The Toronto Blue Jays qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2016
The world of sports has been shaken by COVID-19. Major League Baseball (MLB), 2020–21 was shortened to a 60-game season, which forced the league to modify its postseason format.
Compared to what would normally be 10 teams in normal seasons, this year’s MLB postseason allows 16 teams to compete for the title. With a 32-28 record, the Toronto Blue Jays took the eighth and last spot in the American League and qualified for the wild-card series round.
Even if their last World Series championship dates back to 1993, the Blue Jays have given their fans many great memories during their recent postseason appearances. From Jose Bautista’s bat flip in 2015 to being one series away from playing in the World Series in 2016, the MLB’s only Canadian team always seems to find a way to stand out.
Despite having given sports leagues many organizational and scheduling problems, the pandemic seems to have been oddly helpful for Canadian teams. In hockey, six Canadian teams qualified for this year’s National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs, including the Montreal Canadiens, who were ranked 24th out of 31 teams in the NHL when the season was stopped in March.
The Habs were the 24th and last team to enter this year’s unique NHL playoff format, despite their 31-31-9 record. For the Blue Jays, the situation was pretty similar, as they took advantage of a reduced schedule to win just enough games to punch their ticket into the postseason.
Win or not, the postseason is always a great opportunity for players to gain experience and learn. COVID-19 has no doubt been a worldwide problem, but every positive moment and vibe created must be embraced, and the Blue Jays making the postseason is definitely one of them.
Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion