Its the Final Weekend (of the regular season)

Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:52 AM EDT

Contributed by: John Northey

Final 3 vs Baltimore before the playoffs. Ah, so sweet to think about playoff baseball even if it is a watered down one.

Jays are now 2 behind the Yankees for 2nd place so a sweep of the O's and the Yankees losing 2 of 3 to Miami and the Jays get a higher seed. However, the team seemed not to care one iota about that last night as they seem extremely happy to just be in the playoffs. As well they should - The only Jay teams with a younger lineup was the 1980 and 1981 teams which finished dead last 3 times in 2 seasons (1981 was the split season) and in 2019 they were the same age as this season. A thing to remember about those horrid 1980/81 teams is they were the groundwork for the 1983-1993 above 500 and contending every year teams.

1980: Ernie Whitt, Damaso Garcia, Lloyd Moseby, Garth Iorg, Willie Upshaw all played and were part of the 1985 team that won 99 games. Plus Alfredo Griffin who'd return for the WS years
1981: George Bell, Buck Martinez, and Jesse Barfield all joined. All also key parts of that 1985 team.

Those 2 years also saw lots of kids who never became anything in baseball - Danny Ainge, Fred Manrique (just 19 in 1981 who had a decent career), Paul Hodgson (just 20 in 1980 and never had another shot), Domingo Ramos (22, a backup IF who lasted into his 30's)

A big plus those teams had was a very young pitching staff - Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy, Jerry Garvin, Joey McLaughlin, Luis Leal all were under 25 in 1980. This years team is the 5th oldest ever for the Jays at 29.6 but sub 25's Nate Pearson, Hector Perez, T.J. Zeuch, Sean Reid-Foley all give some hope for the future. Now up to 11 starters and 23 relievers (!). 2016 had 25 relievers and 7 starters. 2015 22 relievers vs 12 starters. But both those years were 162 games vs the 60 this one has.

However, this is a playoff team - that is all that matters right now. Most likely vs Tampa Bay next week on Tuesday afternoon (announcers were predicting all games will be afternoon ones so the US networks can put Yankees, Dodgers, and others like that in prime time). Baltimore has nothing to play for - they can't finish dead last, heck it'd be hard for them to be in the bottom 5 now even if the Jays sweep. FYI: Boston cannot finish dead last either - that 'honor' goes to Pittsburgh or Texas (which gets the World Series while also having what might be the worst team in baseball).