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Are the 2015 Jays better than the 1993 version?

Are the 2015 Jays better than the 1993 version?

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 10, 2015

So which is the better offensive Blue Jays team?

The 1993 World Series champions who had a batting champion (John Olerud) and three inductees into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (Ricky Henderson, Robbie Alomar and Paul Molitor)?

Or batting coach Brook Jacoby’s Bombers, with seven sluggers with 10 or more homers (Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak)?

“This one is better,” said Alomar from Manhattan after the Blue Jays blanked the New York Yankees 6-0 on Saturday afternoon moving to within 2.5 games of first place in the American League East.

Really?

“Yep, we’re not playing any more. The 1993 team is all retired,” said Alomar, owner of quick hands, quick feet and, on this day, a quick wit.

The memory bank might have memories of Joe Carter slugging, Devon White lining balls into the gap, Olerud winning the batting title, followed by Molitor and Alomar, plus Henderson starting the game-winning rally in Game 6 of the World Series.

Yet, the numbers for the 1993 season show that the Jays led the American League in slugging (.436) while scoring 5.23 runs per game, when the league average was 4.71 and the average ERA was 4.32. The Detroit Tigers scored more runs than the Jays in 1993.

While that team had more HOFers, this year’s Jays have more depth leading in on-base percentage (.333), slugging (.446) and OPS (.779) while scoring an average of 5.31 runs per game. The average runs per game mark is 4.27 while the league ERA is significantly lower at 3.92.

So, this team is scoring more than the league average in an era when it is facing better pitching.

“This lineup has more power than we did,” said Pat Hentgen from Shelby Township, Mich. “But White, Alomar, Molitor and Henderson had better speed. The base-running advantage would go to the older team.

“Both teams have real deep lineups. We had Ed Sprague who became a 20-homer guy hitting eighth. This year’s team has a great hitter in Kevin Pillar eighth. This team is intimidating for an opposing pitcher. Explosive.”

The top five spots in the 1993 Jays lineup batted a collective .297 (best in the majors that year) and slugged .480 (second to the San Francisco Giants .482), with 112 home runs (fifth in the majors).

This season, coming into Saturday afternoon, the Jays’ top five was batting .261 (19th in the majors) and slugging .469 (tops in the majors), with 106 home runs (also tops in the majors).

Each top five contains a key piece acquired at the trade deadline:

The team that beat the Chicago White Sox and then the Philadelphia Phillies in post-season play had Henderson, acquired from the Oakland A’s, White, Molitor, Carter and Olerud ... with Alomar hitting sixth.

This group has Tulowitzki, who general manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired from the Colorado Rockies, leading off, followed by Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion and either Colabello or Smoak ... with Martin hitting sixth.

After 112 games, Martin has a better OPS than Pat Borders, Bautista beats Carter in right, Donaldson over Sprague, Pillar over White in centre and Tulowitzki over Tony Fernandez at short. The team with the rings wins with Olerud at first, Alomar at second and Molitor at DH.

“This is more of a power- house. Our lineup, we could produce runs, but this is more powerful,” Alomar said. “Alex has done what needed to be done. He knew that, when there is a time to go, you go for it. Those chances don’t always come twice.

“I feel honoured he gave me a shout to ask about a couple of things. Adding these players ... this is what everyone wanted.”

The most productive position in the 1993 lineup was the No. 5 spot where Olerud batted .350 with a 1.019 OPS. This year, it is the No. 2 hole where Donaldson has hit .299 with a .974 OPS.

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