I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading my link posts and for actually clicking through to read some of the stories I include here. And of course, for reading all the other posts we authors and commenters have made here on Bluebird Banter. You don't know how much I really appreciate your patronage. Of course, we certainly can't write everything from every angle, so we are very glad that there is a tremendous group of bloggers and writers who cover the Toronto Blue Jays. It would be quite hard to cover links if no one is writing anything interesting, so thank you other bloggers and writers! Now before I get too teary-eyed, I'll move on....
One of the great things about SB Nation is the existence of FanPosts, where folks like you can pen pieces and start discussions on topics not covered by the writers. An excellent series of FanPosts I'd like to draw your attention to is MjwW's analysis on whether Brett Cecil could become the next Scott Downs or Casey Janssen (part 1, part 2, part 3). They are three long pieces, but they are a good read and has helped me understand more about those three starter-turned-relievers. Right now, we try to bring attention to FanPosts by placing a "Top FanPosts" box right below the cover on the front page, but soon the front page will undergo a small re-design that will bring FanPosts back up to its previous prominence before United was introduced.
Lastly, before actually moving onto the links, I'd like to remind folks in the Toronto area that there will be a screening of the documentary Knuckleball! starring R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, and Phil Niekro) at Tall Boys Craft Beer House (Bloor and Ossington) this coming Thursday, January 3 starting at 7 pm. I'll be there along with other Bluebird Banterers, so come by to say hi!
Blue Jays Related
Blue Jays’ bullpen deep enough but Sergio Santos remains the key - Toronto Star
Richard Griffin takes a look at the Blue Jays' and the other AL East teams' bullpens, and is convinced that the closer title is still a toss up between Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos. I'm a big Janssen fan, and he performed very well in that role last year, so I don't know how John Gibbons can take that job away from him before the season starts.
Revamped roster has Blue Jays sitting pretty - bluejays.com
Gregor Chisholm previews 2013, looking at the Blue Jays' starting second baseman, starting pitching depth, starting catcher, Sergio Santos, Melky Cabrera, Ricky Romero, John Gibbons, Darren Oliver, and Jose Bautista.
New throwing technique pays dividends for Steve Delabar - bluejays.com
Gregor Chishom writes about Steve Delabar.
Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels changing baseball’s landscape as New York Yankees fade - National Post
John Lott looks at some significant changes in the American League this offseason.
Top Seasons In Jays History - Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Batter's Box contributor John Northey looks at the best and worst years at each position in Blue Jays history by various measures (OPS, OPS+, bWAR, fWAR).
The 1992 World Series By the Numbers - The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian looks at some fascinating facts about the 1992 World Series. Here's a couple I'd like to share: there were 4 one-run games in the World Series, and the Blue Jays bullpen surrendered a total of one earned run. By the way, Game 6 of the 1992 and 1993 World Series are available on iTunes--go check it out! Tom shared his observations of the 1992 World Series here.
19-3 - Back in Blue Network
After watching the 1992 World Series on Sportsnet, Andrew Hendriks wishes that the sports channel will show the game from September 10, 1977, when the expansion Blue Jays beat the division-leading Yankees 19-3.
2013 AL East Batting Practice Caps and Uniforms - SportsLogos.Net
Chris Creamer chimes in on the AL East's new batting practice caps. On the same site, JR Francis wrote a dissenting opinion on the Atlanta Braves' controversial design. I made my comments about the Jays cap here.
The "R.A. Dickey Face" Contest Finalists - Amazin' Avenue
The Mets' SB Nation blog held a contest for the best Photoshopping of R.A. Dickey's face. There were some wonderful contributions so go take a look. You betcha we'll steal the idea for this contest in 2013.
Around The League
Getting Navel-Gazey: Favorite Things of 2012 - Getting Blanked
Drew Fairservice wrote about his five favourite baseball things in 2012 over at Getting Blanked.
The Designated Columnists select the best of things you didn't know had best-of categories 2012 - Baseball Nation
SB Nation Baseball's Designated Columnists Cee Angi, Michael Bates, Cliff Corcoran, Marc Normandin, and Bill Parker as well as editor Steven Goldman each wrote a piece on the Best of 2012. Goldman wrote about the Marlins' latest firesale, Bates writes about baseball's new appreciation for speed and defense, Corcoran writes about Manny Machado's fake throw to first to nab a runner at third as well as his other favourite baseball things (#3 is R.A. Dickey), Parker wrote about the Reds' Todd Frazier's "Look Ma, No Hands!" homer, Normadin wrote about Daniel Nava, and Angi chimed in with her opinion on Chris Sale. I'd like to thank all the designated columnists who have contributed pieces on Bluebird Banter in 2012 for your distinct insights and viewpoints.
Best of 2012: Baseball Stories - Baseball Nation
Rob Neyer writes about the biggest baseball stories in 2012. He includes the Blue Jays' big offseason moves, but forgets about Mike Trout's debut.
Baseball predictions for 2013 - MLB - Joe Sheehan - SI.com
Joe Sheehan predicts a World Series for the Blue Jays. Also: New York City isn't the biggest city in the world by any measure, really.
Ryan Freel’s ex-wife links former Blue Jay’s death to head injuries - thestar.com
Mike Tierney of the New York Times (via the Toronto Star) spoke with Ryan Freel's ex-wife (ex-widow?), who feels that Freel's suicide may have been caused by repeated head injuries because of the way he plays the game. Freel's parents have approved donation of his brain tissue to a Boston University research group studying chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
In pro sports, gay athletes still feel unwelcome - L.A. Times
This is the story everyone on Twitter is talking about. Kevin Baxter wrote a piece about the difficulties surrounding homosexual athletes coming out while still playing. He quotes L.A. Angels outfielder Torii Hunter:
"For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right," he says. "It will be difficult and uncomfortable."
After much criticism online, Hunter responded saying:
I'm very disappointed in Kevin Baxter's article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being . I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true
Don't believe everything u read. Misleading and way out of context.— Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) December 31, 2012
Thanks again for reading and see you all back in 2013!