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April has been a frustrating month for the Blue Jays. They are slightly below .500 and the bullpen has been criticized for pitching poorly. The frustration was on display in Marcus Stroman’s last start.

Stro-show is one of my favourite players. He plays with a lot of passion and heart.

But his reaction in the dug out (slamming his hand against the seat and being angry) in a recent game was unnecessary.

I have watched young kids do the same thing in sports. In general, it is the better skilled players who have had similar reactions. However unknown to them, it can cause lesser skilled players to feel resentment and to be hurt because they think the anger is directed at them. In most cases, the lesser skilled players have a lot of respect for their better skilled teammates.

Marcus_Stroman_954x480_IMG_9633I am sure that Stro-show did not aim his anger and frustration at his teammates. Nevertheless, as part of his learning experience as a professional athlete, he needs to temper his negative reaction and be more positive.

Many of us can remember the death stares that one of Toronto’s finest pitchers ever, Dave Stieb, would give a teammate when an error was made.
We all understand that high performing, competitive athletes often have high demands on their teammates but it should not come at the potential expense of upsetting team chemistry.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Picture by Robert Taylor.         This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

At the end of day, baseball is a team sport. The fellowship and companionship among teammates must be sound in order for a team to perform well. Teammates need to support one another over the course of the long baseball season because no player is flawless. Mistakes will continue to be made. If teammates give up on one another then soon the team will be less competitive and the euphoria experienced in Toronto last year will disappear.

Let’s pull together, Jays! We can and will easily overcome April’s slow start by playing as team.

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