Well, here we go again.
Why is it that whenever the Blue Jays enjoy some success as of late, some people feel the need to attribute it to external sources?
First there was Jose Bautista who was accused of using performance enhancing drugs. Even though he passed drug test after drug test, that still wasn’t enough concrete evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bautista wasn’t juicing.
Then last summer, ESPN unearthed the entire “Man in White” scandal. The Rogers Centre has been a home run haven these past few seasons, and some believe it was due to a mysterious man in the stands relaying signals to the Blue Jays.
Just when you thought the whole “Man in White” thing had been put to bed, Jason Hammel brought it all to a head once again after getting knocked around by the Blue Jays in a 4-1 loss:
“I don’t think you can take swings like that, not knowing they’re coming. There’s rumours and things like that, I don’t know …I can’t speak on that but they were taking very, very strong hacks on breaking stuff. It’s something I’ve never seen before.” (courtesy of John Lott, National Post)
Here’s a thought … maybe Jason Hammel isn’t as good as he thought he was? Maybe he was lucky for the fact that he only gave up three home runs going into last night’s game, and then proceeded to give up four in one game.
As a matter of fact, maybe the Orioles aren’t as good as they thought they were. They’ve been playing over their heads since Opening Day, and perhaps being swept by the Blue Jays was a reality check for a team that was expected to finish last in the division.
I don’t want to fuel the fire of conspiracy theories that the league is conspiring against the Blue Jays, whether it be the umpires or players. But I am sick and tired of the Blue Jays being labelled as “whiners” or worse yet, “cheaters”.
If the Red Sox or Yankees were accused of sign stealing or employing a Man in White, just imagine the uproar it would cause. However, since the Blue Jays were already linked to sign stealing at the Rogers Centre, Jason Hammel decided to piggyback on that rumour and attribute his loss to an outside source.
If Boston or New York had orchestrated some sort of sign stealing scheme, don’t you think there would need to be some pretty conclusive evidence first? Instead, it was all just hearsay from Yankees and White Sox players, and now the Orioles that the Blue Jays had a little help from the stands.
Let’s not negate the fact that Jason Hammel has been a junkballer who has bounced around Tampa Bay, Colorado, and now Baltimore. Hammel has had a pretty good start to the 2012 season, but even Justin Verlander has a bad start every now and then … and he doesn’t chalk it up to the other team stealing signs.
Unless somebody has concrete evidence that something is going on at the Rogers Centre, I don’t want to hear about it anymore. Maybe Jason Hammel should have just admitted he got beat by the team that has the fourth most home runs in the American League.
Or you know … blame it on the “Man in White”.