Laura Pastore is an Assistant Editor at ECW Press, and for our Holiday Gift Guide at Biff Bam Pop! this year she’s talking about Great Expectations: The Lost Toronto Blue Jays Season by Shi Davidi and John Lott, and why the book might be the perfect gift for the Blue Jays fan on your gift list. Check it out, after the jump.
Five reasons why Great Expectations is the perfect holiday gift for the Blue Jays fan in your life:
Because the fan in your life fell into the trap last offseason and bought an exorbitant amount of tickets for the 2013 season.
Hey, it happens to the best of us. People praised Alex Anthopoulos for his monumental offseason trades, Las Vegas oddsmakers positioned them to win the World Series, and ticket sales soared. So she did the most rational thing. She bought tickets. Fifteen of them. Maybe twenty-five. Enough to get her to the post season.
Great Expectations will help her justify these preseason actions by recounting behind-the-scene details, Jerry-McGuire-style, as Alex Anthopoulos flew across the continent acquiring big-name players that would make any fan want to scream, “Show me the money!”
Because by the end of April, nothing in her world made sense and she questioned her existence.
Finishing 10–17, April was a bust. Reyes had been carted off the field in a utility vehicle, Lawrie’s ego appeared larger than the Jays’ preseason expectations, and it seemed like Toronto was constantly playing catch up.
Everyone — players, coaches, and even managers — bought into the hype. And when the team didn’t deliver in April, they decided something had to change. Great Expectations will take her into the clubhouse as the players came together to address their weaknesses, and she will experience consolation that everyone — fans and players alike — was overwhelmed by the same emotions and frustrations.
Because the hot streak in June had her claiming the hot dogs tasted better, the beer was stronger, and the economic downfall of 2008 wasn’t so bad.
Eleven glorious wins in a row. Her enthusiasm ballooned after each game. “I told you so!” had replaced “Hello.” It was finally happening and it would be an effortless ride to Game 7 from here.
Great Expectations puts the pieces together, determining which stars aligned to make this streak happen, and why the Jays weren’t able to keep it up. It will help her come to terms with the fact that the Jays during the streak were not the team-that-could-have-been, but instead were a team fueled by atypical individual and team performances that were just unsustainable.
Because by August, she was counting the number of tickets she had left.
Unable to even give her tickets away, she dragged her feet to each game. She refused to do the wave. The seventh-inning stretch nauseated her. Sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? Don’t even think about it.
The 2013 season was a painful experience for fans and players, but it was valuable. Great Expectations will help her realize that the media hype of the preseason and the hysteria that followed when the Jays didn’t live up to the expectation did not help anybody. It takes time to turn a franchise around, and Great Expectations will let her understand that. Good things did come out of the season and this book will show her what those are, and will give her the hope that, one day, redemption for the Toronto Blue Jays will come.
Because she still loves the Toronto Blue Jays.
This holiday season, as dreams of Game 7 dance in her head, give her Great Expectations to help tide her over until next summer when we can start this great ride all over again.
Great Expectations can be purchased at the ECW Press site here.