1981 Toronto Blue Jays season

1981 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1981 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's fifth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing seventh in the American League East with a record of 37 wins and 69 losses. The season was suspended for 50 days due to the 1981 players' strike, and the league chose as its playoff teams the division winners from the first and second halves of the season, respectively.

Offseason

Regular season

The Blue Jays were one of the worst teams in the majors in the first half of the split season, as the Blue Jays had a record of 16 wins and 42 losses, a percentage of .276.[4] Although the Blue Jays had future stars Jesse Barfield, George Bell, and Lloyd Moseby in the lineup, the team continued to struggle.

On May 15, 1981, Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians pitched a perfect game against the Blue Jays. It was the tenth perfect game ever pitched, is one of only seventeen in the history of the major leagues, and remains the last no-hitter thrown by an Indian.[5]

The result of the season was one of the more controversial times in franchise history. The President of the Blue Jays, Peter Bavasi, went to see the team in Anaheim against the California Angels. Bavasi's father, Buzzie Bavasi was the president of the Angels, and his team had gotten off to a lacklustre start. Buzzie wanted to fire Angels manager Jim Fregosi, and Peter Bavasi had the idea to fire his manager, Bobby Mattick. Both thought it would be big news if father and son fired their manager on the same night.[6] One of the Blue Jays executives advised the Jays Vice-Chairman of the Board, Peter Hardy. After a brief conversation, Hardy made it clear to Peter Bavasi that Mattick would not be fired in this way.

After the strike was resolved, the Blue Jays started the second half of the season with a close to .500 winning percentage. Peter Bavasi was heard to muse aloud the requirement to print World Series tickets.[7] The Jays would finish the second half with 21 wins and 27 losses, seven and a half games out of first place. Despite the attempted Bavasi firing, Mattick would resign as manager at the end of the season. On November 22, 1981, Hardy forced Bavasi to resign from the Blue Jays.[8]

Season standings

AL East
First Half standings
Wins Losses Win % GB
New York Yankees 34 22 .607
Baltimore Orioles 31 23 .574 2.0
Milwaukee Brewers 31 25 .554 3.0
Detroit Tigers 31 26 .544 3.5
Boston Red Sox 30 26 .536 4.0
Cleveland Indians 26 24 .520 5.0
Toronto Blue Jays 16 42 .276 19.0
AL East
Second Half standings
Wins Losses Win % GB
Milwaukee Brewers 31 22 .585
Boston Red Sox 29 23 .558 1.5
Detroit Tigers 29 23 .558 1.5
Baltimore Orioles 28 23 .549 2.0
Cleveland Indians 26 27 .491 5.0
New York Yankees 25 26 .490 5.0
Toronto Blue Jays 21 27 .438 7.5


Opening Day starters

Notable transactions

Roster

Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game log

1981 Game Log 37–69 (Home 17–36, Away 20–33)
  • A MLB Players strike forced the cancellation of all regular season games between June 12 and August 9. A split-season format was adopted.

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; Avg = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

Pos Player G AB R H 2B 3B Avg. HR RBI SB
C Whitt, ErnieErnie Whitt 74 195 16 46 9 0 .236 1 16 5
1B Mayberry, JohnJohn Mayberry 94 290 34 72 6 1 .248 17 43 1
2B García, DámasoDámaso García 64 250 24 63 8 1 .252 1 13 13
3B Ainge, DannyDanny Ainge 86 246 20 46 6 2 .187 0 14 8
SS Griffin, AlfredoAlfredo Griffin 101 388 30 81 19 6 .209 0 21 8
LF Woods, AlvisAlvis Woods 85 288 20 71 15 0 .247 1 21 3
CF Moseby, LloydLloyd Moseby 100 378 36 88 16 2 .233 9 43 11
RF Bonnell, BarryBarry Bonnell 66 227 21 50 7 4 .220 4 28 4
DH Vélez, OttoOtto Vélez 80 240 32 51 9 2 .213 11 28 0

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; Avg = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

Player G AB R H 2B 3B Avg. HR RBI SB
Iorg, GarthGarth Iorg 70 215 17 52 11 0 .242 0 10 2
Upshaw, WillieWillie Upshaw 61 111 15 19 3 1 .171 4 10 2
Bell, GeorgeGeorge Bell 60 163 19 38 2 1 .233 5 12 3
Martinez, BuckBuck Martinez 45 128 13 29 8 1 .227 4 21 1
Macha, KenKen Macha 37 85 4 17 2 0 .200 0 6 1
Wells, GregGreg Wells 32 73 7 18 5 0 .247 0 5 0
Barfield, JesseJesse Barfield 25 95 7 22 3 2 .232 2 9 4
Bosetti, RickRick Bosetti 25 47 5 11 2 0 .234 0 4 0
Cox, TedTed Cox 16 50 6 15 4 0 .300 0 1 0
Manrique, FredFred Manrique 14 28 1 4 0 0 .143 0 1 0
Beamon, CharlieCharlie Beamon 8 15 1 3 1 0 .200 0 0 0
Whitmer, DanDan Whitmer 7 9 0 1 1 0 .111 0 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts

Player G GS IP W L ERA R ER BB K
Stieb, DaveDave Stieb 25 25 183.2 11 10 3.19 70 65 61 89
Clancy, JimJim Clancy 22 22 125.0 6 12 4.90 77 68 64 56
Berenguer, JuanJuan Berenguer 12 11 71.0 2 9 4.31 41 34 35 29

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts

Player G GS IP W L SV ERA R ER BB K
Leal, LuisLuis Leal 29 19 129.2 7 13 1 3.68 63 53 44 71
Todd, JacksonJackson Todd 21 13 97.2 2 7 0 3.96 51 43 31 41
Bomback, MarkMark Bomback 20 11 90.1 5 5 0 3.89 42 39 35 33

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L SV ERA R ER BB K
McLaughlin, JoeyJoey McLaughlin 40 60.0 1 5 10 2.85 24 19 21 38
Jackson, Roy LeeRoy Lee Jackson 39 62.0 1 2 7 2.61 23 18 25 27
Garvin, JerryJerry Garvin 35 53.0 1 2 0 3.40 20 20 23 25
Willis, MikeMike Willis 20 35.0 0 4 0 5.91 25 23 20 16
Barlow, MikeMike Barlow 12 15.0 0 0 0 4.20 11 7 6 5
Murray, DaleDale Murray 11 15.1 1 0 0 1.17 2 2 5 12
Mirabella, PaulPaul Mirabella 8 14.2 0 0 0 7.36 16 12 7 9
Espinosa, NinoNino Espinosa 1 1.0 0 0 0 9.00 1 1 0 0

Award winners

All-Star Game

  • Dave Stieb, Pitcher[12]

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Bob Humphreys
AA Knoxville Blue Jays Southern League Duane Larson and Larry Hardy
A Kinston Eagles Carolina League John McLaren
A Florence Blue Jays South Atlantic League Dennis Holmberg
Rookie GCL Blue Jays Gulf Coast League Rich Hacker
Rookie Medicine Hat Blue Jays Pioneer League Wayne Graham
[13]

Notes

References

External links

  • 1981 Toronto Blue Jays team page at Baseball Reference
  • 1981 Toronto Blue Jays team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
Preceded by
1980 Toronto Blue Jays season
1981 Toronto Blue Jays Season
1981
Succeeded by
1982 Toronto Blue Jays season