The Toronto Blue Jays are in Baltimore today, scheduled to play two games at Camden Yards today, with game 1 at 4:05 pm Eastern and game 2 starting shortly after the first one's completion. The Blue Jays have had a six-game losing streak since they played two in New York last Wednesday, so there is a chance that the team can manage a feat of losing eight in six days, as pointed out by Twitterian @The_Road_Guy. I did some digging and found out that the Jays completed that feat of futility once before, losing 8 games between June 9 and June 14, 1978, a streak that included three straight double header sweeps.
But before the Toronto-Baltimore double header, baseball fans in Toronto will get a taste of a do-or-die baseball game with team Canada taking on team Germany at 1 pm Eastern in the World Baseball Classic qualifying final. This will be a rematch of Saturday afternoon's game, where Germany hung in for seven nail-biting innings before the Canadians pulled away to a 16-7 victory. A win will send the Canadians to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, a loss will... let's not talk about that. The pressure is definitely on for Canada. As of writing team Canada's manager Ernie Whitt had not announced a starter, while Germany's manager Greg Frady has tapped the services of Andre Hughes. The game will can be seen on Sportsnet One and online for free at the WBC website, and Bluebird Banter will be doing a GameThread as well.
Here are your Monday morning links:
Blue Jays Related
It's depressing times in Blue Jays land, but as The Org Guy puts it, this tough season has really helped fans take off their rose-coloured glasses on the players. I know that if Alex Anthopoulos is to make this team into a winner next year, we will have to say goodbye to players and prospects that we are attached to. It would've been difficult for me to let some of these players go last offseason, but after losing so many players to injuries and trades this year, I think it will be easier to stomach now.
Inside Baseball: Jays would like to forget 2012 - The Buffalo News
Alex Anthopoulos, Paul Beeston, Cito Gaston, and Roberto Alomar talk about the Jays' annus horribilis.
Anthopoulos plans to rebuild the Jays' nest - Toronto Sun
"Rebuild" as in fixing up and adding to, not as in blowing up and starting again. Alex Anthopoulos says that are better tradable assets this year compared to last--but I'm not too sure how true that is. The true value prospects are still only found in Lansing or Dunedin. Chad Jenkins' decent appearances so far in the Majors probably helps his value a little after he and Deck McGuire struggled through the Eastern League. I don't know how significant of a piece the Blue Jays can get back with the likes of Anthony Gose, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Moises Sierra alone or in a package.
Remember when Toronto fans were all up in arms when Alex Anthopoulos told the Toronto Star's Brendan Kennedy that he wasn't sure about Carlos Villanueva's durability as a starter? I was surprised at how angry some fans got at the general manager for saying what he did. Villanueva is a prospective free agent who will be seeking the most money possible on the open market. The Blue Jays will most likely be one of the leading teams looking to sign him, and it is their job to get him at the cheapest price they can. It's all part of the negotiation process. Villanueva just hit inning number 120 in his last start, and that is 6 more than he's ever thrown in a single season since 2006 when he threw 182 innings (AA, AAA, MLB combined). I'm not saying that he shouldn't be back next year, but he does not deserve a long-term contract with starter money yet.
Evaluating Carlos Villanueva isn’t different from your job - Jays Journal
Josh Menezes has a similar opinion on CV.
EE Rising - Jays Journal
Yea this has been a crappy season for almost everyone... except for Edwin Encarnacion. I hope he stays healthy for the rest of the season so we can see a third consecutive Home Run King wearing a Blue Jays jersey.
Flashback Friday: Aaron Hill's Steal of Home - The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian looks back at one of the most exciting plays I've ever seen.
Down On The Farm
Bisons notebook: Team getting to work on new duds, logo for 2013 - The Buffalo News
Hold off buying those Bisons hats, yall. Buffalo has announced that the team is working on a new logo and uniform set for the 2013 season. Previous iterations of the Bisons logo since the team's move into the International League (from the defunct American Association) have been similar in design to their parent club (Cleveland Indians and New York Mets). This time, they want to develop their own identity. Also, there is a long shot that an exhibition game featuring the Blue Jays may be played in Buffalo on March 31. That's nice and all for the folks in Buffalo, but I'd rather the big club fly into Toronto earlier to prepare for the actual season.
Jays place emphasis on winning in Triple-A - The Buffalo News
Blue Jays director of minor league operations Charlie Wilson says that the Jays are interested in developing winning players and championship teams in the minor leagues.
Cormack on Bisons: Jays have to make it work - Sportsnet.ca
The Blue Jays have yet to confirm who will be managing the AAA Buffalo Bisons in 2013, but have said that 2012 Las Vegas 51s manager Marty Brown is a "very strong candidate" while AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano is "not a candidate."
The Return Of Chris Carpenter - Baseball Nation
Most important part of the story of Chris Carpenter's return: Ava Carpenter, Chris' 7-year old daughter, asked for (and got) the rib that was removed from her father's surgery.
Expos' memories in Washington - Sportsnet.ca
Shi Davidi checks in on Ian Desmond, one of the few remaining people in the Washington Nationals organization who still has some ties to the Montreal Expos.
Sources: Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen's job is in danger - FOX Sports
I wonder which franchise Jeffrey Loria will get next once he finishes destroying the Miami Marlins.
Major league managers who speak Spanish bring competitive edge to the game - ESPN
I wonder how many Major League teams do not have at least one Spanish-speaking coach.
Pitchers getting hit by batted balls - ESPN
ESPN catchs up with former pitchers Mike Wilson, Bryce Florie, Norm Charlton, and Willie Blair about their experience getting hit by batted balls.
Baltimore Orioles on a roll in extra-inning games - ESPN
Five kind of cool but mostly useless facts from Jayson Stark.
Fans honor Chipper Jones with corn maze - FOX Sports
You gotta see this.
The Greatest Lines In Baseball-Movie History - Baseball Nation
Did Rob Neyer miss your favourite baseball movie quote?