John Farrell and Jose Bautista
The following is an in-depth look at the Toronto Blue Jays showcasing why they should be in contention to win a World Series in the next few years. Several factors, such as ownership, prospects, managing, etc., will be taken into account and explained as to why the Jays are championship-bound.
Reason No. 1: Incredible Team Bond
Many of the team's stars (Ricky Romero, Travis Snider, Aaron Hill, J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind, just to name a few) are homegrown.
Why is that important?
Simple: It makes you a better player when you have been through thick and thin with other big names on your side.
Being viewed as baseball's outsiders, considering that Toronto is the only Canadian team participating in "America's pastime" definitely adds to that.
Not to take anything away from other teams, but a team needs to have a strong bond to withstand the heavy grind of a 162-game season and a tough playoff race.
Reason No. 2: A Strong Division
The Jays play in what is arguably the best division in baseball. Since the introduction of the wild card in 1995, the American League East has had two playoff teams 12 out of 16 times.
When Will The Jays win their next World Series?
Reason No. 3: Prospects in Place
The Jays have some excellent young talent that still has a lot to prove, and if the youngsters can meet expectations, watch out!
Arencibia and Kyle Drabek have not disappointed in their first full years as starters.
Granted, Drabek's 4.16 ERA is not the most impressive stat, but he has had some games that show this kid will be a star very soon.
The system looks promising as well. Brett Lawrie, Travis D'Arnaud, Anthony Gose, Zach Stewart and Deck McGuire are the top five farm players.
Rumors of Lawrie making his debut as early as Friday against the Orioles in Baltimore are abuzz lately. In 52 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Lawrie has a .354 BA, 15 HR, 49 RBI and 11 SB.
Reason No. 4: They Have the Man[ager] for the Job
There has been quite a bit of scrutiny from Jays fans this season regarding new manager John Farrell. However, I like to think he is the right guy to guide this team to winning ways.
To start, with all the up-and-coming talent, hitting should not be an issue in the near future, so it is the pitching that needs work. Farrell is a former pitcher, pitching coach (Red Sox 2006-10) and director of player development for the Indians (twice during that span the Indians were named Organization of the Year by USA Today's Sports Weekly).
He can be the key element to a turnaround, but he will definitely need help from general manager Alex Anthopoulos to bulk up the rotation and bullpen.
Reason No. 5: Consistency and Luck
Last year, the Jays got off to one of the best starts in franchise history, but after a competitive series with the Red Sox, it all seemed to go downhill.
Putting an entire season together will be a challenge for the young team. Pitching may slump, but then batting will have to be great, and vice-versa.
That is where depth comes into play.
Some players, such as Hill, have to return to form. If he can play as well as he did in 2009, that would help a lot. If not, his future as a Jay is unknown.
Lind, before going with an injury, seemed to have found his bat again.
Prior to the season, everyone was wondering if Jose Bautista could repeat the amazing season he had last year.
Well, critics, I think you are all convinced he is the real deal.
I hope for the Jays' sake Arencibia, Lawrie, Drabek and Morrow can do what is expected of them. If not, the team is in a heap of trouble.
Reason No. 6: Nadir Mohamed
Yes, Rogers Communications (which owns the Blue Jays) CEO Nadir Mohamed is another reason Toronto is championship-bound.
Because he wants to spend.
He has gone on record several times to say that once the team looks ready, money will be coming its way. He will spare no expense to win a title. This will make it easier during free agency to acquire big names and depth players.
That is what the fans and players love to hear.
According to CBS Sports, the team's current payroll is at $62.5 million, and the Jays are still competing with the best, sporting a 28-27 record.
Many experts claim it takes a solid 25-man roster to win, and in my own personal opinion, I believe the Jays have about 20 of those players.
Nadir, Alex: The bat is in your hand. Knock one out of the park.