August 9, 2018

Setting Priorities

“This team is terrible!” “I can’t believe I paid money to watch a bullpen day!” “Fire this management team, they don’t know what they are doing….”

These are just a few of the quotes I have read in the last few weeks. This is so frustrating to read day in and day out. Maybe, instead of being so angry at the Blue Jays and their management, people should put things in perspective a little?

Yes, this years Blue Jays team has not been very good. There have been many injuries and sub par play from many on this team and the standings reflect that. I’m sure that having to play against two teams likely to eclipse 100 wins this season 36 times isn’t helping things at all. But in reality, does this justify being so angry and upset that you don’t want to go see this team?  That is your prerogative, but me…. I am gonna enjoy watching baseball and worry about more important things in the world.

Going to the ballpark on a beautiful sunny day with my wife and son is my favourite way to spend a day. My 6 year old (at the time) son and I sat through last years drubbing by Houston 19-1 and even then I asked him if he wanted to leave early (and I wouldn’t have blamed him.) But he said to me “Why dad? We are here to watch the game?” That made me so proud that I had no words for him! These are the kinda memories that this wonderful sport provides us. The thrills of a comeback on a random Tuesday night or any and every time the Jays beat the Yankees! To me, these things eclipse every lost game in a lost season.

As a firefighter who has also gone through open heart surgery, I have seen and been through some stuff. I have learned that life can change (literally) in a heartbeat. That saying isn’t just a cliche, it is truth! I have seen people driving down the street to get groceries have it all taken away in a moment. I have seen people who just can’t stand the world they are in take it away themselves. Life is unpredictable and doesn’t always go as planned. So for me, going to the stadium with my family is a way to enjoy the little things and remember the things in life that are important . Seeing my boy cheer for his favourite player (which seems to change weekly) , getting to experience a new ballpark food (lobster poutine at Fenway is the most amazing thing EVER!), or doing the wave (yeah I went there) are just some of the little things that some take for granted. Being outside (most of the time), the crowd cheering (occasionally), the food (mmm the food), and just hanging out talking baseball with my family…. how could anyone complain? Well they do! I would bet that there are so many people in this world that would enjoy doing the things I listed rather than going through what they are going through in life.‍

That man laying on the sidewalk? He probably would love to sit in the bleachers at Rogers center for a few hours. The person who has lost their family in a car accident or some other unimaginable tragedy? Probably would love to be at the park surrounded by all their family and/or friends they have lost. Those living in such poverty that getting regular meals isn’t always the case? A hot dog and a cold beverage would likely make them very happy! Things we take for granted aren’t a reality for many others in this world.

Now I do occasionally get upset with this team (and many of my sports teams!) but I get upset more about lack of hustle than anything. If you are a professional athlete, PLEASE run out a ground ball hit back to the pitcher! PLEASE, try and make that grab in the outfield that’s a few feet away from you! PLEASE, throw strikes in a game that you are winning by 5! I am not in the room when Mark Shapiro is working out a deal to trade Aaron Loup or John Axford so I don’t know what offers were on the table. Did the Jays offer the most money and term to Edwin? Yes they did! But, he didn’t take it and people are still somehow angry at management for this. I’m sure these guys are doing their best to do what they feel is right for this team. Someone decided based on their track record that they deserve this job…. no one offered me or you the job based on our credentials. And yet people get so angry and upset at things around this ball club. If the Jays go on a 12 game losing streak does the economy bottom out? If we end up 28 games behind the Red Sox does that even compare to the wars and famish in the world? NOPE! Do we think that Tulo (remember that guy?) intentionality gets hurt or doesn’t train to try to avoid injury?

Does the future look bright for this team? Yes it does, and witnessing (in person)  the beauty that is Vlad Jr makes things feel all better! And most recently the Jays farm system is ranked 5th in MLB rankings. You know what? In the long run there are so many things in this world to get angry and upset about like poverty and war and being hungry and sickness that I hope people can turn their anger into something positive and just enjoy this team.

If you really don’t enjoy watching this team, that is your choice. If you choose to spend your hard earned money on other activities that’s fine by me.This season is going to be one of many losses but one of many memories. I will continue to take my family to the Rogers Centre or Coca Cola Field or a little league park to watch my boy! Win or lose a day at the ballpark is a wonderful day for me!

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