To conclude a stunning fall from grace, 2012 Opening Day starter Ricky Romero will begin this year in the minors. It's a tragic tale, but this team needs to win now and J.A. Happ gives them a better chance to do that. Romero may well rise again but for now the rotation is finalized. With the fifth starter controversy resolved, this squad is more or less set for Opening Day. And what an Opening Day it will be...The kind of excitement surrounding the 2013 Blue Jays hasn't been seen 'round these parts in a dog's age. In six days time baseball of a meaningful sort will be played. Nothing can compare to that, but perhaps a serving of morning links can help satisfy the hunger for baseball.
BLUE JAYS LINKS
J.A. Happ grabs the last spot in the rotation.
The Blue Jays have done an excellent job of selling the return of Gibbons. Its safe to say I was sold before reading this article, but a little praise of Gibby never hurt anyone.
A slightly less cheery Gibbons-related story but it seems like he's going to be alright which is obviously all that matters.
Another installment of Tao's one-by-one roster analysis examines the player on the Blue Jays roster who is arguably least able to play baseball.
I'll believe it when I see it, although it's not like anyone can really catch the knuckleball anyway.
R.A. Dickey releases the paperback edition of his bestselling autobiography, Wherever I Wind Up, on Tuesday via Penguin Canada.
AL EAST LINKS
Season ticket snafus and lame promotions abound. Can the Orioles right the ship? If I were the Orioles I would have my foot on the gas trying to keep any fans picked up in 2012, but it seems like they are doing the opposite.
A comprehensive look at the use of the shift, the importance of Longoria, and the missing aspect to his swing.
I don't think anyone analyzes the little things in baseball as well as Jeff Sullivan. This time it's pitch framing, and the poster boy for pitch framing as a meaningful skill, none other than Jose Molina.
THE REST OF THE BASEBALL UNIVERSE LINKS
Are these crazy predictions? Or are they just sane enough?
Crazy? Or just barely sane enough to happen?The prediction of no Jays rookies above 1 WAR seems pessimistic but very possible.
The Triple-A affiliate for the Philadelphia Phillies will introduce pee-controlled video gaming in men’s washrooms when the season kicks off next week. I am speechless.
Worth reading for the headline alone.
Fangraphs ranks the top bullpens in the league. The Blue Jays check in at #6 behind only the Yankees in the AL East. I'll take that.
Good to see Lohse find a home, if only because it means that we don't have to read Lohse speculation anymore. Good but not great pitcher gets big but not huge contract, end of story.
NON-BASEBALL LINK OF THE DAY
Explore BBC's graphical guide to the advances of the future, from 2013 to 2150 and their odds of occurring. As a huge fan of prop bets, this seems like the logical next step.