The 2021 Toronto Blue Jays they will be a team you will remember years from now and wonder what it could have been, a lesson in the fragility of a postseason run and the heartbreak that most of the time awaits in October.
Toronto’s season ended about 30 minutes after its last game ended, with more than 20,000 fans still within the Rogers Center watching the Red Sox-Nationals game in Washington:
After the Yankees left the Rays, 1-0, in the Bronx to end the American League’s second wild-card spot, a Nats win over Boston was all that could save the Blue Jays season by forcing a tiebreaker Monday in Game 163.
As Rafael Devers’ two-run homer cleared the wall at Nationals Park in the top of the ninth, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. watched silently, sitting alone by the dugout railing. Moments later, the Red Sox celebrated their 7-5 victory. Was over.
The Blue Jays ran their affairs Sunday, beating the Baltimore Orioles, 12-4, to sweep the series. But his fate was within reach over the past weekend, never quite in his hands. A 91-71 record should be a sign of success, and in many ways it is, but it still left Toronto short of its final postseason baseball goal. However, this goes beyond the registry.
Guerrero, 22, hit his 48th home run of the season, tying for the MLB crown. Marcus Semien hit No. 45, filling in his major league record for a second base. The two teammates could finish in the top three in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting after leading a lineup with four All-Stars and four players who drove in 100 runs, the first time in the history of the American League. franchise. No Blue Jays team has hit more home runs than this one, with 262 leading the majors:
Robbie Ray could win the AL Cy Young Award. Right-hander Alek Manoah was one of the most dominant rookies in baseball. José Berríos was one of the biggest additions to Trade Deadline. On paper, and in many ways on the field, the Blue Jays weren’t just a postseason-caliber team, but one capable of making a deep run to a World Series.
That’s why this ending was so painful. However, this is not the end of an era, like the Blue Jays’ postseason elimination in 2016 when the team had an older roster. The frustration of the 2021 elimination lies in the fact that it was supposed to be an emphatic introduction of a new era on the big stage in October, and that has been delayed.
That starts Monday, with the Blue Jays facing a busy offseason. Semien and Ray are free agents who will enter the top of the market, along with Steven Matz and others. There is work to be done, but the foundation is in place.
Next season will open in Toronto for the first time since 2019, and the three home stadium odyssey in ’21 will be a memory, a story we tell of an almost incredible season in which the Blue Jays called up Dunedin, Florida and Buffalo. , NY, home before finally returning to Toronto for the first time in 670 days. Puerto Rican manager Charlie Montoyo was tasked with leading both people and players, and he came out proud of Sunday’s anguish.
It may interest you: MLB fell on 44 Marcus Semien sets HR record by 2B in one season
There will be excitement for the opening of spring training in 2022, one that rivals any previous season. There will be expenses for free agents, trades and everything else that helps restore the baseball schedule. But for the next several weeks, Toronto fans will watch postseason baseball with the still fresh memory of last weekend and think: it should have been the Blue Jays.