Today is the Blue Jays' first off day since they started playing spring games, and the first in a series of three Mondays with no Jays games. The Jays are back tomorrow at 1 pm. Team Canada will be playing their first game--against Italy--this Friday at 12:30 pm, so mark your calendars.
One quick public service announcement before the links: the guys at Back in Blue will be playing a twelve-hour video game marathon at the Jays Care Community Clubhouse at the Rogers Centre to raise $2000 for the Blue Jays' charitable foundation. It will be happening on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 9 am to 9 pm (the Blue Jays are on the road in Kansas City). I will be reminding you again to donate closer to the event date.
Blue Jays Related
Respect the knuckleballer - ESPN
Tim Kurkjian writes that R.A. Dickey, like others in the knuckleballer fraternity, deserves more respect and less skepticism. Tom Candiotti, Tim Wakefield, and Charlie Hough chip in quotes about the disrespect they felt through their careers.
Future Power Rankings 2013 (Nos. 15-1) - ESPN (Insider Only)
Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney put together a list of the MLB Future Power Rankings for the 30 MLB franchises. Categories included: quality of major league roster, quality and quantity of prospects, finances, management (ownership, front office, coaching staff), mobility (young cheap players or old immovable players). The Cardinals finished first overall with a score of 84.3/100. The Blue Jays are 13th, with an overall score of 55.8 putting them behind the Rays, Yankees, and the Red Sox in the power rankings. The Jays were 6th last year, with a score of 69.3. The biggest drop came in their minor league ranking, dropping 20 points in that category. Their major league roster score, surprisingly, only went up by 4 points. Olney writes "They'll be contenders for a while" because of the long-term contracts the club has with key players. Bowden writes that the Jays "decimated their farm system" but won't be able to rebuild it the way they have because of changes to the CBA. Law writes about Aaron Sanchez, who has the "raw stuff and delivery to develop into an ace if he can develop average or better control."
Bautista’s temper a concern for Jays’ manager Gibbons - The Globe and Mail
I remember how grumpy I was when I was studying for exams... I wonder what he's studying. But seriously, good for John Gibbons to deal with Jose Bautista's attitude. His whining became quite irksome starting last season, especially if he is considered to be a clubhouse leader.
Bautista having bad days - Sportsnet.ca
Dirk Hayhurst--who has been doing a wonderful colour job on the radio--penned a few vignettes on Jose Bautista's crankiness, Florida's cool weather, being afraid to speak to Roy Halladay, Ricky Romero's knees, and includes a video of R.A. Dickey throwing knuckleballs.
Colby Rasmus Is Running Out of Runway - Tao of Stieb
Uncle Tao continues his "37 Jays in 37ish Days" (little typo there in the title) with the mystery wrapped in an enigma: Colby Rasmus. I am one of the folks who genuinely like Rasmus and hope he finally breaks out and reach his potential this season, but as a realist I think the chance of that happening isn't better than even.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Colby Rasmus feels his new manager won’t hit the panic button when adversity strikes - National Post
John Lott with a nice piece that looks into the psyche of Colby Rasmus. What I got out of this article--and Rasmus' history going back to his time with the Cardinals--is that he is someone who is quite affected by his emotions. That's not a problem as long as he has someone there--a coach, a teammate, a therapist--who can guide him along the ups and downs of a 162-game season.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Dustin McGowan possibly back in bullpen race - National Post
John Lott reports on Dustin McGowan and Brad Lincoln's possible future in the Blue Jays' bullpen. McGowan hasn't thrown off of a mound in a full calendar year, so I'd be quite surprised if he would be able to make it onto the Opening Day roster. My guess is that he'd either be placed on the disabled list to start the year, or the Blue Jays will outright him near the end of camp so he can pitch a few games in Buffalo. With his contract, I don't think any other team will try to poach him.
The History of Our Home Openers: 1983 - Jays Journal
Jeff Morten writes about the 1983 Blue Jays Home Opener in his "History of our Home Openers" series over at Jays Journal.
Around The League
World Baseball Classic Country Profiles - Mop Up Duty
I think I have linked a few of these but here are Callum Hughson's profiles of every World Baseball Classic participant country all in one place.
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie calls out Russell Martin - Toronto Star
Brett Lawrie, like I, was annoyed with Russell Martin’s late decision to walk away from Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic. Lawrie called that decision "weak." Lawrie, sticking out his patriotic chest, said "I’m more than willing to go out there and play for my country no matter where I get to play."
Iraq Veteran Participates In Dodgers Tryout - ESPN (video)
Tommy Lasorda invites wounded Marine Daniel "Doc" Jacobs to join the Dodgers' open tryout.