Blue Jays' Win Over Rays Proves This Team Is the Real Deal

Ian Malone@ianthomasmaloneCorrespondent IIIJune 1, 2010

TORONTO - MAY 31: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits against the Tampa Bay Rays during an MLB game at the Rogers Centre May 31, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

While Roy Halladay's perfect game may remind Blue Jays' fans just exactly how great the pitcher who just left was, I wouldn't mourn Doc for too long. The Blue Jays' win over the Rays on May 31st just proves that this team may be just fine without their ace. 

Adam Lind capped off a phenomenal power month for the Jays with their 54th long ball of May. This was not only a club record for the Jays but it was only four shy of the all time Major league record. 

I don't think any of the current pitchers would say that they don't miss Doc but the rotation seems to be just fine without him. Shaun Marcum has solidified his status as club ace and Ricky Romero continues to build on his great rookie campaign. Brett Cecil has buckled down quite nicely and Brandon Morrow was excellent tonight against the best team in baseball. Morrow carried a no hitter into the sixth inning for the second time this year. Not too shabby for a guy who the Mariners dumped for Brandon League. 

The Jays play in the AL East, the most feared division in baseball. While this division is still the toughest in baseball, Toronto has a shot. The Rays have been slumping and the Yankees are banged up. The Red Sox dug themselves a big hole in April that they are trying to get out of. I wouldn't count them out but they have an uphill battle ahead of them. 

Toronto is 3.5 games back from the division lead. This team is also only one game behind the Yankees in the wild card. This is great for a team that no one saw still in contention in June even if Roy Halladay was still a Jay. 

I still think the Jays are one move away from being a true playoff contender. This is Alex Anthopolous' chance to prove his abilities as a general manager. Spend, spend, spend was the philosophy of Riccardi but a team with this offense should have a "win now" mentality.

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Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt are on the trade market. I wouldn't give up Kyle Drabek or Brett Wallace for other one but these are trades that AA should look in to. The majority of the offense is locked up for years to come but they could use some pitching help if they want to go deep into October. This isn't a team that needs drastic help but another quality starter would be nice should Cecil or Morrow falter down the road. 

The AL East is not going to get any easier and the Blue Jays find themselves in a great position coming into June. This team needs to capitalize on the current misfortunes of the Yankees and Red Sox and make a serious play at the division or the wild card. Anthopolous has said time and time again that he will spend when the time is right. Let's see if he can live up to that promise.