Heya all. Tony Fernandez Saved My Life and I are now back in Toronto after a fantastic trip down to Spring Training. We were especially tickled when folks walked up to us to say "hi" and say how they read our blog (they recognized us because one of us would wear a Bluebird Banter t-shirt). I also got to chat a little with the Tao of Stieb and Mike Wilner, and handed a copy of my Mike McCoy map to Chris Woodward, who handed it to McCoy in the dugout. Despite spending 7 hours in the Cincinnati airport on Friday (where I wrote this post), it was a great trip. I highly suggest it to all the readers of Bluebird Banter!
I had thought that I may get away with less reading this Sunday, still winding down from the trip, but it turned out to be a pretty big news day, so without further ado here are the links:
The Blue Jays are now 19-4 after another comeback win, this time against the Boston Red Sox, winning 6-5 in 10 innings. Here are the recaps from Bluejays.com, The Globe and Mail, The Associated Press, the FAN 590 (audio recap), and Sportsnet (video recap).
Blue Jays Related
The game was really secondary to the news that Travis Snider was optioned to AAA Las Vegas and that Eric Thames will be the Blue Jays' opening day starter in left field. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the move, including us (see the 350+ comments). I would also like to congratulate Eric Thames for his great spring and for winning the competition--too many articles and comments have been written about Snider's demotion and too few have focused on Thames' success.
First from the blogroll:
The Snider Thing - The Tao of Stieb
The Org Guy over at Tao of Stieb tries to calm the language down--Snider is not being "jerked around" because Snider knew entering camp that chances are that he would be starting in Las Vegas.
Travis Snider’s Bugaboo Lingers - Mop Up Duty
Callum Hughson suggests hiring a left-handed pitcher as a personal instructor to throw Snider some curveballs.
Travis Snider Optioned To Triple A - Drunk Jays Fans
Dustin Parkes makes a rare appearance on DJF and weighs in on Snider's demotion.
Echoes from 527: Thames takes the "Battle for Left Field" - Back In Blue
Also, they raised $1650 for the Jays Care Foundation during their 24-hour baseball video game marathon! Congrats, guys!
How Not to Fulfill the Prophecy - House of the Bluebird
Someone isn't happy at all about the move.
Then from the mainstream media:
In Left Field, Eric Thames - Miked Up
Mike Wilner writes about how poorly Travis Snider's career has been handled so far by the Blue Jays. Includes audio of Anthopoulos talking about Snider's demotion to Las Vegas. AA said that Thames' win is not permanent and that he and Snider will be battling all year. Snider took the demotion like a total pro, but of course was not happy. Sportsnet has a short video about Snider's demotion as well.
Toronto Blue Jays send Travis Snider back to minors - National Post
John Lott didn't see this move as surprising.
Slow and steady wins the race for Jays’ Eric Thames - The Globe and Mail
Steve Kornacki compares Thames-Snider competition to the tortoise and the hare, then he says it's not really that good of a metaphor.
Travis Snider among five Blue Jays players sent to Minor League camp - bluejays.com
Gregor Chisholm reports on Sniders' demotion as well as other players who were cut from camp.
Links from other news items after the jump!
Blue Jays’ Dustin McGowan injured again - National Post
Dustin McGowan has been diagnosed with plantar faciitis. Generally, when your doctor uses Latin to describe what's wrong with you, it's not a good sign. According to Dr. John Lott (and Wikipedia), that is an inflammation of tissue that connects the toes and heel on the foot. See pictures here! This sounds a lot less severe than Scott Podsednik's injury last year, when he tore his plantar fascia.
Richard Griffin writes about how the oft-injured starter Dustin McGowan suffered a foot injury on his 30th birthday. Bluejays.com has a video of Farrell discussing McGowan's injury (poor sound quality).
Richard Griffin's Blue Jays Notes - thestar.com
Interesting point in Griff's blog entry: Rick VandenHurk was not placed on outright waivers to make room for Omar Vizquel, but it was because AA had promised him that he was going to be moved to another team's camp if he was not going to make the team.
Brett Lawrie comes back to play after a week off with groin tightness, Bautista has no broken bones in his hand after getting hit by Daniel Bard's pitch, Sergio Santos finally threw in a game on Saturday after 2.5 weeks off after working on his change, Ben Francisco should be ready for action in about a week.
Cordero, Bautista bested their idols - Toronto Sun
Bob Elliott writes about Francisco Cordero growing up looking up to Jose Mesa (just don't let Omar Vizquel know about that).
Jeff Blair looks at the possibility of Luis Perez being the Jays' long-man out of the bullpen. Blair has a line in there about the Jays possibly putting Carlos Villanueva on the DL to start the season due to his "cold hand" from earlier in the spring--I didn't know that was allowed.
Brandon Morrow plans to change things up this season - The Globe and Mail
Look forward to Morrow using his curveball and split-fingered change-up more often in 2012.
Bautista & Encarnacion's Laser Hair Removal Endorsements - Blue Jay Hunter Tumblr
Generally, baseball players do these types of ads in Japan, but I guess Canada is a foreign enough country for those two. Great find from Ian!
Around the League
Judge says Rays' minor league pitcher is a danger, sets bail at $1.015 million - Bright House Sports Network
Charlotte County assigned a $1,015,000 bail on Matt Bush, who remains under custody after being receiving seven DUI-related charges. The motorcyclist he allegedly struck remains in hospital with serious injuries.
Power struggle between Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington may weaken Red Sox - The Boston Globe
Just over three months into his tenure, a public rift has appeared between Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and GM Ben Cherington. Valentine wants Jose Iglesias to start at short, and wants Daniel Bard to return to the bullpen.
Divided opinion on spring training protocol - The Globe and Mail
Joe Maddon has barred Major League scouts from watching part of the Rays' workouts. What is the worth of advance scouting during spring training?
Banned from South Korea, Orioles Look to the North - NotGraphs
Kim Jong Il may have shot 38 under par with 11 holes-in-one the first time he golfed, but his son Kim Jong Un has pitched 10 perfect games in his 10 career starts while hitting a hot .730 with 20 HR. The pitchers who got him out in 27% of his at bats all subsequently "retired" and were never heard from again.
Acclaimed boxing writer Bert Sugar dies of cardiac arrest at 75 - ESPN
RIP. Click here to hear a clip of Bert talking about the great Ali-Frazier fight in Madison Square Gardens in the shadows of the Vietnam War.
Congrats to Tiger Woods for winning his first PGA tournament since the big scandal. I don't have to like him as a human being to appreciate his skills.