But does it matter anymore? Those Jays, in his absence, did their annual swoon, a la the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they're out of it. After a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on the 22nd they are 6-18 in their last 24 games and are done like dinner. As Baustista prepares to return to the line-up Friday, they are now some 11 games out of the wildcard
spot with about 40 to go and another 7 ball clubs up ahead also looking to play catch up.
Again, reminiscent of the Leafs, though this season we may give the Jays a mulligan, having had their pitching staff decimated by injury and both Bautista and Brett Lawrie on the DL for significant periods at important junctures of the seaons. The trades
GM Alex Anthopoulos made to shore up that pitching now seem to have been pointless and maybe they gave up on Travis Snider and Eric Thames too early, but that is hindsight and at the time they still had hope.
Toronto Blue Jays: injuries, poor performances, slumps
It's always one reason or another and certainly having teams to battle like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, despite their problems this season, with their massive payrolls
makes things harder. But the Tampa Bay Rays spent 11 million less than the Jays and currently lead the wildcard race while the Jays are back to saying next year.
Manager John Farrell's club will finish out the string and while they're doing it Buck Martinez, Greg Zaun, Richard Griffin and the rest of the Toronto baseball sports media will broadcast and write about games and off-field happenings because it's sports and that's what you do. So Jose Bautista will be back in the Blue Jays line-up on Friday.
But no, for this season, it doesn't really matter anymore. Again.