No, it's not a certain opponent. No, it's not a point in the season where they may have done well or not so great.
The Blue Jays' most annoying test this season... is still happening. The "annoying test"... is the string of "tests" that media and some fans have been putting the Blue Jays through (and are STILL putting them through) this season. Something that I don't see any other team that did poorly last year going through.
After May 18, the Blue Jays were 23-22, in 3rd place but only one game behind 1st. They then had a series against the Red Sox, which many said were going to be "a test to see if this team was for real". It doesn't matter that the Red Sox were under the Blue Jays in the standings, because the AL East always plays the Blue Jays tough, and fans would see if the Blue Jays would play tough back.
They did. They swept the Red Sox at Fenway.
Next came the Athletics. "Oh, the Athletics are a good first place team, this will tell us for sure how 'for real' the Blue Jays are." Given how, between the Blue Jays and Athletics, the home team was a dismal 4-9 in their last 13 games before this series, this one I kind of understood.
The Blue Jays swept the Athletics.
Then came the Rays series, and again, I saw tweets/other posts saying "well, they have a hard time against the Rays, this series will tell for sure." They proceeded to sweep the Rays.
Now came the Royals, who the Blue Jays went 2-2 against, and as a result they lost the season series against the Royals 3 games to 4. It was annoying yet understandable that the skeptics came back.
The Tigers came next. The "this is a test" tweets came back again, and the Blue Jays would go on to sweep the Tigers as well.
The Blue Jays struggled to score runs against the Cardinals and Twins - going on to lose both season series 1-2 and 2-4 (in terms of games), respectively, and panic was amok. I don't care where a team is in the standings - the Cardinals weren't in first and the Twins were sitting in last - they are never to be underestimated. More on this in my next fanpost.
Mind you, through ALL of this, the Blue Jays have taken first place and have never relinquished it.
And here we are now, at the Orioles series. Again, people are saying that this series "will see if the Blue Jays are for real". There was panic setting after the Game 1 loss, some giving up after the 2 run home run surrendered in the first inning. As if they'd never win a game again. Well, they won Game 2, and in case nobody has noticed...
The season series is tied. The Blue Jays and Orioles are 4-4 against each other.
Total Runs Scored: Blue Jays 41, Orioles 33
So, not exactly as one-sided as fans on either side might think.
Speaking of the Orioles, they had started 2012 with a bang after a dismal 2011, and even gave the Yankees a run for their money that year. But unlike the 2014 Blue Jays, not once did I see the 2012 Orioles being questioned so vigourously through almost every single series that they played.
Now, what is my point with this entire fanpost? Basically, this: What exactly do the Blue Jays have to do to silence the skeptics among fans and the media? Go 173-0 in the regular season and postseason one year? Do it with the MLB's lowest payroll?
I don't see any other teams going through this. If nothing else this season, I hope the Blue Jays get enough wins to silence these critics once and for all and are finally accepted as a "good team" and "tough opponent to beat".