The last time the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series was in 1993.
The No. 1 song was "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. Will Smith was "The Fresh Prince of Bell Air" and the sitcom star was yelling "Yo homes smell ya later," to the cab driver.
A lot has changed since then. The Blue Jays' playoff drought continues to drag, as the club has failed to make the playoffs since Joe Carter hit the walk-off homer in Game Six of the 1993 World Series.
The Blue Jays finished with a 81-81 record and placed 4th in the AL East in 2011, despite having Jose Bautista, who is one of the best hitters in the American League. Bautista offers Toronto hope going forward, but there is still a lot of work to do.
Toronto are matched up against powerhouses like the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and the prolific New York Yankees in the competitive AL East. It's difficult to make the playoffs in Major League Baseball, and the Blue Jays appear to have a tougher challenge than most teams given their division.
Here are the two main reasons why the Blue Jays won't make the playoffs until the playoff system is fixed:
1. Hardly any teams make the playoffs
Eight is not enough. With more teams advancing to the playoffs, teams like the Blue Jays would place more emphasis on making a run if they're not in the hunt by the All-Star break.
2. Salary Cap
There is no limit in how much money a team can spend on players' salaries. This is a major problem. Owners with deep pockets have an obvious advantage over those that don't. The Yankees and Red Sox have a far bigger payroll than the Blue Jays.
MLB 2011 Team Salaries
New York Yankees: $207,047,964
Toronto Blue Jays: $70,567,800
If you were to compare post-season appearances against average team revenue, you would find that a little more than half of getting to the post-season is determined by team revenue.
The system needs to be fixed, but don't expect any changes soon. Commissioner Bud Selig is a stickler to keep the traditional format.
Despite this, there is still hope. It's not all about the money as team chemistry is a huge key to a winning franchise. There is still hope for Toronto. The team can succeed with a fresh strategy, like other clubs who have won titles without a bloated payroll.