What a difference one year makes

As I was sitting in the stands at the Rogers Centre last night with the Blue Jays down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, I couldn’t help but think how drastically things have changed compared to one year ago.

For one, people were on their feet cheering for Vernon Wells saying “Let’s go Vernon” … something I honestly thought I would ever hear at the Rogers Centre. Now, Wells may have struck out to end the game but if there’s anybody I’d want to have in that particular situation, it’s definitiely Vernon Wells.

Also, the Blue Jays were so kind to give me a Vernon Wells autographed ball during their Tweeting Tuesday event, which by the way I think is a great idea to get the fans interacting in the game. The only problem is I find myself staring more often at my phone then what’s going on down at field level.


One year ago, if someone offered me a Vernon Wells autographed ball, I honestly don’t know if I’d take it – that’s how much things have changed in a year.

Another side note, I had a chance to talk to Megan Robinson of the Blue Jays and her Triple Play blog, which was very cool as well. Make sure you read up on her stuff because it’s a very detailed and in depth look about what goes in behind the scenes at the Blue Jays, as well as some great anecdotes.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blog post …

The other glaring difference between last year in this year is Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, or should I say the absence of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind. Sports and the City has a great look at the comparisons between last year and this year.

I couldn’t agree more with eyebleaf that the Hill and Lind this year are impostors. The only possible explanation is that it’s actually Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson out there wearing Aaron Hill and Adam Lind suits.

However, as much as things change from year to year, the more they stay the same. Starting pitching has been a staple of the Toronto Blue Jays, and even after the departure of Roy Halladay the starting staff really hasn’t really missed a beat.

For all the things that have gone wrong with the Blue Jays this year, there have been an equal amount of pleasant surprises that not many people could have foreseen. So in my mind, it all evens out in the end.

But like my optimistic friend eyebleaf, we’re just waiting for that magical season where a marriage of pitching, hitting, defense and coaching can come together in perfect harmony, and we can finally scream … playoffs!

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

9 thoughts on “What a difference one year makes

  • July 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Ian, was glad to see you come away with the Wells autographed ball. You deserved it, after creating the VWHAS graphics. Nails. Well done.

    And you're right: crazy changes in only one calendar year. That's what makes baseball so goddamn amazing.

    As for that magical season, when it does arrive, we're getting completely wasted.

    Thanks for the link, my good man. Cheers.

  • July 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    eyebleaf, to be honest I kind of feel guilty about doing those VWHAS graphics now. Now that we know he was playing hurt last year, I take back all those bad things I said about Vernon. I believe man, and it has a large part to do with you – thanks for always keeping the faith!

    I agree, when that time comes … beers all around. I see those videos of Yonge Street when the Jays won the World Series, and I hope we will see that once again in our lifetime with the Jays. I'll even be there if I'm a 90 year old man with a walker hobbling in Toronto!

  • July 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Congrats, I'm jealous! I usually work Tuesday nights, and the only Tweeting Tuesday I could go, I didn't win nothin'. Vegan Megan must have found out that I eat a meat-heavy paleo diet. 😉

  • July 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Hill and Lind will come around after the all-star break. At least I hope so.

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I was there as well last night (only about 10 rows in front of you) and I stood and cheered him on too. The biggest difference for me was that I was EXPECTING a home run or extra base hit. Last year I wasn't only expecting, but knew Vernon would strike out feebly, flailing at a low outside pitch.
    I can't wait for a parade down Yonge street. It's coming…don't worry.

  • July 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    It's awesome to see how positive most of us are during this not great period of onfield play, or results I guess. It would be so easy to start complaining. Good on everyone involved for not giving in.

  • July 8, 2010 at 2:12 am

    LJ, it's pretty cool – you should definitely go to at least one of the TT's.

    sadp, hopefully a nice little rest during the All-Star break will cure whatever is ailing Adam Lind and Aaron Hill.

    500Level, small world eh? I was also expecting Wells to come through – but if it were the exact same situation last year, I'd think "oh yeah, Wells is gonna strike out".

    Mattt, I think you always have to be optimistic. One day, they will be back to the playoffs and we will be there for it!

  • July 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Wow, a change of heart. I stopped reading your blog last year after you began those absurd posts about the Vernon Wells Hatred Association or whatever it was called. It's like inciting hatred against a player for being in a slump (oh and getting paid far more than you ever will in your life). It's just typical BlueJays-white-fanboy-blogger behaviour – there's so many of your kind in our fan base it's embarrassing. That’s why Jays fans are a laughing stock among baseball fans around the league – we’re infected with posers (think the assholes who boo Rios for non-baseball reasons and those degenerates who harassed Overbay during his mini-slump).

    You guys write your little posts, pretend to be journalists and I'm guessing have never actually played the game at any sort of professional level and then second guess everyone, incite hatred and apparently know more than veterans of the game (explains why you need alcohol during a bad night, Cito wasn’t listening to your tried and true baseball expertise. How could Cito not listen to a blogger?). But of course you’re still hardcore Jays fans who will kiss a players ass when given a chance encounter or when a year later they start playing better.

    I’m sure your vitriol didn’t contribute to the Wells family’s tribulations last year.


    Hey but you’re a bluejays white fanboy blogger. You’re allowed to be a douche and then have a change of heart. Continue on the cycle. Wouldn’t expect anything less from you.


  • July 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Katie, as a fan who in part is paying for Vernon Wells salary, I feel I had every right to be disappointed in him last year.

    In no way did I mean any ill will towards Wells, but as a fan how can you not be pissed about the kind of season Vernon had last year? And of course I'm going to be happy for Vernon that he turned it around this year, and I wish him continued success.

    Compared to what other folks have said , what I wrote was actually pretty tame. But that's the great thing about blogs: you can choose to read them, or you can choose to read something else.

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