The Toronto Blue Jays had one of the best offenses in baseball this season but have mustered just three runs in three games in the ALCS. They trail the Indians 3-0, with Game 4 slated for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
What is wrong with the Blue Jays right now?
“Everybody that plays in the major leagues, there’s a time in the season where we’re all lost and we cannot figure anything out,” former AL MVP Mo Vaughn said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It’s going to happen to all of us. The best (strategy) is you got to stay inside of the ball, try to use the (entire) field. If you hit it out of the park, you’re not thinking about it. But you got to work to hit the ball the other way. That’s what the Blue Jays have got to do is get on top of the ball going the other way and then good things will happen.”
Vaughn, a three-time All Star with Boston, lives in Cleveland. The city, he said, is ecstatic that the Indians are 6-0 in the playoffs and closing in on their first World Series berth since 1997.
“Listen, as a baseball guy, I can tell that the manager is pushing the right buttons,” Vaughn said of Terry Francona. “You got some guys stepping up. You didn’t think they were going to do well, and they’re making the plays. This guy (Andrew) Miller is coming out of the bullpen – thank God I’m out of the league now and ain’t gotta face that. He’s slinging it. He’s electric right not. He’s electric.”
Vaughn, 48, played for the Angels and Mets at the end of his career, but he is most known for his time in Boston, where he played from 1991-98. In many ways, he was David Ortiz before David Ortiz: a larger-than-life masher who, in his last four seasons with the Red Sox, averaged 39.5 homers and 120 RBIs.
He was the pre-Papi, if you will.
“Listen, I knew David when he was with the Twins,” Vaughn said. “Tom Kelly told me he’d never be a major leaguer and he got traded, and he has gone to take Boston by storm. He’s played consistently well. Everything that he’s got, he’s worked for. And you know what the besting about it is? He’s not an original guy, but he’s been there so long and been so consistent that everybody treats him like that. He takes no backseat to Brady, to Yas, to Ted Williams, to Esposito or Orr. He’s right there at the table. Boston sports is Boston sports, but there’s nothing bigger than Boston baseball and he’s got three world championships. I’m happy for him.”
Ortiz spent the first six years of his career in Minnesota before signing with the Red Sox in 2003. The rest is history.
“Sometimes you just need a shot,” Vaughn said. “He got his shot and then you put Manny Ramirez behind them. Great players work off each other. If there’s nobody behind you, you ain’t getting pitched to. So he started slugging, built some confidence, and all of a sudden, it happens. He’s done well. I’m happy for him. I’m very happy for him.”