The bad news—for both fans and teammates—is that Munenori Kawasaki became the sacrificial lamb.
Munenori Kawasaki has been sent down - the corresponding move for Jose Reyes's call-up tomorrow. Don't shoot the messenger, #Bluejays fans.— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) June 26, 2013
In order to make room for Reyes on the roster, Kawasaki received word after the game on Tuesday that he was being sent to the minors in order to make room for Reyes.
The news was indeed received with sadness, especially by the players.
In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called a brief team meeting to inform the players of the news.
#BlueJays manager John Gibbons called a team meeting after the game to inform the club that Kawasaki was being sent down. That's very rare.— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) June 26, 2013
John Gibbons told the #Bluejays, in an impromptu post-game meeting, that Kawasaki had been sent down. Buehrle: "I've never seen that before"— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) June 26, 2013
That is an indication of the impact that Kawasaki had on his teammates, never mind the city of Toronto.
Kawasaki quickly endeared himself to the city with his exuberance. After delivering a walk-off hit last month, Kawasaki gave an interview that captivated the entire city.
His wacky ways and demeanor quickly rubbed off on his teammates as well. Witness his dance on the plane ride home after the Blue Jays won their 11th straight game.
When Kawasaki was asked about his thoughts on demotion, something got lost in translation.
Kawasaki was asked what his final message to #BlueJays fans was, but he misunderstood the question and answered: "I'm hungry."— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) June 26, 2013
The Twitter universe weighed in on Kawasaki's demotion as well.
Munenori Kawasaki: class act through and through, wish him the best, hope to see him again in a Jays uniform #Bluejays— Jay Close (@CloseyJ) June 26, 2013
As for Gibbons, he had one simple message.
So take heart, Blue Jays fans—your favorite player will be back.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.