Monday, March 4, 2013

Blue Jays Look To End Playoff Drought

Jonah Keri remembers the early 90s and looks at how the Blue Jays are trying to make their first playoff appearance since 1993:
Because for Jays fans, and Toronto sports fans in general, the past 20 years have been a nuclear wasteland.1
The year of the Jays' second straight World Series also marked the first season of a stretch that brought 10 playoff appearances and four conference finals in 12 years for the Maple Leafs, but those seasons usually ended in heartbreak … which is still better than seven years and counting without a return trip to the postseason for one of the NHL's biggest-banking franchises. The Raptors made their debut two years after "Touch 'em all, Joe!" … and have been awful most years since then, with a couple of brief, mild spurts of success mixed with 12 losing seasons. But the Jays have been the worst of the bunch … only the sad-sack Royals and Pirates have gone longer than the 20 years since the Jays' last playoff berth.
Now, thanks to a flurry of offseason moves, the Jays have inspired more confidence, more hope, more sheer giddiness in their fans than they have in two decades. The journey to this point — from repeat champion to perennial also-ran back to beacon of optimism — has featured so many mistakes and pitfalls that they deserve several distinct categories, many of them offering lessons for the AL East favorite 2013 Jays and their architect, GM Alex Anthopoulos.  
  1. Yes, the Toronto Argonauts have actually hoisted some hardware in the past 20 years, including the most recent Grey Cup. Even as a Canadian, I have to call "So what?" on that. Friends and colleagues in Toronto back me up on this.
Toronto fans have had a pretty rough 20 years, but as the story notes, Kansas City has been worse off, and at least on the baseball field, nobody has been worse off than Pittsburgh.

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