May 8, 2007
Jays can't make excuses
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Things are ugly rignt now for the 2007 Toronto Blue Jays, and there is simply no sugar-coating it.
Their recent road swing was painful to witness. Swept by Cleveland and Texas, the club has now suffered six straight losses -- and it's hit a team mark in futility that hasn't been achieved since 1979.
Not since '79 then have they been swept on a six-game swing.
Sure the Jays are down their all-star closer, their fire-cracker lead-off man, starting catcher and their No. 3 starter -- and they've also had to deal with an ailing all-star third baseman.
All of these injuries and the flu ripped through the clubhouse over the past 10 days, seeing many of the big names playing sick.
With all of this in mind, still no one with the Jays is pointing to excuses as all are more than aware this is part of the game -- this happens to most every team.
One thing that sticks in the craw of disappointed fans is how, even with injuries, this team is still stacked with talent.
Vernon Wells, Frank Thomas, Alex Rios, Lyle Overbay -- these are all guys very capable of picking up slack.
It is disappointing to see how, for example, those great names couldn't pick up Doc for a change when he struggled in his start Saturday. Or how they couldn't come through at the plate for A.J. Burnett Sunday as he threw a solid game that still resulted in a loss.
Those two wins would have softened the blow of their recent slide in the standings.
How this team reacts tonight will go a long way in defining the character of those making millions. It won't be easy against a strong and confident Red Sox team, but it's becoming now or never for the 2007 edition of the Jays.
Will they come out like the proverbial "wounded animal?" It would certainly be appropriate, 'cause these birds are certainly hurting.
Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours. firstname.lastname@example.org.