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The Jays fell brief. Now what?
Essentially the most entertaining journey in years for Blue Jays followers got here to a full and full cease yesterday when Toronto completed the season one sport out of a playoff spot. The Jays did all they might on the ultimate weekend, sweeping the hapless Baltimore Orioles by a mixed rating of 28-9 over three video games, nevertheless it simply wasn’t fairly sufficient. The Boston Purple Sox and the New York Yankees held onto the 2 American League wild-card spots (barely) with victories of their remaining at-bats of their remaining video games yesterday.
Whereas the conclusion was definitely unsatisfying, this Jays season — significantly the final couple of months — featured loads of highs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who’s nonetheless solely 22, realized his potential by clubbing 48 homers to tie for the big-league lead whereas topping the AL in on-base-plus-slugging proportion. He’ll lose the MVP vote to two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, however Guerrero was the very best hitter within the AL — perhaps in all of baseball. Toronto additionally received an MVP-grade season from second baseman Marcus Semien, who hit 45 homers, stole 15 bases and completed second to Guerrero in Wins Above Substitute amongst AL hitters. Younger shortstop Bo Bichette (29 homers, 102 RBIs, 25 steals) and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez (32, 116, 12) have been nice too. On the mound, Robbie Ray put himself in Cy Younger rivalry by main the majors in strikeouts and topping the AL in innings pitched and ERA to guide a surprisingly strong rotation. Canadian Jordan Romano proved to be a robust nearer.
In a simply world, all that will have added as much as a playoff berth. However the Jays caught a frozen wave of luck, ending eight video games worse than their glowing plus-183 run differential (fifth-best in all of baseball) suggests. Based mostly on that metric, Toronto ought to have gained 99 video games, which might have tied the membership file set in 1985 — and bettered the 1992 and ’93 championship groups by three and 4 wins, respectively. Plus, the Jays received solely 78 video games from George Springer, their marquee free-agent signing from final low season. Additionally, contemplate that the Jays play within the hardest division in baseball, and that they did not get a real house sport till July 30. They spent the primary 4 months of the season enjoying out of minor-league parks in Florida and Buffalo, the place they’d a mixed .500 “house” file earlier than the Canadian and Ontario governments deemed it protected sufficient for them to return to the dome for the primary time since 2019. After transferring again in, the Jays went 40-23 to shut the season. It is laborious to think about that enjoying of their true house all season would not have been value a minimum of one sport within the standings. In so some ways, this workforce deserved a a lot better destiny.
Toronto’s future seems to be brilliant, however there’s some important enterprise to care for first. Semien wager on himself final winter by taking a one-year deal, and he hit the jackpot. If the Jays do not give him a giant long-term contract, another person will. Ray can be trying to money in as a free agent coming off his magical season. Matz can fly the coop too, whereas Hernandez is eligible for wage arbitration — and a increase from the very team-friendly $4.325 million US he earned this yr. Talking of team-friendly salaries, Guerrero and Bichette made lower than $1.2 million in wage mixed. They’re too younger to flee the workforce’s management for some time, however they’re going to need massive offers in some unspecified time in the future. That might hamper possession’s willingness to signal free brokers.
As for the playoffs that Toronto missed, they begin Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET with a tantalizing one-game AL wild-card showdown between blood rivals New York and Boston at Fenway Park. The winner will face Tampa Bay within the best-of-five Division Collection spherical, which can even see Houston tackle the Chicago White Sox. The Nationwide League wild-card matchup seems to be improbable too: the defending World Collection champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who gained 106 video games and are most likely nonetheless the very best workforce in baseball, host the St. Louis Cardinals, who rattled off 17 consecutive victories from Sept. 11-28, on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. The winner faces San Francisco, which gained an MLB-high 107 video games, whereas Milwaukee meets Atlanta within the different NL Division Collection.
Canada named the primary three gamers to its Olympic males’s hockey workforce. Forwards Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby (maintain on, are we certain about these guys?) and defenceman Alex Pietrangelo have been the daring decisions announced. Sure, it is extraordinarily early for this. The ultimate rosters aren’t due till January. However Canada was requested to launch its (very) brief listing right now, presumably to begin producing hype with the Beijing Video games opening in precisely 4 months, on Feb. 4. And, hey, let’s not act like we’re above taking any alternative to speak Olympic hockey. Check out Rob Pizzo’s initial picks for the entire Canadian roster here.
In case you missed it…
Just a few extra issues from the weekend that you need to find out about:
Andrew Wiggins received the vaccine. Confronted with being unable to play house video games for the Golden State Warriors due to an area order requiring proof of vaccination to attend indoor sporting occasions, Wiggins lastly relented. The Canadian veteran, who’s as a consequence of make greater than $31 million in wage this season, had tried to get a spiritual exemption so as to keep away from the needle, however the NBA rejected his request. Learn extra about Wiggins’ reversal here, and about NBA nice Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name for the league to get harder on unvaxxed gamers here.
The Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League commissioner resigned. Lisa Baird stepped down because the fallout continues round a sexual harassment and misconduct scandal involving a longtime coach. Two former NWSL gamers got here ahead final week with allegations of harassment, together with sexual coercion, towards North Carolina Braveness coach Raul Riley, who was then fired. The league cancelled its weekend matches, and Baird resigned Friday night time. A 3-woman government committee is now overseeing the NWSL, which launched an unbiased investigation Sunday into its dealing with of abuse claims. U.S. Soccer has additionally employed an out of doors investigator to look into abusive behaviour and sexual misconduct in girls’s professional soccer. Read more about the NWSL mess here.
The large Brady vs. Belichick showdown resulted in… a three-way tie? Tom Brady’s Buccaneers beat Invoice Belichick’s Patriots 19-17 final night time within the first assembly between the enduring QB-coach duo that produced six Tremendous Bowl victories throughout their run in New England. However Belichick received a W of types too by designing a defensive sport plan that resulted in Brady finishing barely half of his passes and throwing zero touchdowns below a gradual rain. And if we’re all measuring success in Twitter impressions now, perhaps the actual winner was Steve Belichick. The coach’s son and mulleted Patriots outsider linebackers coach launched a thousand memes with facial expressions like this:
When the edible hits <a href=”https://t.co/uehM2bVo1o”>pic.twitter.com/uehM2bVo1o</a>
You are on top of things. Speak to you tomorrow.