The Blue Jays aren’t often listed among the ranks of MLBs most depressing clubs, but last year they “celebrated” 20 years since their last postseason appearance. Management (and ownership) certainly did their best to end the streak prior to last season, buying half the Marlins team at a Miami fire sale. But instead of lifting them to the top of the division, age and injuries sunk them to the bottom of the AL East.
They’re faring a little better this year, scratching their way to one game over .500. That’s a pretty fine record considering they’ve had to face the Rays, Yankees and Orioles already this season. But then again, since they’re in the AL East, they’ll be facing those team another 47 times. Oh, and none of them are the reigning AL East champions. Maybe it’s not so hard to see why it’s been 20 long years for Blue Jays fans….
Last year’s uninspiring performance meant very few moves this offseason. You can hardly blame ownership, who already had $137 million dollars sunk into the payroll. However, the Blue Jays apparently came very close to signing to free agent pitcher Ervin Santana this spring when five veteran (and highly compensated) players – Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Reyes – said they were willing to defer their salary to bring him aboard. It was so close to happening that the MLBPA (the players union) had been approached and approved the deferrals.
That didn’t happen, so the Twins won’t face Santana, and instead face the three starting pitchers with the worst ERA on the team. Don’t get too excited about that. As we count down to the best ticket, you’ll see there are plenty of challenges ahead….
#3 – Tuesday night – Brandon Morrow vs Phil Hughes.
Morrow is the right-handed flame thrower and he struck out nine in his last game. He teased for years, seemingly broke through to stardom in 2012 and then suffered through a miserable and injury-filled 2013. This year his ERA is 5.73, but he sports a 13:2 strikeout to walk ratio. That bodes well for the Jays. If you like raw stuff, here’s your game.
#2 – Wednesday night – R.A. Dickey vs Mike Pelfrey
The former Mets teammates battle in the American League. Dickey (who you might have mercifully forgotten, played with the Twins in 2009), is a knuckleballer, so it was damn hard not to pick this as The Ticket. His ERA is 5.30, but he’s still just a little over a year removed from a Cy Young Award. Get seats as close as you can and watch that butterfly hiccup.
#1- Thursday night – Dustin McGowan vs Kyle Gibson
Who would choose Dustin McGowan over RA Dickey? The answer, of course, is “almost everyone, six years ago.” That’s when McGowan was 26 years old and looked like an upper-half-of-the-rotation talent. It was also the last time he won a game EXCEPT for last week, when he beat the Orioles to garner his first “W” since 2008. He’s 32 years old, now, has been through a litany of shoulder woes and is scrapping to stay out of the bullpen. I’ll be rooting for him, well, to lose, obviously, but to lose a tightly contested matchup to Gibson.
Also, Thursday is a day game. And it’s supposed to snow on Wednesday. That might have had something to do with my ticket choice, too.
In past years the Blue Jays have traveled surprisingly well, but this is looking like a great series for bargain hunters. TicketKingOnline.com has $3 tickets for all three games – and I see four seats in the Champions Club for just $135 apiece on Tuesday night. That’s $100 less than I’ve ever seen those. Plus, if you use the promo code DAILYDOUBLE, you’ll be supporting Twins Daily and get 10% off. Whatever your needs, your local ticket supplier, Ticket King, can help.