If you ever find yourself driving through New Brunswick, you’ve got two options: Take the Trans Canada and weave up and down through the province; or you can take the Plaster Rock Highway.
The Plaster Rock Highway is basically a two-lane road that cuts through the wilds of northern New Brunswick. It’s got very little traffic and you can pretty much go as fast as you’d like — as long as you keep an eye out for wildlife roaming out in front of you.
The first time I travelled up that highway, I was probably about 10. And I was bored. All I had to look at on that long drive were trees and the occasional oncoming truck. Then, standing alone in the forest, I saw the Halfway Inn. I thought it was just about the funniest thing ever. I was pretty lame.
The Toronto Blue Jays have reached the halfway point of their season. With a record of 41-40, the team has outperformed almost all predictions of what it’d be all able to achieve this season.
But looking back on the last few seasons, the Jays are pretty much where their recent history suggests they’d be. The following are the team’s records at the halfway point for the last little while:
- 2009: 42-39
- 2008: 38-43
- 2007: 39-42
- 2006: 46-35
- 2005: 41-40
So Toronto’s got a history of hovering around the .500 mark at the season’s halfway point. What does that mean? Apart from the fact we’re all a little lucky to back a team that can play at such a level in such a division as the AL East, not much.
What can Jays fans expect in the second half of this season?
The pessimistic answer: As the innings pile up, the talented young starting pitchers get hurt (see: Marcum, Shaun) and/or start getting tired and losing a bit of their mojo. The “OBP is overrated, just grip it and rip it” approach that the manager and the hitting coach have with the offence leads to the team scoring next to no runs as the opposing pitchers adjust and the power all but disappears. Cito continues to piss away games with his poor decision making.
The optimistic answer: The Jays manage to sell high on guys like Bautista and Gonzalez. Trades and the eventual injuries open up spots for the young guys and we get an even better look at the team’s future. Snider returns and doesn’t show any signs of lingering wrist trouble. Hill and Lind finally turn it around and help offset the inevitable slides of most other people on the team. Cito continues to piss away games with his poor decision making.