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Bluebird Links - 56.6 Hours and Counting

I'm just going to jump right into the links today, since I'm already late getting them up.  I won't be able to put up a post Friday either because I'm out of town for a few days (actually, postings from me will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks).  So, since you won't hear from me again before, enjoy opening night everyone!  I'm excited to finally watch a real game.

Jays Links

GM Alex Anthopoulos on life, year 2 and Vernon Wells
This is a few days old, but worth a read if you haven't seen it. Griffin with a long interview of AA.

Jays’ Adam Lind still learning to bust right moves at first base
Cathal Kelly updates Lind's progress at first base.

Snider leaves game with tightness in hip
Sounds precautionary. A few other notes from Gregor Chisholm as well.

Jays Preview: Canadian baseball's bright future
It sounds like Baseball in Canada is as well off as it ever has been. This part made me feel old though (emphasis mine):

Lawrie, who was born 33 months before Joe Carter took the toss from Mike Timlin in Atlanta to clinch the first World Series title for a Canadian-based team, is among a generation of youngsters swept up in the euphoria of baseball as a sport to play growing up.

2011 Toronto Blue Jays Roundtable
The Bluejay Hunter, Mop-up Duty, and the Southpaw had a pre-season roundtable. Check out their predictions - who has it right?

Riches to Rags to Riches
The 5th Starter with the Jays feel-good stories. Which are your favorites?

Around the League

Helmet switch ought to be a no-brainer
It seems most of the Jays players are completely against switching to the new, safer (and larger) S100 helmet. No surprise really, but what do you think? With concussion's becoming so prevalent across all sports right now, should the MLB commissioners office think about making a safer helmet required for all players in the league? Players in the minor leagues are already required to wear the new helmet.

Joe Girardi: Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez make New York Yankees as backups
Chavez made the Yankees. I still wish the Jays had picked him up, though it will be interesting to see how healthy he can stay.

Ten things I didn’t know about the original AL expansion teams
Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times with an interesting piece on the Rangers and Angels, as they celebrate their 50th years in the league. This part is especially mind-blowing:

Here's a neat fact for you: none of the 14 expansion teams has a winning record for its franchise history. It makes sense that they'd have trouble, given that all clubs struggle in the early goings, but most of these teams are far beyond their original goings. Yet they all still are on the wrong side of .500. You'd expect most of them to be under .500, but all 14? Wow. Some, like the Royals and D-backs, used to be over .500, but none are right now.

For those curious, the Jays currently sit at 2674 - 2709 for a winning percentage of 0.497.  As a franchise, the Jays have finished two seasons with a winning percentage of about 0.500.  By the end of 1993, their record was 1351 - 1344 for a WP of 0.501.  In '94, the Jays finished the season with a record 2 games over .500.  During '95, they fell back below the .500 mark and haven't passed it again.

In Search for an Ace, It’s Best to Invest Early
Identifying the leagues aces. There are a few quotes from Anthopoulos as well.

Post-Hype Analysis: Matt Wieters
His career WAR so far is 3.8. Basically, if you trust WAR anyway, Wieters has still been a good player as catchers go, safely above replacement level anyway. That's nice, but it is a far cry from a guy expected to be a cross between Johnny Bench, Roy Hobbs, Batman, and Chuck Norris. Remember all the hype on Wieters a couple of years ago? Expectations have dropped just a bit. John Sickels tries to map his career potential.

Marlins Release Dewayne Wise
I wonder if the 2-time Jay will find another job, or if he's pretty much out of luck. Hey, the Jays brought back Woodward, why not Wise?

And a Late Addition...

2011 Organizational Rankings #8: Toronto
FanGraphs has been putting together a series on team organization rankings, and they put the Jays at #8. Thoughts?

They are still in the toughest division in baseball. While I hesitate to say “if the Rays can do it anyone can,” if the payroll goes over $100 million Anthopoulos doesn’t have to be just as good as Andrew Friedman, he just has to be in the same general ballpark. It will be fun to watch him try.