It seems like there are a lot of people this morning making noise about how because the San Francisco Giants just won the World Series, Blue Jays fans should have a lot of hope now because it’s proof you don’t need to spend a lot to win.
Do not listen to these people!
While it is true that a team can win without a Yankees-sized payroll, saying “The Giants did it, so the Jays can, too!” is a gross oversimplification.
That book that Billy Beane wrote about computers sums it pretty well with the “my shit don’t work in the playoffs” line. No, I’m not saying that the Giants won this year on the strength of a Moneyball-style team philosophy — far from it, actually. What I am saying is that the point of Beane’s often-misinterpreted quote is that anything can happen in the playoffs.
To play in the National League West and be the benefactor of a massive collapse is one thing. To play in the American League East and hope for everything to go exactly right so you can finish ahead of at least two of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Rays is completely different.
That’s not to say that a Jays fan can’t look at the Giants’ success and be a little bit inspired. There is one important similarity: Home-grown pitching.
The Giants won largely on the backs of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Brian Wilson.
The Jays have excellent young home-grown pitching in Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil and more. Kyle Drabek and Brandon Morrow weren’t drafted by Toronto, but we can lump them into this category, I think.
On top of the talent, the recent hiring of John Farrell as manager and the retention of Bruce Walton as pitching coach shows that Toronto is committed to winning the best way — with pitching.
On a somewhat related topic, I have seen MLB games in two cities: Toronto and San Francisco.
My first game in Toronto was in 1992 and the Jays went on to win the World Series. My first game in San Francisco was earlier this year and the Giants went on to win the World Series.
Coincidence? Hell no! (But probably yes.)