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The hater’s guide to the Toronto Blue Jays lineup

So, you want to be a hater.

I’ll caution you that it’s an often unrewarding world; when hating a good team, they’re much more likely to produce a win on any given day than a loss.  So, if you’re plopping down on a Barcalounger with your snack foods and a little pennant that says, “Boo,” you’re likely to go to sleep disappointed.  But in the instance that your objects of hatred go home unhappy?  Well, that’s the best snarky feeling in the world.  And this season, there’s no better target for that hatred than the vicious hitters of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup.

Now, we have to do this tongue-in-cheek– when a team is on as hot a streak as Toronto is, there’s rarely room for joy elsewhere.  They’ve sucked the joy up for themselves, like a vicious joy sponge.  So we need to manufacture some ourselves, because no other team across the vast expanse of Major League Baseball seems to have the faintest idea how to pitch to these people.  The following are foolproof reasons to hate every single member of the Blue Jays starting lineup.  Just don’t come to me if you drop some on your diehard Blue Jay fan friends and they get mad and–hahaha, sorry, I know none of you have ever met a Blue Jays fan.

1. Troy Tulowitzki, SS: This one is simple: you hate Tulo because he should have been ours.  Tulo was “Future Yankee Bryce Harper” when Bryce was still hitting bombs into the Vegas night.  He’s a self-professed Jeter fan who stole Derek’s number and even came to visit in the middle of last season for no reason at all.  Cool, dude.  He used to close out the ninth inning in Denver and sit in the clubhouse chewing his cuticles waiting for Brian Cashman to make the call.  And then, he went to Toronto in the middle of the night.  I presume the conversation between GMs went like this:

Alex Anthopoulos, Blue Jays: Hey, is Tulowitzki available?

Jeff Bridich, Rockies: Uh, no way!  He’s our franchise player and the fans love him.

AA: What if I offered you a much older and worse shortstop who will hate you and who your fans will hate?

JB: Now we’re cooking with gas!

So, now Tulo is terrorizing opponents from the freaking leadoff spot, and Jose Reyes just burned his own house down for the insurance money.  Advantage, Jays.  Dammit.  Hate this man.

2. Josh Donaldson, 3B: Oh, the MVP!  Cool!  How’d he get here again?  Oh, right.  Billy “The Playoffs Aren’t My Responsibility” Beane traded Donaldson for a big ol’ heap of his last name.  But when you have the chance to trade Josh’s haircut for Brett Lawrie’s, how can you pass that up?!  Two chill fades!

Once again, dammit.  Donaldson’s a terror, hitting every eye-high fastball he sees and playing an elite third base, despite being a converted catcher.  That might be the kind of player you don’t trade.  But he’s still getting plenty of pitches to hit, because sitting right behind him in protection is…

3. Jose Bautista, RF: Joey Bats!  The only Twitter spam robot to hit 30 homers last season.  Remember in the ’90s, when we ignored every shred of evidence that our sport’s most powerful athletes might be using steroids to gain an advantage, and then once we found out they were using, we looked upon ourselves in horror and decided we’d never again be fooled by a massive gain in skill level in a short amount of time?  Jose Bautista is in the best shape of his life.

4. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B: Easily the scariest hitter against the Yankees in this lineup.  Truly seems like Tanaka puts the ball on a tee for him.  He’s a massive, powerful beast, and he might be the fourth most massive on his own squad.  This crew is so, so powerful.  Dammit.  When Edwin rounds the bases after a homer, he keeps one arm stationary like Elaine Benes’ coworker and Raquel Welch.

5. Justin Smoak, 1B: Justin Smoak is remarkable, in that he’s managed to both still suck and be dangerous/the 5-hole hitter for a juggernaut at the exact same time.  He’s hitting .218.  He’s a career .223 hitter!  Yankee fans would want his head on a platter, not hitting fifth!  And he’s still managed to be terrifying.  I do not get this.  Cool career renaissance.

6. Russell Martin, C: Russell!  Welcome, old friend!  Wow, you sure are a sparkplug catcher with power.  Remember when you couldn’t hit over .200 from the 8-hole?  And then you went to Pittsburgh and just decided to be intense and good again?  Miss you, dude, thanks for checking in.

7. Ben Revere, LF: Congratulations to Mr. Revere, the current winner of the Kevin Youkilis Memorial I’ve Never Seen An Accurate Called Third Strike Award!  Whenever he disagrees with a call, he leaps in the air!  He does a little leap!  Why is that alright to do?  Sometimes, you can’t turn and give an umpire the side-eye without dooming your pitcher’s next ten borderline strikes.  Revere can do parkour on the umpire’s chest protector and he’ll still get his team 3 inches off the black.

8. Kevin Pillar, CF: I cannot believe we have to deal with another Kevin _illar.  That’s not even fair.  That’s not even real life.  This is the name they should have gone with in MVP Baseball ’04 instead of “Anthony Friese”, the African-American fellow with muttonchops who stood in for Millar.  I’d rather pitch to Friese.  Pillar is a good slap hitter who will take away a hit per game with the glove.  Still pretty sure he’s a hologram.

9. Ryan Goins, 2B: Do I…do I really have to do this one?  No, I’m not typing that.  No, I’m not going to do it.

I hope Ryan Goins away soon.

There.  I did it.  There.  Fine.

That’s it!  That’s the whole lineup.  Not so scary now, right, gang?  I’m not scared anymore.  Nope.  Not in the least.  Carry on.

The Yankees seem to be the only pitching staff that has any idea what to do with these scoundrels.  Every non-Yankee game is 12-2 in the top of the third, and Jose Bautista has volunteered to pitch for the other team, just to take a load off their staff.  American League?  Wake up.  And soon.  The Tigers are headed to Toronto this weekend.  Who’s scheduled to pitch?  Two starters with ERAs over 7.00.

Hate on.