The Toronto Blue Jays and the Multiple Meanings of ‘Exorcism’

*This post was originally published on Black Press’s network of B.C. sites…

by Kolby Solinsky

White Cover Magazine


It’s a fantastic word. It’s dark and definite, it’s powerful and it certainly overtakes a sentence. It’ll probably be worth a few points in Scrabble. And best of all, it means two completely different things at once.

Exorcism, of course, by definition means expulsion. It means to excavate and rip out something evil from where it’s hiding. It means to get rid of, politely.

But it also means to bury. When you exorcise a demon, you don’t just pull it out and destroy it, but you banish it and bury it, too. It doesn’t matter anymore. From wherever it was hiding, you put it in the ground and you step on it, you kill it, and you cover it with dirt.

You lift it up, you see it in the light, and you may just embrace it. Or you may throw it down. After a long dark comes a great dawn. It’s in the past, until the past repeats itself.

To me, these Toronto Blue Jays are all about exorcism. And World Series or not, for the city that exorcism has already been accomplished.

Because 22 years is a long time. Not just for a World Series, but for a playoff appearance. And that was taken care of last week, with popped champagne and crushed beers. Toronto has also exorcised its demon, as a fanbase, by finally playing into October – that sacred month the Yankees and Red Sox have been entitled to.

Those two decades of irrelevance? They’ve been buried.

But there’s still so much to play for.

A championship. Duh.

But for David Price, who hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008, who’s dropped his last five decisions with Tampa Bay and Detroit. And for Josh Donaldson, who’s entering his fourth straight postseason and has never played past the ALDS. And for Troy Tulowitzki, who’s lone World Series appearance came with the once-in-a-lifetime Rockies in 2007, who was marooned atop the altitude in Denver until Alex Anthopoulos brought him across the Great Lakes.

And how about Anthopoulous, who’s had to rebuild the Blue Jays so many times now and in so many different ways, it’s like he’s been playing with Legos around a kindergarten class.

And for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who have been carrying this franchise on faith alone for years now. And for Marcus Stroman and R.A. Dickey because, hell, they’re important, too.

Game time’s basically here. By the time you read this, if you do, Game 1 will already be in the books and we’ll know for sure just where the Jays will stand. They’ll be recollecting themselves after an opening day loss, or they’ll be rolling to a rocking Rogers Centre like they’ve been for months now.

But regardless, one demon’s down. There’s more to go.

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