The Toronto Blue Jays finally get their much-anticipated season rolling today against the Cleveland Indians. And with that, the scrutiny will begin on whether or not drastically revamping the roster will result in a playoff spot.
Over the summer, the team added numerous pitchers, infielders and outfielders to create what many think is the best roster in the American League East. And quite possibly one of the best in Major League Baseball.
Adding reigning National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, World Series champion Mark Buehrle and 2011 NL batting champ Jose Reyes, among others, adds a lot of pedigree to the team. But how will this influx of talent translate for the Blue Jays?
With all the hype the team is receiving, and the expectations many fans have, the team is going to have to do very well for people to see this season as an accomplishment.
There is no doubt the team is great on paper. And compared to previous years, it has the depth to handle a few injuries throughout the year.
But what will make the 2013 season a success?
First and foremost, it is important to have realistic expectations. Blue Jays fans hope to see their team in the World Series, but let's take small steps to get to that goal.
The first step in getting there: making the playoffs.
As we saw last year, the Blue Jays were able to put together a great spring training (24-7-1), which led to the idea they were ready to make a push for a playoff spot. Ultimately, that did not happen and everyone was disappointed.
The same thing is happening this year.
Everyone is expecting a guaranteed playoff spot and a push to the World Series. It may happen, but are we just setting ourselves up for failure? Should the goals of the team, and the fans, be to just make the playoffs?
This team, I think, is better (than the '05 White Sox) on paper, but again we have to go out there and play 162 games and try and get to the postseason. If you asked me in spring training '05 and now, on paper, I think this team's better.
Most importantly, Buehrle knows that making the postseason is the number one goal. Coming from a veteran guy who has made it there before, he knows what he is talking about.
The Blue Jays have the team, the talent and the capability to be able to do damage in the American League. They have the arms and the bats to be really dangerous. And when both are on, the Blue Jays could be lethal.
But, like last year, the team and fans have created such high hopes. As good as it is for baseball in Toronto, it may not be fair to the team by the end of the season.
The Blue Jays seem like a lock to make the playoffs. Even though nothing in baseball is guaranteed, that is about as far as we should peg them. Once they are able to get there, then the talk can begin about winning the World Series.
If the team is able to make the playoffs, everyone should be happy. Considering the Blue Jays have not made the playoffs in the last 20 years, doing that is a great accomplishment. Making it to the postseason should be the meter of success.
Anything more than that, is an added bonus.
Is it World Series or bust for the Blue Jays this season? Share what you think below.