Doc vs A.J. Fun, But It's May
After another solid road trip, the Blue Jays return home and finally match up with an A.L East rival that is expected to challenge for a playoff spot. Sure, critics contend, the Jays may be 22-12, but they've yet to play Boston, New York or Tampa (never mind that the Jays are 55-54 against the Yankees and Red Sox since 2006).
That ends tonight when the Yankees come to town and former Jay A.J. Burnett squares off against Roy Halladay, a pairing that has generated a lot of excitement, and its very own Sportsnet ad.
The hype is fun, though the idea of Halladay vs Burnett as a Sensei vs. Pupil showdown is a bit much.
1) A.J. Burnett did not come to Toronto to learn at the feet of the master Halladay, but because they offered him a dump truck full of money.
2) He did not leave Toronto because he had absorbed all of Halladay's wisdom, but because the Yankees had offered him an even larger dump truck full of money.
While it's fun for fans to get caught up in such a marquee matchup, its actual importance is about the same as any other game. Of course, with the appetite for sports news, it won't be covered that way.
It will be far too easy to write that the Jays are "for real" if they win, and far too easy to pine that they are about to crumble playing real contenders should they lose. Neither version will be accurate, because at the end of the night, there will still be 127 games left to play.
Fast forward four months, and if Halladay and Burnett are squaring off again with the first-place Jays 5.5 games up on the Yankees, THEN some true significance can be attached. For now, just enjoy the game.