The last time the Toronto Blue Jays touched post-season turf Jean Chretien was two days away from his first Majority Government, Aerosmith’s Get a Grip was Billboard’s #1 album and the Adorable Sports Writer was likely sporting an undershave. Sadly it’s been one partially locked-out and ten full seasons since Joe Carter hit one of baseball’s most memorable home runs. However during that span, some pretty decent teams have filled the Skydome/Rogers Centre’s home dugout. Four Cy-Young’s have been awarded to Jays pitching and Carlos Delgado was robbed of an MVP trophy in 2003. Unfortunately that’s life in the American League East, where competition has consisted of All-World New York Yankee lineups and extremely strong Boston Red Sox teams.
So the question now is obvious… With all the moves the Jays made this offseason, will the pieces fall into place for the team to move above the third place finish they’ve landed at for seven of the past eight seasons? The new faces in the Jays 06 lineup include third baseman Troy Glaus, catcher Bengie Molina, closer BJ Ryan, starting pitcher AJ Burnett and first baseman Lyle Overbay. There is no question that this is both the best and most expensive Jays team in a while, but it’s worth noting that the Yankees scored seven runs in their second inning of the season last night. With opponents like that, the Jays are going to need yet another Cy-Young type performance from Roy Halladay this season. The 2003 winner takes the mound against the 2004 winner as it’s Halladay against the Minnesota Twins’ Johan Santana in the season opener tonight. The game is reportedly sold out. Expectations are high… LETS… PLAY… BALL!!