Happy 36th birthday to former Blue Jays Lyle Overbay and Bob File (@BobFile)! File was the Jays' 19th round pick in 1998. He was selected as an infielder but made his debut as a reliever in 2001, finishing with a 3.27 ERA, and 1.157 WHIP in 74 innings with 38 strikeouts on 29 walks. He pitched only five games in 2002 and just 24 in 2004 before signing on with the Cardinals, but was forced to retire after spring training after sustaining a back injury. Overbay played in 723 games with the Blue Jays between 2006 and 2010. He had an excellent 2006 season before sliding into the role of team scapegoat. Jerry Howarth famously chastised Toronto fans for booing him on his return as a Pittsburgh Pirate.
On a completely different topic, I received a Spring Training pamphlet from the Baltimore Orioles (I attended a game in beautiful Ed Smith Stadium last spring) and was shocked that the Baltimore Orioles are hosting a WBC exhibition game against Team Spain in Sarasota, Florida. How come they can do that but the Blue Jays are unable host a game in Dunedin against Team Canada? I'm quite upset about this.
A couple of minor league free agents that slipped through the cracks: the Blue Jays have signed IF Jarrett Hoffpauir (who last appeared in the Majors with the Blue Jays back in 2010 when he played in 13 games) and RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx. The Jays have signed some great names this offseason: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Buddy Carlyle, Ryan Langerhans, Ricardo Nanita, Lance Zawadzki, and of course, Chorye (pronounced "Corey") Spoone.
Blue Jays Related
Reyes, Delgado In Court Case With A PED Twist - Drunk Jays Fans
Former Blue Jay Carlos Delgado is suing his former memorabilia dealer on the order of $767,500 in money owed. Now that dealer is ready to find out whether Delgado used steroids by subpoenaing current Blue Jay Jose Reyes, according to the New York Daily News story linked to by Andrew Stoeten.
"I want to be the first person in memorabilia to keep these people accountable," says the dealer, who obviously appreciates what the BBWAA writers did this year. Is this heroism?
Friday Tweet Bag - Answering Your Winter Questions, Such As They Are - The Tao of Stieb
Uncle Tao answers questions from Twitter.
1998 New York Yankees top the list of the top 10 teams of all time - ESPN (Insider Only)
Buster Onley believes that the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays were the 10th best team of all time. "The roster of the 1993 Blue Jays was extraordinary and ridiculously well-rounded," Buster writes, and reminds us that John Olerud, Paul Molitor, and Roberto Alomar finished 1-2-3 in the batting race that season.
Winter report card: Toronto Blue Jays - SI.com
The Jays receive an "A" preliminary grade in Sports Illustrated's Winter Report Card.
Backups - Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
John Northey takes a look at the Toronto Blue Jays' depth. I will have a version of this up later here this week. Northey wonders why Adam Loewen is listed as an infielder: I did hear that he may be sent to AA New Hampshire to play first base.
Retrometrics: Joe Carter - Blue Jays Way
Matt Brown looks back at the career of Joe Carter using sabermetrics. I know what the numbers say, but man it was fun watching him bat during Sportsnet's replay of the 1992 World Series.
In terms of cost, the grass is always greener for Blue Jays - The Globe and Mail
Robert MacLeod writes about Blue Jays fans' pipe dream of having real grass in the Rogers Centre. I'd love to see natural grass in there, but I just can't see how it is technically and financially feasible.
Down On The Farm
Guests of 3rd Annual Canadians/Jays Luncheon - Blue Jays Nation
Christopher Wilson attended the Vancouver Canadians Hot Stove Luncheon last Friday and provided coverage for Blue Jays Nation. An interesting quote he provides was from Alex Anthopoulos: "prior to [targeting Josh Johnson] we had gone to see a free agent pitcher that we were trying to sign and it just looked like that was going to take a little bit of time." Who do you think that was?
Former First Round Pick Justin Jackson Talks About Converting to Pitching in 2013 - JaysProspects
April Whitzman caught up with minor league Justin Jackson about his transition from shortstop to pitching. April is one of the biggest Blue Jays fans I've ever met and she is applying to become an MLB Fan Caver, so give her video a view and wish her good luck (@Alleycat17)!
Around The League
Delmon Young shouldn't be a major league outfielder - Sports on Earth
Jonathan Bernhardt on the Phillies' Delmon Young:
"The problem with Young’s fielding is not that his arm is weak or his instincts are bad or his range is poor or he’s not as fast as he used to be -- it’s all four of those things at the same time, combined with one of the more spectacularly sustained make-up disasters professional baseball has seen in the last decade."
Domonic Brown, Casper Wells among players being overlooked by their own teams - ESPN (Insider Only)
Speaking of the Phillies, Domonic Brown was cited by Paul Swydan as one of the players most overlooked by his own team. Representing the Blue Jays on that list is Anthony Gose, who is "blocked by" Melky Cabrera. If anyone is blocking Gose, I'd think it is Colby Rasmus.
Chicago White Sox Philip Humber knows the curse of perfection - ESPN The Magazine
Sam Miller looks at Philip Humber's day of perfection, and the less-than-perfect months after it.
Mets and Bourn match unlikely without break from rules - FOX Sports
The Mets want MLB to give them a compensation exemption in order to sign free agent Michael Bourn. They were the 10th worst team in baseball last season, but their first-round pick is not protected because the Pirates' failure to sign Mark Appel in the 2012 draft gives them the 9th pick this year. Do you think Bud Selig should lend the Mets a hand here?