Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't listen to David Lee Roth

I hear that there is a long wait time on the Tobin Bridge (if you're in Boston), and if you are in my home province, well, good luck finding a bridge. We're sort of landlocked here.
And besides, the Blue Jays coming to town is just what the doctor ordered!

From 1985 to 1995, 1987 was the only season that neither team won the division. We had some epic battles during this time period. I lived in the Toronto area during this time when the Blue Jays were our strongest competition and my friends didn't miss an opportunity to razz me when we got beat, so I've always made sure to notice when we beat the blue birdies.

And for as long as I can recall, whenever we are on a losing streak or things weren't going well, a visit by the Blue Jays or a trip to Toronto always seems to turn our season around.
For those of you who don't remember the Jeff Stone game and want to see some more recent examples, here's a quick list.

On May 20th, we lost to the still-lowly Tampa Bay Rays, to relinquish the division lead, falling a 1/2 game behind the Yankees. Toronto came to town, we promptly swept them and went on to win 7 out of 9, and be back in first place.

Later in the season, when the division title was just a dream, and we were hoping for a wildcard berth at best, we lost a game to White Sox on August 15th, falling 10.5 games back and in a 3 way tie for the wildcard with Texas and Anaheim. The Blue Jays came to town, again we swept them, which started a run where we won 22 out of 25, narrowing the distance to the Yankees to just 2 games, and giving us a comfortable 5 game lead in the wildcard.
We ended up making the playoffs, and that season finished pretty well if memory serves me correctly.

Mired in a 5 game losing streak (seeing a 5 game lead on Tampa evaporate) at the end of April, the Blue Jays came into town. We won the first 2 games with some heroics, 1-0 (Lester 1 hit over 8 innings while Youkilis got a walkoff RBI with 2 outs in the 9th off Doc Halladay) and 2-1 (another 2 out walkoff, this one by ‘Tek), and that propelled us to win 7 of the next 8, and get back to 3 ½ ahead of the Rays.

We were 3.5 games behind the early season league leading Jays after losing 4 of the last 5. The Jays came to town, and were swept in a 3 game series May 19th-21st, moving Boston to within a half game, which they soon made up and the Jays were never in serious contention again.
Later in the season on August 16th, after dropping out of the division race being 7.5 games back, they were clinging to a ½ game lead on Texas and 3 on Tampa for the Wildcard. A trip to Toronto ensued, and they swept them, and continuing winning, taking 10 of the next 13, including another sweep of the Jays at Fenway. By September 1st, they had gained some breathing room, being 3.5 ahead of Texas, and 6 ahead of the Rays.

So, don't despair. A visit by a team whose fans are still watching hockey is exactly what we need to turn our luck around. And besides, I've heard lots of naysayers repeating the fact that no team has ever started 0-6 and won the World Series. Maybe that's true, but the 1991 Twins won the World Series. Their record after 11 games? 2-9.

Reminder for those of you in the Calgary area: There will be an official RSN watch party at the Melrose Cafe for the Saturday game against the Blue Jays.

Boston Red Sox ''Red Sox Nation'' Authentic Street 
Buy this and other Red Sox merchandise at Fan's Edge through the above link

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