Jays, Mets Ready to Take Center Stage


Mediocrity is not fun. Especially when you’re chasing the Yankees. That’s exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets have been doing for a decade now.

North of the border, it’s for a division title that has eluded the Blue Jays in baseball’s three-division era. In New York, it’s for supremacy of the major newspaper’s back pages. The city is big enough for both teams, but the one who holds twenty-six World Series rings generally gets more exposure.

This season, there is a chance each team could topple the most successful franchise in sports.

For the first time in years, both teams trumped the Yankees when it came to off season moves. They did so in very similar fashion.

Toronto had a strong bullpen last season but was missing the most important piece, a dominating closer. They lured BJ Ryan a way from their American League East competition by giving him record money for a closer and a fourth year.

Mets fans cringed every time Braden Looper entered a game last season so they decided to part ways with him and sign Billy Wagner, one of the game’s hardest throwers. New York needed to address other spots in its bullpen too so they made trades for Jorge Julio and Duaner Sanchez.

Both teams upgraded behind the plate as well. The Mets acquired Paul Lo Duca during the Florida Marlins fire sale and the Blue Jays signed Bengie Molina in what may have been the steal of the winter.

The two are pretty much the same player. They will hit for average and neither player strikes out very often. Molina probably generates a little more power.

In order to fix holes in their offense, each team also acquired a marquee bat to play in the infield. Carlos Delgado came to New York via the aforementioned Marlins fire sale and Troy Glaus was shipped to Toronto for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista.

Glaus and Delgado are more than capable of giving their respective clubs a 35 homerun, 100 RBI season.

Across the infield, the Blue Jays also landed Lyle Overbay to add some pop to their lineup.

One difference between the two teams came in the starting pitching department. New York chose to trade off a few of their starters while Toronto signed one of the best pitchers on the market.

A.J. Burnett will pitch behind Roy Halladay in rotation and the duo rivals both Curt Schilling/Josh Beckett in Boston and Randy Johnson/Mike Mussina in the Bronx.
All the pieces appear to be in place for these perennial middle of the pack teams to surge toward the top of their respective divisions.

For the first time ever, we might see the Blue Jays and Mets playing well into October.


Anonymous 1:54 PM, February 28, 2006  

hi, my name is matt. im from connecticut. my favorite major league team is the toronto blue jays. my favorite baseball player of all time is joe carter. Just in case the blue jays do something crazy like win the world series, i want to establish myself as a blue jay fan now. and for out of state readers...dan mcgowan is a pitching legend where i come from. if it wasn't for that lawn mower accident in '99, he'd be in the show

Anonymous 1:07 AM, March 02, 2006  

Imagine if we still had Jason Bay

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