2003 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 2003 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's 27th season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing third in the American League East with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses. It is the team's final season with Diamond as one of the mascots, as she was removed at the end of the season, leaving Ace as the sole mascot of the Blue Jays.
|2003 Toronto Blue Jays|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Rogers; Paul Godfrey (CEO)|
|General manager(s)||J. P. Ricciardi|
|Local television||The Sports Network|
(Pat Tabler, Rod Black)
(Rob Faulds, Tom Candiotti, John Cerutti)
|Local radio||CJCL (AM)|
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek)
|< Previous season Next season >|
- October 9, 2002: Chris Carpenter was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
- October 9, 2002: Brandon Lyon was selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from the Toronto Blue Jays.
- October 23, 2002: Doug Linton was signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- December 15, 2002: Felipe López was traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Cincinnati Reds. The Oakland Athletics sent a player to be named later to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Arizona Diamondbacks sent Erubiel Durazo to the Oakland Athletics. The Cincinnati Reds sent Elmer Dessens and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Oakland Athletics sent Jason Arnold (minors) (December 16, 2002) to the Toronto Blue Jays to complete the trade.
- December 20, 2002: Mike Bordick was signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- December 28, 2002: Frank Catalanotto was signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- January 27, 2003: John Ford Griffin was traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Jason Perry (minors) (June 23, 2003) to the Oakland Athletics to complete the trade.
The 2003 season was a surprise to both team management and baseball analysts. After a poor April, the team had its most successful month ever in May. The offense was mainly responsible for the stunning turnaround. Delgado took over the major league lead in runs batted in, followed closely by Wells. The middle infield positions remained a gametime decision – Bordick played shortstop and third base, Dave Berg second base and third base, Chris Woodward shortstop and Orlando Hudson second base. Minor league call-up Howie Clark entered the mix as a utility player after Hinske underwent surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand, which he had tried to play through for the first six weeks.
Despite their hitting successes, poor pitching continued to plague the team. Roy Halladay was spectacular in winning his first Cy Young Award, going 22–7, with a 3.25 ERA, but he didn't get much help from his fellow pitchers, although he had a poor start himself. Rookie Aquilino López was a pleasant surprise out of the bullpen. Kelvim Escobar and former NBA player Mark Hendrickson were inserted into the rotation with their places in the bullpen filled by waiver acquisitions Doug Davis and Josh Towers, who went 8–1 after being called up from Triple-A Syracuse. The closer role was a season-long revolving door, with nobody able to take hold of the reins. Trade speculation had focussed on the acquisitions of pitching at the expense of hitters, but in the end the team simply divested itself of impending free agent Shannon Stewart without getting a pitcher in return. Instead Bobby Kielty, another outfielder with a much lower batting average than Stewart's, was obtained from the Minnesota Twins and later traded in November 2003 to the Oakland Athletics for starter Ted Lilly. The top four pitchers for the projected 2004 rotation would include Halladay, Lilly, free agent Miguel Batista, and the return of Pat Hentgen.
After the spectacular turnaround in May 2003, which helped the team move to just few games behind the wildcard leading Boston Red Sox, team performance slowly returned to reality, as predicted by team management. Carlos Delgado was second in the voting for the American League MVP Award, although the Jays were in third place in their division. The Jays also announced that a new logo, and new uniforms, would be used as of January 1, 2004.
Opening Day startersEdit
- Frank Catalanotto
- Carlos Delgado
- Roy Halladay
- Eric Hinske
- Ken Huckaby
- Orlando Hudson
- Josh Phelps
- Shannon Stewart
- Vernon Wells
- Chris Woodward
|New York Yankees||101||61||0.623||—||50–32||51–29|
|Boston Red Sox||95||67||0.586||6||53–28||42–39|
|Toronto Blue Jays||86||76||0.531||15||41–40||45–36|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||63||99||0.389||38||36–45||27–54|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
2003 American League Records
Sources:              
- June 3, 2003: Aaron Hill was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (13th pick) of the 2003 amateur draft. Player signed June 17, 2003.
- June 16, 2003: Scott Service was selected off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- July 16, 2003: Bobby Kielty was traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later and Shannon Stewart. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Dave Gassner (December 15, 2003) to the Minnesota Twins to complete the trade.
- August 10, 2003: Scott Service was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
2003 Draft picksEdit
The 2003 MLB draft was held on June 3–4.
|1||13||Aaron Hill||SS||Louisiana State||2003–06–17|
|2||50||Josh Banks||RHP||Florida International||2003–06–04|
|3||80||Shaun Marcum||RHP||Missouri State||2003–06–23|
|4||110||Kurt Isenberg||LHP||James Madison||–|
|6||170||Christian Snavely||OF||Ohio State||–|
|7||200||Danny Core||RHP||Florida Atlantic||–|
|8||230||Chad Mulholland||RHP||Missouri State||–|
|9||260||Jamie Vermilyea||RHP||New Mexico||2003–06–05|
|11||320||Tom Mastny||RHP||Furman University|
|2003 Toronto Blue Jays|
|2003 Game Log|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; Avg. = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
|= Indicates team leader|
- Carlos Delgado, 1B, Silver Slugger Award
- Roy Halladay, Pitcher of the Month Award, May
- Roy Halladay, Pitcher of the Month Award, September
- Roy Halladay, American League Cy Young Award
- Roy Halladay, The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
- Vernon Wells, OF, Silver Slugger Award
- Carlos Delgado, First Base
- Roy Halladay, Pitcher
- Vernon Wells, Outfield
- Felipe López Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Mike Bordick Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Frank Catalanotto Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- John-Ford Griffin Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Scott Service Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Bobby Kielty Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- "Feature: 2003 Free Agent Draft Pick Compensation". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
- Blue Jays All-Stars | bluejays.com: History
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007