Blue Jays fans can put an end to the speculations that Jerry Howarth will be looking for another new partner on the radio for 2014 as the long-time play-by-play announcer confirmed to Jays Journal’s Michael Wray that analyst Jack Morris will be returning to the booth for at least one more season. Chatter started after Bob Elliott reported that Morris "may not return to the Jays" in his annual "Most Influential Canadians" post.
At a church event, Howarth told Wray that Morris had been waiting on the Hall of Fame announcement to decide whether to continue broadcasting. Receiving just 61.5% of the votes in his last year of eligibility, Morris was dropped off of the ballot—and back into the Sportsnet 590 booth at the Rogers Centre. Considering taking time off broadcasting following a call to Cooperstown makes sense, as he could have probably made more and worked less by doing speaking tours and endorsements.
But having a Hall of Famer in the broadcast booth would not have been new for the Blue jays. The club’s inaugural broadcast team consisted of Tom Cheek on play-by-play and Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn as his sidekick. Although Wynn departed by 1980—making way for Jerry Howarth—he is fondly remembered for the stories he told by fans who listened to him. Cheek’s widow Shirley recalled a somewhat inappropriate joke Wynn made about certain fans who had come in from the Hooker Chemical Company.
When Jack Morris was announced as Alan Ashby’s successor, reports about him were not positive. However, he ended up being more than just tolerable—I actually enjoyed his voice in the booth, despite the fact that his chemistry with Howarth was not yet fully developed.
The Myth Of "The Policy" Rears Its Head Yet Again - Drunk Jays Fans
Andrew Stoeten has been pulling more than his weight fighting writers and bloggers who carelessly drop Alex Anthopoulos's supposed "five-year limit" to contracts as reasons why top free agents would avoid Toronto.
Wells's return to Blue Jays would be a low risk - TSN
Toronto has this mystifying fascination with bringing back old stars late in their careers for a second stint. As Scott Ferguson pointed out in his latest piece for TSN, that list included Alfredo Griffin (1992-1993), Dave Stieb (1998), Pat Borders (1999), Pat Hentgen (2004). Except for Tony Fernandez, who had excellent 1998 and 1999 seasons in his third stint in Toronto, I think all of these "victory laps" have been pretty god-awful. So, why Ferguson would want the Blue Jays to consider signing the recently designated Vernon Wells as a fourth outfielder or platoon with Adam Lind when Moises Sierra is out of options and will likely outperform ol' number 10?
Last season Wells hit .281 against the Jays with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. At Rogers Centre, he batted .357 with two homers and six runs batted in. Granted, both are extremely small sample sizes, but the pride he showed facing his original team has to count for something.
Oh yes, of course, pride. Something that geek stats and projection systems still have not figured out how to include in their formulae. If Wells is released and is willing to sign a minor league deal with a spring training invite--which he will not--then that would truly be a "risk-free" move for the Jays and I wouldn't mind it, but outside of Mickey Storey and perhaps Brent Morel, I'm not sure who the Blue Jays would be willing to expose on waivers in order to give Wells a roster spot.
Brandon Morrow: Prone to Generalization - Blue Jays Plus
Chris Sherwin looks at Brandon Morrow's pitching mechanics throughout his Blue Jays years, pointing out that in 2013, Morrow tossed out the smooth and repeatable delivery he found in 2012.
Toronto Blue Jays reunite with young fans on Winter Tour at Ronald McDonald House - BlueJays.com
Steve Delabar, Anthony Gose, Adam Lind, Josh Thole and John Gibbons made a stop at Toronto's Ronald McDonald House yesterday to make a big dinner for the families staying there. Not inviting Brett Cecil--who has had a history of kitchen accidents--was an excellent move by the Blue Jays.
Minor League Transactions: Jan. 1-8 - Baseball America
No action on the minor league front for the Blue Jays, although some former Blue Jays were involved in some transactions. Catcher Ramon Hernandez was signed with the Royals, the Rays picked up Ray Olmedo, and Robert Coello signed with the Yankees (remember when the baseball world gushed about his new pitch last season?). If Olmedo makes it on the 25-man roster, he would become the first "Ray" to play with the Rays. No "Jay" has ever played with the Blue Jays, unless you count Jayson Werth and Jayson Nix.
It's not just the Jays, but it's quiet everywhere in the majors according to this tweet from MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo:
Last major league contract agreement (#Astros Crain) came on 12/31. Almost two weeks of crazy inactivity.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 12, 2014
Molitor speaks at Ontario Blue Jays HOF dinner - Canadian Baseball Network
If you have $125 to spare, consider attending the Ontario Blue Jays gala dinner this Saturday, where Paul Molitor will be giving a keynote address.