The Toronto Blue Jays are back in the playoffs with a bang, ending years of misery without playing baseball in October. The last time they were in the postseason, they took the World Series. It was 1993, when we were all crying our eyes out over Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” In fact, this year’s bid put an end to the longest playoff drought in all major American sports (the NFL’s Buffalo Bills currently have that honor), so let’s just say they’ve been worst off. The secret weapon to the Blue Jays’ reconquista plan? Roberto Osuna, the Mexican connection.
At barely 20 years old, this Sinaloa native has become the go-to closer for the team. He’s a man who didn’t arrive in Toronto with a first-class ticket, but instead with the sweat, blood, and tears required of Latin American players to make it into the MLB. Born into a peasant family, at 12 years old, he had to quit school to help his father pick tomatoes, potatoes, or whatever was in season in order to make a living. His luck changed when a minor league team took him to Japan. By the time he was 16, he was back in his native Mexico, but this time playing professional ball. Now he is up north, where he made 20 saves in 60 appearances this season, while also posting a more than decent 2.58 ERA on the way to becoming the official team closer this postseason. That’s right, it’s the rookie season for Osuna.
The Blue Jays are not a minor team. They are a star-filled squad that can seriously hit (take their MLB-leading 232 home runs as an example) and are in fact the Las Vegas favorites to win the Series (they pay 3-1 in case you’re into betting).
The Blue Jays start their World Series journey this Thursday against the Texas Rangers, a team that took the division from the Astros in the final month of the season. This seems to be a very one-sided affair. If everything goes according to plan (it never does, but let’s just assume for now) and the Jays advance, they will then face the Kansas City Royals. They would then face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Whoever they play, this will definitely be nail-biting postseason baseball.
You have been warned. Don’t act surprised if in a few weeks the Blue Jays find themselves looking for a ring, and the guy who seals the deal is a little-known Mexican pitcher: the great Roberto Osuna.