Happy Home Opener Day, everyone! It should really be made a public holiday in Toronto (and the surrounding cities in the Greater Toronto Area). To celebrate this event, the Blue Jays are asking all fans who are attending the Home Opener to head down to the ballpark early and to dress in blue! Bluebird Banter is asking all fans who are joining our Game Day Thread from home to also dress in blue for the occasion!
Just a reminder for those with tickets tonight: doors to the Rogers Centre open at 5 pm, with Henderson Alvarez's first pitch scheduled for 7:07 pm. If you are headed down to the dome, I suggest that you arrive outside the stadium no later than 5:30 if you need tickets printed and no later than 6:15 if you have tickets in order not to miss the first pitch. There will be long lines to get into the stadium. Keep in mind that parking will be difficult to find, and that construction at Union Station has restricted pedestrian corridors for those taking public transit, so allow for more time or use alternatives such as the 510 Spadina streetcar (take a southbound "Union Station" or "Queens Quay & Spadina" streetcar from Spadina station and get off at Bremner Blvd.).
Here are some links for you to peruse while you wait for your Blue Jays facepaint to dry:
I didn't catch yesterday's loss as I was out of town, but I did read these excellent recaps in the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Sportsnet (video), and BlueJays.com (contains video highlights). Be sure to also check out Mike Wilner's game write up at his blog Miked Up, which also includes audio of an extendo version Blue Jays Talk (formerly known as JaysTalk). Considering how negative the calls were after the epic win on Thursday, I am kind of scared to listen to that recording after an actual loss.
Also, check out The Org Guy's recap of the Season Opening Series in Cleveland.
Blue Jays Related
The Toronto Star previews the Home Opening Series
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former pitcher and Toronto native Ron Taylor, who was the first former MLB player to become a team doctor. Taylor pitched for the Indians, Cardinals, Astros, Mets, and Padres in his 11-year career (1962-1972). In the offseasons, he studied at U of T and got a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and right after he retired in 1972 Taylor enrolled at U of T's medical school specializing in sports medicine. Too bad he couldn't play for the Blues baseball team.
Beer sales will be limited at Jays' sold out home opener - The Globe and Mail
Scandalous discrimination against us 500-level fans! In an attempt to limit alcohol-related security incidents in the home opener today, fans in the 500-level and the 500-level only will be limited to purchasing one beer at a time. I think quite a few of the fights that start in the 500-levels have come from kids who have (are) pre-drunk or who have sneaked alcohol-enhanced bottles of pop into the stadium. I doubt that many of them would have spent enough money to actually get drunk off of Rogers Centre beer. If we see fights tonight, perhaps all 500-level fans will be subject to breathalyzer tests upon entry.
Expectations high ahead of Jays home opener - The Globe and Mail
Toronto's sporting hopes and dreams rest on the wings of its Blue Jays. Side note: I saw Phyllis Reid (woman pictured in the article) several times at Spring Training but I was too shy to ask for a picture of her and her funky glasses.
Alvarez, Blue Jays ready for home cooking - BlueJays.com
A bunch of news tidtbits on Alvarez' readiness for the Home Opener, Joel Carreno being optioned, J.P. Arencibia, and Adam Lind's back.
Following Perez's failed outing, Jonah Keri argues for the elimination of the save stat to help managers handle their bullpen better--like putting in their best reliever at the highest leverage situation. Hat tip to VanSulsky for the FanPost.
Hope for the Blue Jays This Season - NYTimes.com
As ecb282 (or is it ecb182?) kindly shared yesterday, Tyler Kepner wrote a tiny piece about the Jays in "Bats", the New York Times' baseball blog.
J.P. Arencibia and Brett Lawrie in their best Easter tuxes. [Warning: Link contains autoplaying video with sound]
How can you not love these Blue Jays?
More links after the jump.
Around the League
30 Seconds: Talking Pitching, but Not Looking to Coach It - NYTimes.com
Another piece from "Bats", Joe Brescia chats with former Jay and current YES analyst David Cone about the Yankees. Cone recognizes that the Blue Jays will be "much improved." It took a couple of reads for me to understand it, but I think Cone used the word "wildcard" to mean "unpredictable" rather than referring to the winner of the two Wild Card positions.
Bob Uecker mourning the loss of 52-year-old son - FOX Sports
Sad news in the baseball family: Steve Uecker, son of Bob, died on Friday at 52 due to complications related to San Joaquin Valley fever. Bob Uecker was was back at the broadcast booth on Saturday. This is why the Mets took such caution with Ike Davis this spring.
Mike Wallace's legacy includes Roger Clemens interview - USA Today
Legendary reporter Mike Wallace's final interview for 60 Minutes was with Roger Clemens right after the release of the Mitchell Report. Wallace, 93, died Saturday.
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologizes for saying he loves Fidel Castro | Sports | National Post
Which sentence will I write more often this year: "Ozzie Guillen's mouth got him in trouble again", or "Mike McCoy was optioned to AAA Las Vegas"?
Yankees, Red Sox both 0-3 for first time since 1966
Don't you love headlines like this?
Fox's Tim McCarver: Social networking 'disturbing' - USA Today
Tim McCarver, who won the Ford C. Frick award in 2012 over Tom Cheek, thinks that "there is nothing [...] more disturbing than social networking."