No comparison

Make no mistake about it — the 2009 version of the Toronto Blue Jays is not the 1992 squad. In some ways, they couldn’t be more different.

For starters, the ’92 team was built to compete for a World Series title, having made the postseason in two of the previous three years. Meanwhile, all the talk surrounding the Jays in spring training this year was about how 2009 would be a sort of ‘rebuilding year’ in preparation for a playoff run in 2010.

The ’92 team featured two new faces – Dave Winfield and Jack Morris – whom then-GM Pat Gillick had signed in the offseason in an effort to put the club over the top. The 2008 offseason, meanwhile, was about as quiet as it gets. J.P. Ricciardi’s most notable acquisition, in fact, was backup first baseman Kevin Millar — certainly not a splashy move.

And yet as the 2009 version of the Toronto Blue Jays entered action today, they shared one important similarity with the ’92 squad: an identical 25-14 record heading into the season’s 40th game.

And then ace Roy Halladay did them one better.

You see, while the ’92 squad lost its fortieth contest — a 6-2 decision in 11 innings — in front of 50,391 on a holiday afternoon at SkyDome, the 2009 team came out on the winning end of its fortieth – an easy 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon. 

And while there weren’t 50,000-plus on hand (remember, this isn’t 1992), a solid 37,147 took in the game at Rogers Centre on Sunday to watch ‘the Doctor’ work his magic. After allowing two first-inning runs, Halladay settled down to throw six consecutive scoreless frames while striking out eight en route to earning his Major League-leading eighth win of the season.

A trio of homers – from Alex Rios, Adam Lind and Aaron Hill – was more than enough offense to get the job done, as the Jays matched the best start in club history at 26-14 (1984 & 1985), one game ahead of the ’92 squad.

No, the 2009 Blue Jays are not the 1992 team. In fact, at this point in the season, they’re actually one game better.

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