After falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Thursday afternoon, the Blue Jays held a private team meeting to collect themselves.
Everyone is talking about the Toronto Blue Jays these days, but for all the wrong reasons. They’re 2-9 in their past 11 contests. Worse, that dreadful spin has come against teams that would have been really nice to beat: the Yankees, Orioles, and most recently the Rays. All AL East foes.
Blue Jays Players Call for a Meeting
Of note, it wasn’t manager John Schneider who requested a closed-doors meeting, but the players. Toronto has lost nine out of 11, given up at least four runs in eight of those games, scored three or fewer in seven of them, and made sure a spectacular 20-1 victory on Tuesday against the Rays was swiftly swept under rug by losing 7-3 and 6-3 since then.
While details of what was said amongst themselves has not been shared with the public, players gave hints to the media about the atmosphere surrounding the club.
Third baseman Matt Chapman:
“We’re all grown men here. It’s up to us. We’re the ones on the field. Our coaches can’t hold our hands. We have to go out there and find ways to win games. We have to communicate with each other and help try to make each other better.”
Pitcher Alek Manoah was pulled in the third inning in Thursday’s 6-3 defeat, making it yet another rough outing.
“I just think we know we’re better than what we’re playing right now. We just need to stick together. We just need to keep fighting.”
Not helping matters is a recent injury to catcher Danny Jansen, who had to leave Wednesday’s game with groin tightness.
If anyone is under a lot of pressure these days, it’s manager John Schneider.
“In talking to the guys and hearing them, it’s got to happen tomorrow. Yes, it’s a tough division. Yes, that’s a good team. We’re still a good team too (…) Starting tomorrow, it’s a new series and hopefully those things can be taken care of.”
Speaking of which, the Blue Jays spend the weekend in Minnesota to play the AL Central-leading Twins. Minnesota isn’t exactly playing lights out baseball so far in 2023, sporting a 26-24 win-loss record. Perhaps this is a series Toronto can use to turn things around and remind fans, and themselves, why they were pre-season favourites to make more noise this year.