With the Toronto Maple Leafs last making the playoffs in 2013 and the Toronto Raptors suffering back-to-back first round exits in the playoffs, it appears that the Toronto Blue Jays can finally bring the feeling of victory north of the border. It has been 22 years since the Jays last made the postseason, which is the longest playoff drought in major professional sports. The Blue Jays' last postseason appearance was the same year they won the World Series after beating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
Can this year's Jays bring it home once again?
The 1993 World Series Blue Jays brought a swagger to each game with players like Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud and Devon White on the roster. Opposing teams knew that the Blue Jays were hungry for their second consecutive World Series title.
This year, the Jays have the same pedigree and grittiness to their game. With the centre of the line-up filled with power hitters such as Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, opposing pitchers are left with tough decisions on which batters to face. With the addition of Canadian Russell Martin, the Jays look to have the catalyst behind home plate resembling that of All-Star catcher Pat Borders in 1993.
During their disappointing 2013 and 2014 campaigns, the identity of the Blue Jays lacked direction and looked uncertain. Before the start of the 2015 season, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson, which instantly made them contenders. However, the team's pitching depth still looked to be a concern. With sub-par pitching during the first half of the season, the Jays looked to see their season slipping.
Leading up to the 2015 trade deadline, when the Blue Jays had the most explosive and potent offensive lineup in the league, Anthopoulos pulled the trigger and acquired five-time All-Star short stop Troy Tulowitzki, and starting pitcher David Price. With Price's acquisition, the Jays got a true ace, a shutdown pitcher that fans had not seen since the days of starting pitcher Roy Halladay. Since the trade deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays have taken sole possession of the AL East Division and look to get their first division title since 1993.
This year's Blue Jays have brought flashbacks of the Jays during the late 80s and early 90s. Fans have poured in from across the nation, leaving the stands filled with a sea of blue. The city is ecstatic to see their team win in the postseason, and chants of "M-V-P!" directed at third baseman Josh Donaldson continue to echo across the league. Donaldson is having a career year, batting .299, 41 home runs and 122 runs batted in.
On the pitching side, David Price is looking to receive his second Cy Young Award since winning in 2012. He has 18 wins and leads the league with a magnificent 2.45 earned run average. This would mark the first time since 1980 that players on the same team earn both the MVP and Cy Young honours.
With four to one odds to win the World Series, Blue Jays fans will be on their feet cheering and looking to bring back a winning culture to Toronto.
All statistical information has been provided courtesy of www.mlb.com
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