What a downer of a title, but what a downer of a season. This year has run the gamut of emotions and it's probably safe to say it's numbed the hardiest Jays fan.
So what do I do?
I make my first slide show ever one about disappointing Jays seasons. How sadistically appropriate.
But pretend I'm one of your parents, "This hurts me more than it hurts you."
Now finish your homework. Don't you take that tone with me young man. Hey! I work hard to put a roof over your head! YOU'RE GROUNDED. You're not allowed to read any of my stuff for a week.
(Note: They are in no particular order, as that would be even more disappointing if I screwed that up.)
You knew there was going to be at least one Ricciardi-era season included in the five, but which one to choose?
2006 was significant because the Jays trotted out their highest-paid ballclub of all time. At almost $98 million, Toronto paid big to play a very vanilla season (Possible Blue Jays ice cream name?).
Acquisitions like Lyle Overbay, Troy Glaus, AJ Burnett, BJ Ryan and Bengie Molina bought the Jays a second place finish in the AL East and another Toronto absence from the post season.
A suffering economy has pretty much guaranteed that we will never see anywhere close to that kind of money being spent anytime soon. At least we know it was well spent when we had it though...THAT WAS SARCASM.
What wasn't to love about a season where the Jays had a manager (Tim Johnson) who lied to his players about his participation in the Vietnam War?
I kid you not, Johnson rallied the Jays to some success using his fabricated tales of schlepping through the jungle. I'm sure many of his pep talks were about laying down bunts while "Charlie" surrounded the dugout.
The Jays had their first winning season since 1993 and part of it was predicated on lies. Aside from that, the Jays had two Cy Young winners (Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens) on the pitching staff and failed to make the playoffs.
The Jays also had excellent seasons from Shawn Green (35 HR 100 RBI and 35 stolen bases) and Carlos "DelSwatto" Delgado (38 HR 115 RBI) that were squandered. Again, a really "feel-good" season that in hindsight feels like we were cheated.
Though Johnson actually did serve with the Marines as a reserve and apologized to the team, his credibility was in question and he would be fired by next season; Clemens would depart as well. And somewhere, Pat Hentgen is still hunting for Colonel Kurtz.
Yep, this is a pretty self-explanatory season. That still won't stop me from explaining it though (I heard those groans).
The 1994 strike robbed the Jays of a chance to win three championships in a row. Even worse was that the Jays were looking that they wouldn't contend anyway; ruining the claim of Toronto being "The 1994 Default World Champions".
Canadian Paul Spoljaric would make his debut for this team and made Canada proud with his 38.75 ERA in 2.1 innings pitched.
After a stint back in the minors, Spoljaric would return with two solid seasons in 1996 and 1997 with a 3.08 and 3.69 ERA respectively, effectively redeeming Canada and our proud tradition of bouncing back.
My bootleg T-shirt business and lemonade stand would never recover though.
I know we've seen some disappointing seasons, but this is a special one. The Jays uncorked their third 100-loss season in a row and gave depressing connotations to Pat Riley's trademark, "Threepeat" (Three hundred-peat maybe).
Still it wasn't all bad. Who am I kidding it was terrible. This team is famous for sporting Boston Celtics GM and former NBA player Danny Ainge at second base for the Jays, hitting a sterling .237 with two home runs and 19 RBI.
Aaron Hill who? Ainge is still the youngest Jay ever to hit a home run at 20 years and 77 days old. Ainge eventually would go to the NBA and join the famous Larry Bird teams of the '80's. In hindsight, probably a solid choice.
Also, future Jays manager and self-proclaimed Vietnam veteran Tim Johnson played for this team. I chalk up his .189 batting average to Agent Orange.
After losing 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 ALCS, the Jays responded with a mediocre 1986 campaign where they finished fourth in the AL East. Having come so close to the Jays first World Series appearance this team slid back into anonymity.
Despite having great seasons from George Bell (.309 BA, 31 HR 108 RBI) and Jesse Barfield (41 HR 108 RBI) the Jays just couldn't put together another solid postseason.
The team also sported future Jays color commentator Rance Mulliniks at third base. Other big names like Fred McGriff and Cecil Fielder played for the Jays, as well as future third baseman Kelly Gruber.
This concludes my depressing slide show. I hope it's made you feel better, but I know it's probably made you feel a little worse. But at least that makes me feel better.
Will 2009 join this pantheon of disappointment? Should such a thing even exist? I say no, but I'll leave you to decide.
But like many of these teams probably said to each other, "There's always next year."