Big League Stew - MLB

As teams fall by the wayside and can no longer bank on the longest of mathematical odds to win their division, the Stew will be there to document their expiration with The Nail in the Coffin. Fifteenth in the ground are the Toronto Blue Jays, whose fans spent years sitting by the phone waiting for the announcement of a vacancy atop the AL East, only to see the call passed all the way south to the Tampa Bay Rays. (The Tampa Bay Rays!)

So it is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of the Blue Jays, who again received their usual doses of good news/bad news with the callup of future star Travis Snider and the injury to the brilliant Shaun Marcum. In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to the Rance Mulliniks LASIK Surgery for the Underprivileged Fund. As always, luncheon at Steve's Lounge follows the service. 

The 2008 Toronto Blue Jays

Time of death: Sept. 19 after 4-3 loss to Red Sox

Causes: Futility in April (11-17) closely matches futility in June (10-16); Lousy record (24-31) in one-run games; GM too busy blasting Adam Dunn on talk radio instead of acquiring him; GM too busy being crank yanked by phony Adam Dunn; Cito Gaston rescue signal flashed into Toronto sky two months too late

PECOTA projection: 83 victories Current pace: 86

Moments in the Sun: Team makes inspired, if irrelevant, late season charge with 10-game win streak; Jays make most excellent retro uni choice, resurrecting the powder bluesFemale fan streaks during home opener; Workhorse Roy Halladay continues to show modern day pitchers how it used to be done in the old days; Tom Henke's Army comes together

Moments of Despair: A.J. Burnett tips cap to Rogers Centre crowd after getting blown up in game; $2 Tuesdays get a bit rowdy; Frank Thomas marriage ends in ugly divorce

Others remember: "Can the Jays contend in '09 with a rotation potentially featuring Halladay, Litsch, and Purcey at the top? Can McGowan bounce back early in the season? Will one (or two) of the young arms step up and claim a spot? Yeah, maybe they can. Maybe the Jays catch a few bottles of lightning there ... but isn't that the strategy the Yankees employed heading into the season? Yes, yes it is ... and you can bet your ass that won't be happening again." — Tao of Stieb, 09.21.08

Death watch (w/division elimination #s): Houston (E), New York (E), Cleveland (E), Florida (E), Milwaukee (E)

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