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The Blue Jays Hung Up Photos Of Toronto Journalists With Their Faces X'd Out So Players Know Who They Shouldn't Speak To

Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies

The Toronto Blue Jays came into the month of September with a two-game lead in the American League East. The Boston Red Sox clinched the division two days ago, and last night, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Blue Jays to put the two teams in a tie for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.

I don’t have a bias against Blue Jays. I think their fans are insufferable and oversensitive, which is where the bias accusations will undoubtedly come from, but I’ve written positive things about their team all year long, and even said that it was Toronto’s division to lose back in spring training. It was their division to lose, and they lost it. Again, they held a two-game lead coming into the final month of the season. Certainly not a commanding lead, but a lead nonetheless. With a chance to claim their second division title in as many years, the Blue Jays have gone 11-15, the 23rd worst record in the majors this month.

During a month when I expected to be writing stories about Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion carrying their team to the postseason, I’ve instead had to write stories about Troy Tulowitzki trying to fight the Rays for no reason, and Josh Donaldson trying to fight the Yankees for no reason. I mean, this can’t just be me who thinks that the Blue Jays don’t have their head in the right place down the stretch.

And I would’ve thought that even without this most recent story. They’ve completely shit the bed this month, and tried to fight a bunch of teams for no reason, so people in the media are obviously writing about this, and rightfully so. Because of the coverage of these stories, the Blue Jays are so butthurt that they’re printing off photos of these writers, X-ing out their faces, and hanging the pictures in the clubhouse so that the players know which writers they shouldn’t talk to.

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But you have to wonder. You have to wonder if this team, once clearly in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot but now fighting tooth and nail just to make the wild card, is coming apart at the seams and if there’s a leadership void inside the clubhouse.

Why, for example, would the leaders on the team allow someone to put up on a wall photos of two Toronto sports writers with an ‘X’ scratched on their face and the a message written on top reading, ‘Do not grant them interviews’ (or words to that effect)?

On the surface, a pretty juvenile stunt. But also unprofessional. And it’s something, a couple of journalists pointed out to a Jays official, the New York Yankees would never allow in their clubhouse.

And it’s not just those photos. There have been a number of incidents inside the Jays clubhouse recently that suggest that there may be a bit of panic setting in.

Things like: Someone cranking up the music just when the media arrives to conduct pre-game interviews. That’s happened more than a couple of times. It happened again on Thursday. Again, on the surface, silly, stupid. But, again, unnecessary. The media have a job to do, just like the players. Fans almost always take the side of the players when there’s an issue with the media, but teams with confidence and swagger don’t need to pulls stunts like putting pictures of writers on a wall.

More often than not, I’ll side with the players over the nerds in the clubhouse. First example I can think of is that 2011 season when everyone was making a big deal out of the chicken and beer in the Red Sox clubhouse. That was fucking ridiculous. You mean the team was eating CHICKEN? NO! Not CHICKEN! And the guys who were drinking beers weren’t even in the games. The Red Sox took shots of Jack Daniels before every game they won in the 2004 ALCS, but nobody cared about that because they won a championship. Dumbest story ever.

But in this particular case, nobody was stepping over any lines here. The Blue Jays have clearly shown a lack of focus, using those dust ups with the Rays and Yankees as a prime example. Oh, and their record. That’s a pretty good example, too. To get all upset, and to go to that length to show how upset you are, for somebody calling you out for something that’s completely accurate? It’s a bad look for the Blue Jays. They come off as whiney and entitled little brats. If they spent half as much time worrying about winning games as they did worrying about what’s being written about them, maybe they wouldn’t be fighting for their playoff lives this weekend.