>As a companion to yesterday’s Nickname Review, which Rob Neyer linked to this morning (thanks Rob!), The Common Man is going to press on and objectively assess another member of the MLB nickname avian community: the Toronto Blue Jays.
Nickname: Blue Jays
Color: Blue, black, and white
Size: 22-30 cm (9-12 in.), 70-100 grams
Special Abilities: Flight, Speech, Teamwork, Super-intelligence, General bad-assery
Best thing about the Blue Jay: Blue Jays are tough as hell. They bully smaller birds, and can band together to fight off predatory birds, such as hawks and owls, that hunt them. They’re kind of like Voltron like that. If the Toronto club is ever going to leapfrog the big boys in the AL East again, that kind of teamwork and toughness are going to be absolutely essential.
Worst thing about the Blue Jay: They’re kind of jerks. As TCM said above, they push around other species that are smaller than they are. While that’s a positive as they try and win ballgames, they’re loud and obnoxious about it. And they’re highly aggressive at taking over other teams’ territory. Indeed, Toronto has recently become the only MLB team in Canada after successfully pushing out the Montreal Expos (or such is TCM’s interpretation of events). And not having baseball in Montreal is a bad thing.
More good news: These birds are super smart. Not only have they learned to work together to survive, but they also can learn to mimic human speech. There is some speculation that they can make and use tools to obtain hard-to-reach food. They also will patiently watch farmers and gardeners plant seeds, remember where those seeds are buried, and go dig them up. If they have a surplus, they’ve been known to save food for later. They are extremely adaptable, to the point where they can even survive the complete deforestation of their habitat, if they can find other sources of food. It helps that they’re omnivorous. Perhaps the new regime headed by Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays’ hot start in 2010 is indicative of this flexibility, intelligence, and resilience. And also, they fly. That’s awesome.
On the other hand: Because they’re intelligent, young blue jays can be easily distracted. They’ve been known to pick up shiny objects and make off with them. They’ll fly around with, say, tin foil in their beaks and play with it until they get bored and remember that they were supposed to help fight off a hawk or eat a caterpillar or something. As Toronto looks to rebuild and get younger, they will have to work hard to avoid this problem. Also, blue jays are kind of amoral.
Final Analysis: Blue Jays do have an AJ Pierzynski-esque jerkiness to them. But we should expect them to have a chip on their shoulder, having to deal with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox. Other than that, they’re pretty awesome. When the Blue Jays replace man as Earth’s dominant species, TCM hopes they will find this post and fondly remember The Common Man as one of their truest and earliest supporters. And for that reason, they will spare his descendants from the horrible swarming and pecking death that await you all. Blue Jays are bad ass. Don’t piss them off.
Good work, Blue Jays, The Common Man gives you an A!