2012 Toronto Blue Jays
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2012 Toronto Blue Jays / Franchise: Toronto Blue Jays / BR Team Page
Record: 73-89, Finished 4th in AL Eastern Division (2012 AL)
Managed by John Farrell
Coaches: Brian Butterfield, Dwayne Murphy, Torey Lovullo, Luis Rivera, Don Wakamatsu, Pete Walker and Bruce Walton
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2012 Toronto Blue Jays started the season with a new uniform and a new logo; gone was the fighting Jay logo that was used since 2004, replaced by a new "retro" look logo, redesigned from the original blue jay head on a baseball logo from the team's early days.
The Jays started their 35th season on the road against the Cleveland Indians, playing a 16-inning game which was the longest Opening Day game in major league history. The Indians took a quick 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning against Ricky Romero, who was starting his second consecutive season opener, but were then kept off the scoreboard for the next 14 frames. Trailing 4-1 entering the top of the 9th, the Jays rallied with 3 runs against closer Chris Perez to tie the game. In the 16th, J.P. Arencibia hit a tie-breaking three-run homer off Jairo Asencio to propel the Blue Jays over the Indians, 7-4. Luis Pérez was the winner and newly-acquired closer Sergio Santos recorded his first save, while Jose Bautista - true to form - also hit a home run. Also noteworthy, 45-year-old Omar Vizquel, who made the team in spring training as a back-up infielder - made his debut for the Jays. He came in as a 5th infielder with the Blue Jays in a jam when the Indians loaded the based in the 12th inning, and the defensive shift worked as Asdrubal Cabrera hit into an inning-ending double play. Game 2 was also an extra innings thriller, taking 11 frames before the Jays came out on top.
Back home on April 9th, Ron Taylor threw out the first pitch to start the Home Opener festivities.
Brett Lawrie was the subject of much talk on May 15th, after a showdown with home plate umpire Bill Miller in the 9th inning of that night's game. After two borderline strike calls by Miller, Lawrie was visibly upset after the third called strike. He threw his batting helmet hard on the ground, causing it to bounce back and hit Miller in the hip. Lawrie was ejected from the game, as was manager John Farrell for arguing the call with Miller. As they were escorted out, an angry fan threw a beer at Miller, and he was quickly removed from the stadium. The tantrum earned Lawrie a four-game suspension and an undisclosed fine, although he said he would apologize to the umpire. He had originally said he would appeal the suspension, but recanted a day later. That decision gave an opportunity to Yan Gomes to make his major league debut at 3B on May 17th, taking Lawrie's place and thus becoming the first Brazilian in the annals of Major League Baseball. Gomes went 2 for 3 in the Jays' 4-1 win over the New York Yankees. To make room for Gomes on the roster, the Jays demoted 1B Adam Lind to the AAA Las Vegas 51s; Lind was hitting below .200 with little power at that point. The Jays slowly slid down in the standings over the course of the month in a very strange AL East. The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays went to the top, with New York, Boston and the Jays moving down the list.
The downward slide continued into June. Jose Bautista was not belting out the home runs as he had been in the previous two years, and the team was underperforming in batting average. Revamping the batting order, Farrell moved third baseman Lawrie to the leadoff spot and Colby Rasmus got the number 2 spot. The move worked, as Rasmus went 5 for 5 in Chicago against the White Sox on June 5th, almost hitting for the cycle. The next day, Brandon Morrow, the Jays' best pitcher over the first two months, threw a two-hit shutout against the Sox, bringing his record to 7-3 and his ERA under 3.00.
Three and a half games out of first, the Jays needed a win in Milwaulkee. The hits came in a big way on June 19th, with a 10-9 win over the Brewers; six homers won the game, two each from Arencibia and Bautista. The bullpen was not so lucky, suffering terribly as three of the Jays' five starting pitchers (Morrow, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek) all went down due to injuries in the span of one week. The Jays were down to the bottom of their depth chart as they gave the start to Joel Carreno on June 20th (he was not announced until 9:45 that day for the 2pm start). They lost the game, 8-3, before heading to Miami to take on the Marlins.
Toronto managed a three-game sweep of the Twins at home to finish the season 73-89. Brandon Morrow picked up his 10th win with the sweep on October 3rd, thereby helping Toronto finish 4th in the AL East. Only Boston would do worse than the Jays in the division; Toronto finished with a .451 season, but still 4 games in front of Boston.
Awards and Honors
- All-Star: Jose Bautista
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