What? No real baseball for two more days? As enticing as Jays - The Coached Interview sounds (voiced by legendary rapper Saukrates. Legendary thanks to his world famous track...uhhhh I suppose Let's Ride was decent song that he didn't make worse), I demand real baseball satisfaction. So I'll look to the past. Thus far this season, we've seen offensive failure of the beyond comprehension, so we will look back to the annals of Blue Jays greatness. What Jay could revive this spellbound offense and propel this team to greatness? In other words, what was the greatest offensive season in Blue Jay history?
- Jesse Barfield - 1986. There haven't been too many 40 home run seasons in Blue Jay history, so the first one is bound to stick out. Barfield had a strong year, adding 35 doubles to his 40 home runs, though he walked only 69 times. He finished with an OPS+ of 146. Looking at his monthly stats, it appears that young Jesse really, really wanted to get to 40 home runs. He went crazy in the fall, hitting 10 jacks in September but killing his season average and striking out like a madman in the process.
This was certainly his career season, one in which he finished 5th in the MVP voting. Jesse Barfield was far and away my favorite player as a kid, probably fueled by this 40 home run outburst. Was it the best in Blue Jay history?
- George Bell - 1987. This man was the first (and only) Blue Jay to win the MVP after his massive 1987 season. His 47 home runs remain a club best and his .605 slugging percentage is second among Jays. He was certainly not the patient slugger (39 walks?), but his strikeout numbers are downright respectable. 134 RBI, 111 runs scored while notching an average higher than his BaBIP.
I'm pretty sure George Bell was an ornery prick that nobody liked, yet he still stole that MVP from Wade Boggs (yeah, I said it. 40 doubles, 24 home runs and a .469 OBP? Only good for 9th in the MVP voting. A shame, though Boggs is also a punk.) George had a pretty fucking great season, but the best?
- John Olerud - 1993. Holy fucking shit. John Olerud was an animal this year. If only he hadn't gotten caught in the downward spiral of drug abuse. We've all heard the stories about his fucking 3 girls at a time just cause he could; doing blow and screaming "I'm hitting .400 bitches, lick my glorious balls!" at the dark Toronto sky. The demons really got a hold of him, it's a Canadian tragedy.
Honestly though, what a year. 54 doubles (suck it Overbay), a .599 slugging percentage combining with his high walk totals to give him an OPS+ of 186. I was going to comment on his absurdly high BaBIP of .375 but the man hit .363! It isn't even that far off! He hit a shit-tonne of line drives, got on base and hit fifth on the World Series Championship team. A definite candidate for greatest Blue Jay season.
- Shawn Green - 1999. Coming off a 30/30 season, Shawn Green followed up with a monsterous '99. 42 home runs, 123 RBI while cutting his K numbers and raising his OBP to a career high. His OPS+ almost mirrored Barfield's at 143. He spent nearly the entire year hitting in front of Carlos Delgado, a place that has been known to inflate numbers and offensive potential.
It is easy to forget how awesome Shawn Green was, and his 134 runs scored are a team record. It may not be the best season but it certainly contributed to one of the worst trades. P.S. Fuck you Ryan Braun, this is the true Hebrew Hammer.
- Carlos Delgado - 2000. When it is all said and done, I hope that they move Carlos Delgado's name above the Level of Excellence and straight-up retire his number. A hokey gesture perhaps, but he really had the greatest career of anyone in a Blue Jay uniform. While his 2003 season was incredible, his 2000 was off the charts.
The second highest Blue Jay average of all time, the highest slugging percentage, second highest OBP, highest OPS and the second highest OPS+. More doubles than any Blue Jay (57), more walks than any Blue Jay (123), more RBI than any Blue Jay at that point (134, a record he would surpass in 2003). Let us not forget a grand total of NINETY-NINE extra base hits. He also played in all 162 games, cured diptheria and annihilated more ass than undercooked ribs.
Somehow, this massive season didn't garner a single first-place MVP vote. Somehow, the writers saw fit to pronounce Jason Giambi the most valuable player, with Alex Rodriquez and Frank Thomas finishing ahead of Carlos. People hit a lot of home runs when they were on drugs. Will he garner votes for greatest Blue Jay season of all time?