For some, the cycle of observing the Blue Jays goes a little something like this: If they are winning, people point out the weakness of their opponents, or the fact that they have yet to really face the big boys. If they lose, it's because they just flat out suck.
So with the next 12 games on the schedule lined up against their AL East rivals in Baltimore, New York and Tampa, some of those perpetual naysayers have pegged this as "The Test" of the team. This will provide proof as to whether if they are a team that could win 90 games and stick with the Yankees and Rays through the summer, or if they are the team that most had figured would spend more time scraping the bottom and battling the O's to stay out of the basement.
But here's the thing: We don't think that these next two weeks are going to actually prove anything. If the Jays come out of those series under .500, it doesn't mean that they should pack up their tents and call it a season. Nor should we start putting the prosecco on ice in anticipation of championship glory if they come through this stretch successfully.
Besides which, we suspect that if the Jays were to run wild like the Hulkster through the Yanks and Rays, it still wouldn't satisfy the naysayers. We're sure there would be another stretch of games that they would propose to be "defining" a week or so down the road. And if the Jays go into the final week of the season still in contention, someone somewhere is going to ask the proverbial question: "Are the Jays for real?"
If being proven right is your goal as a cynical sports fan, you'll invariably get rewarded for your pose. But we're rooting for the Jays to make the cynics squirm for as long as they can this summer.
Because "told you so" would be so much easier to hear in late September.