Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Kick Some Mass ... Like A Boss
By Ian Hunter
The Mass Invasion returns once again this evening, but I'm hoping this time the Blue Jays fans outnumber the Red Sox fans. One would think that after a near no-hitter, an incredible debut by J.P. Arencibia and a nail-biter on Friday, that folks would be flocking to the Rogers Centre.
If only 15,000 or so fans are in attedance for the series opener, I wouldn't necessarily consider that a failure. With the kind of momentum the Blue Jays have right now, it's difficult to keep that going after an off day ... plus an unfortunately placed weeknight series.
While this mid-August series in the dog days of summer may not go down as a game-changer for either team, the significance is much greater than I originally imagined.
To be honest, I haven't really looked at the AL East standings the past month or so simply because I know the Blue Jays are out of it. Not Baltimore Orioles out of it, but it would take a huge collapse from the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox for Toronto to gain any ground.
I'm not saying that a 64-49 record is something to scoff at by any means, but this injury-riddled Red Sox squad in a way reminds me of what happened to the 2006 incarnation of the same team. That year, Boston held onto first place in the division until August 2nd, and then spun their wheels for the remaining two months of the schedule.
That brief moment of weakness allowed the Blue Jays to slip into second place during the last week of the 2006 season and pushed the Red Sox down to third place in the division. In the tough American League East, windows like that aren't open for very long.
Tonight could be the beginning of another window, and hopefully the Blue Jays can capitalize on it ... because there won't be many chances like that this season.