yes, that's the name of what was the best Jays blog and podcast around.
posted by thecjm at 11:28 PM on August 19, 2015

I hope Josh Donaldson goes colder than whatever the coldest thing in Canada is.

That'd be Stephen Harper's heart.
posted by New Frontier at 6:46 PM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

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