I first realized that my Philadelphia Phillies would not be making the playoffs this year on April 6th, Opening Day, when I skipped school and watched them lose 8-0 to the Boston Red Sox. Boston had five home runs that day, and I knew it was over. I still watched just about every game, but in the back of my mind there was always the knowledge that come October, I would not have a team to root for.
Well here we are, about three weeks from the start of the playoffs, and it’s time for me to announce which team will be lucky enough to have me as a late addition to their fanbase.
On this date, I declare my endorsement for the Toronto Blue Jays to win the World Series. Here’s why:
There’s no guarantee they’ll make it.
The only thing that rivals October baseball is relevant late-September baseball. From counting “magic numbers,” to figuring out what a half-game means, to relying on other teams to win or lose, the last two weeks of September are always fun to watch if there is a close race. With 16 games to play, the Blue Jays have a 3.5 game lead in the AL East, meaning there will be suspense coming down to the wire. I can’t wait to see Yankees fans get their hopes up and then dropped again.
Their stadium is awesome.
There’s a lot more to this than the fact that it has a movable roof, which is pretty cool. I’ll start with the name. Nowadays it’s officially called the “Rogers Centre,” but I’m not going to refer to it as such… because I don’t believe in words that end in “-re.”
The stadium still goes by its old name, the SkyDome, which is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. Yes, it’s older than me, but it sounds right out of 2056. On top of this, the Toronto Argonauts play in this stadium. Only in the CFL could a team’s name be an allusion to Greek mythology, and watching the CFL with all its funny little rules is awesome, so that’s a plus.
The all “grass” infield.
Why do they do it? What do they gain? There’s something really weird about the lack of dirt basepaths on the field, but it’s just the kind of odd quirk that I need my playoff team to have to separate them from any of the other boring, conventional options.
Another aspect causing them to deserve my approval is the Astroturf. They’re one of only two teams in all of the MLB to play on turf, and it’s been known to cause all kinds of crazy reactions from the ball, which would make things interesting during games and plays that matter.
José Bautista follows me on twitter.
I have no idea why he does, but the fact that the man who hit 54 home runs in 2010 may have once chuckled at one of my 140 character tidbits of self-depreciative humor is enough for me to be a fan of anything he’s associated with.
I loved this guy when he was on the Phillies, and I still do now. His arm may be a noodle, but he can consistently get on base and is one of the fastest players on the team. Not only is he a great player, but he’s also known as energetic and a goofball. Also, on the day of the Boston Marathon Bombings, he wrote “Pray for Boston” on his glove in a gesture that speaks a lot about him as a person. When you add that he’s a history buff, there’s no reason you can’t love the guy.
They’re not the Mets.
They haven’t been good in a long time.
I love it when a team that perennially stinks makes a turn around. They haven’t made the playoffs since 1993, when they won the World Series (we aren’t going to discuss who they beat that year). The majority of Georgetown undergrads weren’t even alive to see the last Blue Jays playoff appearance, so we can all go through our first time together!
2.17 ERA since the All Star Break. What’s not to love about this guy other than his allegiance to a certain team from New York that will not be discussed. This guy won a Cy Young Award by using the knuckleball (sometimes as slow as 54 mph) about 80 percent of the time. I love anyone who plays the game a unique way, and he is certainly unique.
Toronto is cool.
I’m listening to “Hotline Bling” as I write this and I thought it would be a disservice not to at least mention our northern neighbor Drake, so here it is: any city that brought us that man must have done something right. Plus, their (now ex-) mayor was a crackhead which certainly provided some entertainment.
At this point, the question isn’t “Why should I root for the Blue Jays” but rather “When will my new Edwin Encarnación jersey come?”