September 11, 2008
Are the Jays teasing us?
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Is your cup half full or half empty?
Question: do you feel that the Toronto Blue Jays are teasing us now that they have basically no chance at the post-season and therefore no pressure? Or are they showing desire, determination and pride as, mathematically, they are still in it to win it in the fall of '08?
This September has been one to remember for the Jays after what can only be dubbed as a very forgettable campaign, so no blame cast if you are the pessimist of the bunch.
Regardless of the state of your cup, let's talk "half full" facts.
Top of my list is how the post-surgery Vernon Wells is emerging as a much-needed leader on this ball club.
It's overdue, but here he is, walking the walk and, when it comes to talk, his bat is responsible for the bulk of his statements.
The youth on the team have serious talent and leading the way there is Adam Lind. This kid has, not so quietly, taken this season and used it to stake his claim to an everyday spot.
Lind is leading the likes of Travis Snider and David Purcey to develop into big leaguers. They've had spectacular performances in '08, are still learning and have bright futures both.
Who knew John McDonald could hit? Nuff said.
Team wins are what every club strives for, and the Jays seem to have found the formula. Perhaps it is the Cito Gaston affect?
Whatever it's called, there is no denying how Jose Bautista, Joe Inglett, Snider, Kevin Mench, Rod Barajas, Marco Scutaro, Jesse Litsch, David Purcey and Jesse Carlson have all contributed.
Fans feeling a lack of excitement in their Rogers Centre experience were given their money's worth and more last Saturday when Gregg Zaun hit the 13th-inning walk-off grand slam against the AL-East leading Rays.
Just like that the Jays could walk taller; they'd finally seen one go their way. More than one in fact.
Nothing inspires people like hope; players and fans alike. Hope of what might be this season or the possibilities a solid foundation brings for next.
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.