The major Toronto sports teams all started 2013 with a lot of promise.
The Maple Leafs were knocking on the playoff door, the Blue Jays had made their big off season splash, the Raptors brought in Rudy Gay and the Argos had won the Grey Cup.
As a city we all had hope – but it didn’t last.
Here’s a look back at the year that was for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Toronto Blue Jays made waves before the 2013 season by bringing in All-stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. They then signed the reigning Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera.
The baseball world took notice, as Los Vegas odds makes Bovada anointed the Jays the World Series favourites. All was right in Toronto.
A slow start to the season saw the Jays post losing records in both April and May. In June they caught fire, going 17-9 and putting themselves back in the playoff picture.
Toronto baseball fans had their last glimmer of hope.
It was quickly snuffed out. They had a losing record in each of the final three months of the season.
The Jays stars all failed to live up to the hype. Josh Johnson was a bust going 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA. R.A. Dickey went from 20-6 with the Mets to 14-13 with the Jays. Cabrera’s batting average dropped 67 points from 2012 to 2013.
They also had injury issues. Jose Reyes missed 69 games and Jose Bautista missed 44. Brandon Morrow was supposed to step into the middle of a great starting rotation but managed only 10 games for the Jays.
To make matters worse, the Jays haven’t made any offseason deals of note.
The Jays shipped catcher J.P. Arencibia out of town and signed Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league deal.
Sadly perhaps the best deal the Jays made so far is signing Roy Halladay to a one-day contract so he could retire a Blue Jay.
As 2013 draws to a close, the Blue Jays have glaring holes at second base and catcher.
Despite those holes the starting rotation is still the biggest weakness. After R.A. Dickey your ‘top four’ starters are Morrow (unhealthy), Buehrle (old), J.A. Happ (unproven with a negative major league record) and Drew Hutchinson (arm issues, didn’t play in majors in 2013).
With the Jays stuck in a division with the World Series Champion Red Sox, Rays, Orioles and Yankees, that starting rotation isn’t scaring anybody.
Only time will tell if the 2014 season will be kinder to the Jays. It’s not impossible to see Bautista and Reyes having great season along with Encarnacion.
A return to an elite level from R.A. Dickey looks unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
There’s also time for moves to be made to bolster the starting rotation.
But in the case of the 2013 season fan reactions were simple to see. From hope to nope.