The Eh Game

Jose Bautista excited about Blue Jays off-season acquisitions

Dustin Pollack
Eh Game

View photo

.

Jose Bautista has 124 home runs over his last three seasons with the Jays. (Getty Images)

Like most professional athletes, Jose Bautista wants to win. The 32-year-old slugger has been the star of the Toronto Blue Jays for three seasons now, earning a reputation around Major League Baseball for his ability to hit the long ball.

But he has yet to play a post-season game in his career and this summer with the Jays in the hunt for one of two American League wild-card spots he urged general manager Alex Anthopoulos to get some pitching help in an attempt to counteract the injuries the Jays had already suffered on the mound – Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek were all out of the lineup with injuries at the time. The latter two aren’t even expected to be back to begin the 2013 season.

Bautista told Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star in mid-July:

“Hopefully we can get some help on the pitching side. I don’t think it’s a secret and I’m not saying it to put any pressure on the organization or on (GM Alex Anthopoulos), or on ownership, but they’d be the first ones to tell you that’s what they need to do.

“I think that’s what we need. In the past, I think there was a different view on what the season was going to be like. Being so close to the second wild-card has changed Alex’s view a little bit. He knows we’re within striking distance, our offence is clicking. We’re already playing such good defence that if we get strong on the pitching side it will probably make our club come together and win even more games. We’ve managed to play .500 ball with all the problems we had to deal with.”

Anthopoulos responded to Bautista’s comments almost immediately saying that he wanted to win as much as anyone else, but that wasn’t going to change his outlook on the proper way of building a winner. And rather than making any rash decisions that might have affected the teams future Anthopoulos stayed the course and chose not to strike a desperation trade at an attempt to save the season.

And over the last month Anthopoulos has proved his commitment to winning. While the 2012 season ended in disappointment – Toronto finished 73-89 – the Jays are heading into 2013 with arguably the best pitching rotation in baseball and they’re one of the favourites to win the World Series.

The same Bautista who was preaching at the franchise to add to it’s pitching staff couldn’t be more excited about the off-season acquisitions especially on the mound.

He told Sportsnet’s Evanka Osmak Monday when asked about Anthopoulos’ adding Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the team’s already dangerous rotation:

“Well [I felt] excitement like with all the other deals that happened earlier this off-season. We have a pretty good team, we had a pretty good team before all these moves and we just became that much better and it’s something that the fans and everyone in Canada should be really excited about because we’re in it to win it.”

At 32 Bautista is in the prime of his career, so if ownership was going to commit serious money to allow Anthopoulos to acquire big-name talent, it appears there couldn’t have been a better time to do it. Now it’s up to Bautista and the rest of the Jays clubhouse to take huge expectations and turn that into success on the field.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Bearkats looking to prove their worth vs. Mocs

      Bearkats looking to prove their worth vs. Mocs

      The subdivision's only unbeaten team had to settle for the fifth seed in the playoff field, so the Bearkats figure to have more than a spot in the quarterfinals on their mind Saturday when they take on Chattanooga at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville. … More »

      AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
    • Rosberg retirement puts champion's seat up for grabs

      Rosberg retirement puts champion's seat up for grabs

      By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg's shock retirement has given champions Mercedes a headache as they seek to fill Formula One's most desirable drive. All the big names, apart from world champion Rosberg's team mate Lewis Hamilton, … More »

      Reuters - 9 minutes ago
    • Suspect in McKnight shooting released, still investigating

      Suspect in McKnight shooting released, still investigating

      The man who shot Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Joe McKnight was released from custody overnight, authorities said Friday, saying they'll be meeting with the district attorney's office to discuss the case. Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman … More »

      The Canadian Press - 12 minutes ago
    • Formula One champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement

      Formula One champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement

      Quitting at the top, Formula One champion Nico Rosberg shocked the world of motor racing Friday by announcing he was retiring at the age of 31, five days after earning his first world championship. "I have decided to end my Formula One career. … More »

      The Canadian Press - 14 minutes ago
    • Iowa State WR Allen Lazard to return for senior season

      Standout Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard will return for his senior season. Lazard caught 69 passes as a junior in 2015, including seven for touchdowns, and his 1,018 yards rank third in school history. Lazard also averaged seven catches for … More »

      AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago