As many of you know, I am here in Florida with Tony Fernandez Saved My Life for Blue Jays Spring Training action. Well it turns out that the Dunedin/Clearwater area offers other stuff too like sun, beaches, ocean, pools, golf, restaurants, bars, mojitos, and such. So that means there has been a little lack of time spent in front of the laptop. But I assure you we'll get something up soon. But first, here is my totally (e-)mailed in link post.
NOTE: I realized after inserting all the links that I did not check the "open in new window" box. I apologize for that--but there are simply too many to go through and re-link!
TFSML and I went to our first Blue Jays Spring Training game on Sunday, after seeing the Tigers and the Cardinals in Lakeland on Saturday. Here are the written recaps of the game from the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mike Wilner's blog entry for the game is here, be sure to scroll down and listen to JaysTalk, especially at the 7:10 mark when Phil from Barrie calls in. Nice to see that the ignorant side of the fanbase is training for regular season JaysTalks already. To complete your multimedia recap experience, here is Sportsnet's video highlights from the game. Annotated notes from the video:
- 00:05 - You hear the voice of the young anthem singer. She had a soft voice and screwed up on a line of "O Canada", but in the end the crowd helped her out with both anthems. A good start to the game!
- 00:15 - Looks like lots of empty seats, but the game was actually sold out.
- 00:25 - Sportsnet guy says "Yan GO-mez" instead of "Yan Gomes" throughout the clip.
- 00:46 - Gomes had 2 doubles and a single, not 3 doubles.
- 00:54 - Sportsnet guy makes up for mispronouncing Gomes' last name by calling the Jays' right fielder "Juan Bautista" and showing the clip of the home run viewers missed at home because Sportsnet was still on commercials.
- 01:19 - Sportsnet guy almost calls the Jays' manager the wrong name. John Ferguson Jr., maybe?
Blue Jays Related
There hasn't been a lot of news coming out of the Jays' minor league signing of Koby Clemens, but here it is. I hope to see him in a minor league game out at the Bobby Mattick Training Center out in Dunedin.
Mike Rutsey talks to Colby Rasmus about his change of attitude in the offseason. Kinda late coming to the game for the Sun but still a good read.
In The Best Shape Of His Life™, Cecil has accepted his loss of velocity and has decided to focus on Pounding Down. Mark Spector has another story on Cecil's change of style on Sportsnet.ca.
Alex Anthopoulos doesn't sleep well at night, always thinking and always worried. He explains--once again--about what he said about "payroll parameters" and compares the Jays to the Texas Rangers as a team that uses free agency to continue contending, not to get to contention.
More after the jump.
Bautista says "if I’m asked to take part every single time, I’ll take part in [the drug-testing program]." Not that he really has a choice.
A small article on Vizquel's criticism of the mental-side Yunel Escobar's game (90% is half of it). Side note--Vizquel seemed nice and interacted with the fans in FAES in Dunedin after he came out of the game. I really look forward to seeing him make the team.
John Lott profiles Jays' 16th round selection in 2010, Mississauga's own Dalton Pompey and the role of his parents on his path to professional baseball.
Keith Law writes about some Blue Jays and Phillies prospects. Insider-only, so I couldn't access it. But maybe someone can write a summary?
A relatively old interview with Sunday's Minor Leaguer's Most Valuable Player of the Game from our friends at 1BJW. You should also listen to Wilner's interview with him from yesterday.
Around the League
Former Blue Jay Dirk Hayhurst leaves Italy’s pro baseball league days before debut - thestar.com
As reported here as a FanShot, Dirk flew back home after a very brief stay in Italy. Not a lot of details about this incident yet--but I'm almost sure that he'll write about it when he's ready. Here are some of his pics from the shortened trip.
One of the more under reported stories of Spring Training is former Las Vegas 51s outfielder Jason Lane's transition into a pitcher--at age 35. Lane was the starting right fielder for the National League Champion (yes, really) Houston Astros in 2005, hitting .267/.316/.499 with 26 HR and 78 RBI in 145 games. He slowly slid out of the starting lineup over the next two years before being sent to the Padres in 2007. He then bounced through several organizations' minor league teams (including the Blue Jays twice). He was an outfielder for the 51s the last couple of years, but did pitch in 10 (usually blowout) games (17.2 IP) over the two seasons, striking out 15 and walking 5. I wish him the best of luck and hope he does make it back to the Major Leagues as a reliever.
The Nationals have decided that Bryce Harper is not ready to be in the Majors so they shipped him out to Minor League camp and will start the season with the Syracuse Chiefs. Our old friend Mark "Coffeecock" Teahen was sent to Minor League camp as well.
And finally, don't forget to go download and listen to the new Bluebird Banter Podcast!