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Blue Jays in 2024 - Wait and $ee

With another Jays upon us I thought it would be a good time as any to reflect on what a dud of an off-season might portend for 2024. 

The Blue Jays marketing team likes to give every season a new slogan. “Rise Up”gave way to “Next level”, with fans still wondering if  last season’s road playoff exit was a level down. This year the slogan is “To The Core”, which only brings the word rotten to my mind.  If I was in charge, I would use the phrase “Wait and See”. That seems to sum up management’s commitment and fans' current attitude. 


After appearing to swing and miss at Ohtani, the Jays front office made a few low risk tweaks, preferring to see if running it all back might somehow deliver a better result. 


I don’t necessarily disagree with their business logic, but it was hard to swallow management’s willingness to spend $700 million on one player, but then get budget conscious when that player decided to go to the place every other team already knew he was going. 


I don’t blame fans for feeling disappointed. Selling manufactured hope and anticipation is fine, but at least have plan B ready.  While most other teams said no, right from the start - Jays fans were studying flight paths. 


No wonder most fans I know are testing the water before they jump in this season.  The sour taste left from a long boring season and bone headed playoff decisions (both on and off the field) scarred them.  


It makes sense for management to wait and see too. The Jays prospects cupboard is pretty bare. Why keep throwing money at a core if  it is starting to rot? 


Let this season play out and see if last season’s offensive woes were an anomaly.  If it was - continue to enjoy the enthusiasm and revenue. If not, start the unloading process as soon as the deadline, trusting all the reno’s at the centre turned ballpark will keep the buzz going. It should last long enough till you can reload again with a new crop of under control talent. 


If you're a diehard fan and want Vlad and Bo signed long term, then they better do something this season that pays for their new contracts. Playoff gates are the gravy teams get once all the regular season bills have been paid. Another season of zero home gates, will lead Jays to start shopping their not so young anymore stars. 


Predictions?


Expect the offense this season to pick it up.  A slim again Vlad will have a rebound year. Even Varsho should make last year's horrible trade trade now just look bad. The issue I’m afraid this year will be injuries. Baseball stat gurus are always referring to regressing to the mean. Well then the law of averages say the Jays are due for the injury bug to sting often.  I believe it will be the pitching - as it often is, that will be the target. All that leads to a season of fans saying if only this team had last year’s health and pitching.  


Expanded playoffs will keep the Jays in it up to the end and delay the inevitable turnover. But don’t expect any lucrative playoff gates again this off season. 


Hope I’m wrong. This country needs a party. But for that we’ll have to wait and see. 


Written By 100% human fan content of Gregory Cawsey 

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