Today is Jackie Robinson Day, and all across Major League Baseball, every single player, coach, manager, and umpire will wear #42 on their jerseys to remember and honour the man who broke baseball's "colour barrier." I would like to take this Monday morning post to not only honour the heroics of Robinson, but also Larry Doby, Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, Pee Wee Reese, and everyone else who was in the pioneering stage of racial integration in baseball. Many children today cannot imagine a world where players of different skin colours had to play in different leagues, stay in different hotels, eat from different places, and drink from different water fountains--and that's a good thing.
Today, however, baseball (and other professional sports) is still has a different type of barrier--a social barrier that has prevented homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual professional athletes from making their sexual orientation be known publicly. When you're watching teams of 42's playing each other tonight, just remember that Jackie Robinson and his contemporaries showed us that if someone has the skills to play, then they can play.
Blue Jays Related
Next Man Up - The Tao of Stieb
The Org Guy looks at the difference between losing a player in football versus losing one in baseball, and then explores how teams can best prepare for inevitable injuries.
Blue Jays’ Buehrle says pitching to White Sox will be ‘weird’ - The Globe and Mail
Mark Buehrle will be facing his old team for the first time since he left them as a free agent.
Guy Spurrier is back after a winter of hibernation, or something! He reports on what Alex Anthopoulos had to say with the experiment of placing Brett Lawrie at second base before the game and his ETA back to Toronto. He also has a tweet from Lawrie that could use some help from the Brett Lawrie Bablefish. Later in the piece he suggested that the Jays could explore signing free agent Ryan Theriot, who I believe is a World Series lucky charm.
37 Jays - Emilio Bonifacio Is What He Is...Which Is What, Exactly? - The Tao of Stieb
Emilio Bonifacio, or "Boney," is next up in the Tao of Stieb's 37 Jays in Not More Than 37 Months series. Coming into the season, I think Boney's versatility in the field, speed, and style of play blinded us to the fact that he really isn't particularly good playing anywhere in the diamond, and his bat hasn't been one that would get him on base enough for his speed to matter.
BP Unfiltered: Morosi on the Blue Jays - Baseball Prospectus
R.J. Anderson and research assistant Andrew Koo looked into the transaction records and found that no team other than the 2013 Blue Jays have made three waiver claims in April since 2009. The Blue Jays have claimed 19 players since the end of the 2012 season--how many can you name? Try out on this Sporcle game!
Down on the Farm
On Sunday, I was at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo to watch a doubleheader between the Buffalo Bisons and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (fun fact: the RailRiders play neither in Scranton nor Wilkes-Barre; they play in Moosic). It was a beautiful sunny day, but the breeze was strong and when the sun started to go down it started getting a little too cold for comfort, but at least I could duck inside the press box every now and then to warm up. Otherwise there was nothing to complain about: the border was a breeze to cross, parking right across the ballpark was $5, and we walked up to the box office to get tickets to the second row behind home plate for $7. We were greeted with free ice cream walking into the stadium, and got a free Subway sandwich on the way out since the Bisons scored more than five runs.
I will let the folks linked below do the recapping, but I just have a few quick observations from the nearly six hours of baseball on Sunday:
- Moises Sierra does have a very strong arm (he gunned down a runner in game 1) but he still makes some boneheaded mistakes, like letting a couple of runners advance when he caught a flyball and forgot to throw it back in. The top of the first inning lasted around 30 minutes--a combined 49 pitches to seven batters from Miguel Batista and Mickey Storey.
- Anthony Gose swung a hot bat but got caught straying too far off first base.
- Dave Bush had a rocky first inning but settled down really well for a five-inning outing.
- Miguel Batista hit a few 90's in his short start. He didn't get through the first inning (44 pitches) but that was due to some shoddy defense behind him. I think this "rough first inning" thing has passed down from the big league club. Lots of "pasta diving" if you know what I mean.
- Recent waiver acquisition Mauro Gomez was an absolute mess at first base. He couldn't field balls hit towards him, and he has next to zero range.
- Ryan Goins stroked a pretty double against a lefty in the first game, and made a great fielding play to end that game.
- Because of the doubleheader, we saw everyone on the Buffalo Bisons roster except for spring training hero Lance Zawadzki and starting pitchers Ramon Ortiz, Claudio Vargas, and Justin Germano.
April 14 Minor League Report - Blue Jays from Away
BJfA, now no longer living abroad, recaps the Blue Jays' minor league action on Sunday. It was great sitting with him during the Bisons game! Give him a follow at @JaysFromAway. I also got to meet Kieran and Matt from Blue Jays Way--go check out their blog!
From Rain to Pain - Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Gerry at Batter's Box also recapped affiliate results from Sunday.
I think this will become a staple for the Monday Morning Media Mashups because a) I forget to link content I've read and b) lots of great stuff comes out Monday morning after this gets posted.
Behind The Scenes As 60 Minutes Profiles Dickey - Drunk Jays Fans
Andrew Stoeten posted links to some fantastic clips of R.A. Dickey's interview on 60 Minutes, including a "behind the scene" clip not featured in the full piece (linked below).
R.A. Dickey on '60 Minutes' - CBSSports.com
CBS Sports presents the full clip of Dickey's appearance on 60 Minutes.
Blue Jays’ Mark Buehrle will face Chicago White Sox for first time - National Post
Guy Spurrier looks at Mark Buehrle's history facing the players on the Chicago White Sox. [Hint: there is almost none]
Sixteen years after Jackie Robinson’s debut, Bob Oliver got to see baseball’s ugly side - National Post
Also from the National Post, John Lott spoke with Bob Oliver, Darren's dad, about his experience playing in the American South during the 1960s, and how why his teammates brought box lunches on road trips.
Ten Stray Things I Hate About This Column (On A Friday) - Getting Blanked
This is why I love Dustin Parkes. He neatly unpacks Jon Morosi's latest troll column.
Recapping a weekend of baseball - Baseball Nation
As linked below by jays182, Grant Brisbee writes about this past weekend in baseball.
Life Without Jose Reyes Begins - The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian's take on the Blue Jays' loss of their leadoff man.