Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays had an incredible season. They went 93-69, won the AL East by six games and went an AL-best 53-28 at home. This year, however, hasn’t been quite as good, as Toronto is 56-44 and trails Baltimore (58-40) by three games in the AL East.
Just don’t tell that to Jose Bautista.
“I think we’re in a great spot,” the six-time All-Star said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “If I’m not mistaken, up to this point in the season, we have a better record now than we did last year.”
Bautista is right. The Blue Jays were 50-50 through 100 games last season before going 43-19 (.694) the rest of the way. Toronto would love to repeat that second-half surge.
“All we need to do is do the same (thing we did last year), which is continue to play sound baseball,” said Bautista, who is hitting .231 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in 66 games this season. “We have quality major leaguers that contribute every single day in all aspects of the game – base-running, defense and offense. We have a pretty (balanced) team. All we got to do is execute and (focus) on the big picture and not get discouraged by any short-term results.”
Switching gears a bit, Gottlieb asked Bautista about the Chris Sale incident. The White Sox ace was suspended for five days after destroying Chicago’s throwback uniforms before his scheduled start Saturday. Sale, who is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, apparently wasn’t a fan of the collared V-neck from 1976.
Bautista said he has definitely played in uniforms he didn’t like – or uniforms that he felt impacted his level of play.
“I’m sure at some point, especially in the minor leagues,” said Bautista, who broke into the majors in 2004. “If you go to a game on any particular day, there’s a lot of activation with different promotions in the minors and you can have some quirky stuff. I can’t really remember one that was that bad that I still remember to this day, but I’m sure I wore my fair share of embarrassing uniforms in the minor leagues.”
While Bautista never slashed an uncomfortable or unsightly uniform, he’s not going to judge Sale for doing exactly that.
“I think it would be unfair of me to kind of judge that (decision),” Bautista said. “I understand the situation with Chris Sale is a sensitive one, so the only thing that I can say is I’m not in his shoes, so I don’t know exactly what transpired and why he reacted the way he did. But understanding what type of player he is, I’m sure there was a little bit more to that whole situation. I’d rather not make a specific comment about whether I would have done it or not because I’ve never been in that position to be able to really consider doing that.”