Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Are baseball games too long?

Out of all the major North American team sports, baseball is different from all the others, it's the only one without a clock. Some see that as an issue, essentially driving away a younger demographic that is used to constant action, constant stimulation. As the average fan gets older, younger fans must be drawn to the grand old game. The factors leading to the decline of new fans aren't as clear cut as they may seem, competition for the entertainment dollar is as high as it's ever been.

Monday, February 27, 2017

ST League Influenced Division Changes

Spring Training is finally in full swing, and as I am putting the finishing touches on this bad boy, I see a post in my Facebook feed saying Kendrys Morlasses has hit his first dinger. Yay, only 299 more to go to justify having you in place of the Parrot King of Homers (I kid, sorta). Anyways, I don't really follow games during ST, mostly due to times that they air, partial lack of TV coverage, and the lazy part of me just waiting for the small highlight clips the next day on TSN/Sportsnet. The part of me that does like ST is mostly because the league kinda abandons the traditional NL and AL when it comes to Cactus and Grapefruit leagues, and it opens up some games against teams we may not really play that often or at all during the course of the regular season.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Non-Roster Pitcher Predictions

Mat Latos: Rotation Option, Bullpen Arm or just a clubhouse distraction?

Grapefruit League begins tomorrow! But how long until the novelty of baseball wears off and we roll our eyes at the AAA fodder, prospects bound for Double-A ball, and pitchers stretching out and trying new pitches? 2 or 3 games, max? But hey, baseball is baseball, right??

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Small Town Stadiums

Port Arthur Stadium, Thunder Bay

In my hometown there is a beautiful old ballpark. It is more or less exactly what you’d expect from a baseball field in a town too small and too far away to house anything more than collegiate summer ball: awning-sheltered seats along the baselines with a few bleachers extending after that, not enough room or patrons to justify anything more than a scoreboard in the outfield. The structure is relatively plain steel and concrete and there are no luxury boxes. But man, Port Arthur Stadium is a hell of a ballpark.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is Kendrys Morales a legitimate option at first base?

Morales (assumingly) goin' yard

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the Kendrys Morales off-season signing. The Blue Jays gave him 3 years and $33 million early in the winter to slot into the middle of the line-up, giving them a switch-hitting power presence.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cherington likes us! He really does

The only shot of Cherington in the Blue Jays wilds. Seriously press photogs, get on that!

On Friday, Ben Cherington went on the Blair show and talked about how impressed he is by Ross, how the best players on the team were also the hardest workers, and how happy he is with the folks working with him in player development.

You can listen to the 15 min interview here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The "I" word.

With the news that Josh Donaldson has injured his calf, it isn't the same one that he injured last year, it might be a good time to look at how injuries might play a factor in the Blue Jays upcoming season.

1) Donaldson had an MRI and was diagnosed with a right calf strain. He was on crutches when he met the press on Sunday and expected to be on them for 2-3 days. He'll be recovering for 2-3 weeks which will still allow plenty of time for him to be ready for the regular season. Griff noted that, with the way he was dragging his foot, the prognosis may be optimistic. Last year he injured his left calf during the exhibition games in Montreal and it flared up from time to time during the 2016 season. Donaldson had been doing extra core exercises in the offseason to deal with the hip issues that also plagued him last year.

2) Kendrys Morales has his own history with injuries mostly because of a fractured tibia that has kept him off the field in various seasons throughout his career. The problem started when he hit a grand slam, landed on home plate and broke his leg. Here's the video.

3) Devon Travis had off season knee surgery, to remove a flap of cartilage  and is now just resuming sprints. He also had a bone bruise last year and this is the update..

"Travis said he's not feeling any pain, although he isn't certain the bone bruise is gone. He expects to increase his lateral movement over the next few days."

4) Newly signed Steve Pearce has recovered from surgery on his right forearm and according to Atkins, is expected to be the Jays starting left fielder with Smoak taking the bulk of the time at first base.

5) Russ Martin had orthoscopic knee surgery, to repair his meniscus, which led to concerns and uninsurable for the WBC. According an interview, Russ is fully healed and his meniscus is fine.

6)There's been nothing reported on Marco Estrada's herniated disc, that bothered him at the end of last season. At least that I can find, so if someone has an updated report, feel free to link it.

7) I also haven't seen anybody report on Bautista'a arm ( shoulder?) issues but he did pass the physicals for his new contract so maybe there's no problem?

There will be more injuries, I doubt from sprinkler heads, that problem has been fixed, so here's hoping that they'll be few and the depth options remain that way. Depth options.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

#TBT - Dunedin 1977 and some personal memories

My uncle, who died a week ago, and my aunt brought me back this coin from their trip to Dunedin in 1977. They made the trip every year until my aunt's health made it impossible to go.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy First Workout Day!

Here we go. Pitchers throwing to catchers. A million "best shape of my life" interviews. Isn't it grand?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day!

Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Now for most other people, today is Valentines Day, but for us this day is a celebration for a very different reason. Today is the day for pitchers and catchers to report. Tomorrow is the first workout.

Congrats everyone! We made it through!

Griffin has his tips for enjoying Dunedin.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Transaction Fridays?

Come on, Ross! Is there a LF still out there to tantalize us with?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The WBC - Team Canada

Image result for 2017 world baseball classic

With Spring Training just around the corner, pitchers and catchers for the Jays report Feb.15th,full squad Feb 18th, that must mean we're breathlessly anticipating the World Baseball Classic. Team Canada has been grouped with Columbia, Belarus, Dominican Republic and the US of A. Canada's first game being played March 9 against the DR in Miami.

For those of you interested the Jays have 10 players from their major and minor league teams playing the The Classic.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Hater's Guide to the AL East

Being in the AL East sucks. With the perpetually rich New York and Boston, always-kind-of-there Baltimore, and bad-but-comes-out-of-nowhere-to-win-90-games Tampa, trying to contend in this division can be infuriating. But the standings aren’t the only reason to hate the teams Toronto competes against. No, dear reader, there are many, MANY more reasons to despise these guys. What follows is a team-by-team examination of why we hate the AL East.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

On ground balls, synergy, and Justin Smoak

Every year, we see teams hunting for every possible hidden advantage they can find. The Red Sox often look for right-handed power to take advantage of their wonky park dimensions. The Yankees do the same from the other side of the plate to maximize their Little League right field. Teams in homerun-suppressing stadiums can load their rotation with extreme fly-ball pitchers, and teams with smaller outfields can afford outfielders with less range.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fuck the Massholes

This is evergreen sentiment.

I'm so disgusted by last night's fellitating of the Patriots I figured I wasn't the only one. This is your chance to dump on everything Masshole related - football and baseball.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Party weekend!

Every weekend is an open thread to shoot the shit. There will be a challenge each week but don't feel confined by it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Transaction Fridays?

Come on, Ross! Give us something.

Yeah, yeah, making JP Howell official. We need more!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Forgotten Fan Favorites Vol. #4: Otto Velez

Otto Velez with Roberto and Sandy Alomar. Velez had played on the Santurce Crabbers (winter ball) with their dad.

This one was suggested by RADAR. You young 'uns may not have heard much about the first great DH in Jays history but he was a highlight of the Jays' early seasons. He was the very first Jay to be named AL player of the month (April 1977!) According to Batter's Box, that was the best month by a Jay ever, even better than Edwin.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Toronto's Options in Left Field

As the Blue Jays players rest their bones in warmer weather this winter, the focus for sports in Toronto has been on the near-children playing hockey. The Maple Leafs are competing with a roster of unprecedented young talent, riding them to relative success at the halfway point of the season. While the Leafs are a youthful blossom of energy, it is safe to say that their baseball neighbours are…not that. The Blue Jays are an old team, one of the oldest in the majors, and they haven’t done anything this offseason to either get younger or stop the passage of time.