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> Monday, April 9th, 2012 > Sports > Will the Blue Jays make the playoffs?
Will the Blue Jays make the playoffs?
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Jeremy Wall
Published: Monday, April 9th, 2012
Baseball season has opened. Hockey is in the playoffs. Exams are upcoming. Spring is here.
This time of year is always one of the most exciting times for any sports fan. The combination of baseballís opening day with hockeyís Stanley Cup playoffs is an indicator that summer is almost here and that the semester is nearly finished (and thank God for that).
The Toronto Blue Jays have looked sharp in the pre-season, with their retro sky-blue uniforms and well over 20 wins. Whether they will be able to play as well in the regular season is anyoneís guess. Spring is just that: training. It means nothing once they play opening day.
However, with the expanded MLB playoff format, the Blue Jays have a much better shot at getting into the post-season this year. They havenít been in the playoffs since 1993. I still remember exactly where I was when Joe Carter hit the World Series-winning home run. I was with my parents listening to the game on the radio, driving back from my Dadís rec league hockey game. It would be nice if the Blue Jays could create a few more nice memories like that for their fans. Itís been a long time coming.
They have a much better chance of making the playoffs this year, even though they continue to play in the American League East, against the well-salaried juggernauts the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. There will be five playoff teams in the AL this year, with the two wildcards playing one another in a one-off to see who advances into the final four. Itís something of a half-assed addition to the playoffs, as one extra game does not constitute an entire extra playoff round. But itís better than nothing, and Jays fans have lived with nothing since í93.
Some baseball purists hate the expanded playoff format. Remember, for decades only two teams from each of the American and National Leagues made it into the playoffs. They played each other for their respective leagueís titles, and the winners went on to play in the World Series. Thatís only four teams in the playoffs altogether.
It wasnít until the í90s that baseball recalibrated its divisions into three per league (previously it was two) and had four teams from each league make it into the playoffs instead of two, doubling the amount of playoff teams altogether. Of course, purists didnít like that one, either.
Baseball changes. It needs to. Things that donít change die. And after a spike of popularity a few years ago, baseballís popularity has been at lows, largely due to the steroid scandals that have tarnished the sportís wholesome faÁade. Baseball needs to evolve to survive, and a slight change to the playoff system helps.
Will the Blue Jays make the fifth spot in the American League, at least? Hey, maybe theyíll get first. Who knows. I suppose if youíre not a Jays fan, you donít really care. But baseball is all about rooting for the home team (as the old song goes), and I highly doubt London is going to get a major league franchise anytime soon (apologies to the Rippers). The Jays are Canadaís only existing major league baseball team, and one of Torontoís few sports franchises that arenít an embarrassment to the cityís population. So hereís to the Blue Jays.
And hereís to a long summer.