It has been a little over a week since the Toronto Blue Jays were swept in the Wild Card round against the Minnesota Twins. But the conversation hasn’t been around the sweep, it has been focused on the terrible decisions that were present in Game 2 that have dominated headlines.
The pickoff on Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the fourth-inning pitching change on Jose Berrios, and the team not getting a single point have all been questions that needed to be answered. Yet after listening to General Manager Ross Atkins and President Mark Shapiro, fans are confused if the Blue Jays have learned anything in this frustrating season.
To go back into that dreaded Game 2, it started pretty good for the Blue Jays. Berrios had been selected as the starting pitcher for the team and hadn’t allowed a single run or many hits. Then out of nowhere, John Schneider took him out of the game and put Yusei Kikuchi out in the game. It was a confusing move that even the players on the team seemed to not know what was happening. But at move quickly backfired as the Twins finally found ground where they couldn’t with Berrios and made it a 2-0 game.
Reports, fans, and fans of other teams were dumbfounded and quickly blamed Schneider for his terrible gameplan. It was a move that no other team had seen and there was no way to rationalize it unless you were Schneider. With the Blue Jays losing and being out of the playoffs, someone had to take some type of responsibility to soothe the fans. It also didn’t help that it was one of the most frustrating seasons with the team not performing at all to their standard throughout the season.
But nothing happened. The idea right now is that the Blue Jays will start the 2024 season just as they finished the 2023 season. And no one wants to go through a 2023 season again. A lot of people would rather have a below 500 season than a season where you have a brilliant and talented team but they just don’t perform well enough to be consistent.
But what was the real headscratcher was when Shapiro came out in front of the media and in a lot of questions, he dodged them by mentioning the stadium renovations. There seems to be no interest from the front office to put confidence in the fans about next season.
And hopefully, it will be better. There is a great roster but Guerrero Jr. has a huge down year and a lot of the batters not performing like they did a year prior. Even worse is that they had Davis Schneider who came out of the minor leagues to an explosive, offensive start. When we have these young players that are outperforming the veterans or players that are supposed to be franchise superstars then we should be utilizing them or at least giving them a chance.
Schneider wasn’t seen at all in either game in the playoffs or much in September. For a team that was struggling offensively, there had to be questions on why he didn’t start.
Despite the issues, there needs to be a more comprehensive answer than what the fans are suggesting. We don’t need to burn the club down and start again. But the club’s response so far has been so much less than it should be. There is no confidence in this team for 2024. We could see the same frustrating Blue Jays that we saw this year and no one wants a repeat of that. If Shapiro has a better option that he hasn’t told the public, for the fans sake, I hope that it makes the team more watchable.