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Fan Appreciation GameThread: Pirates @ Jays

Bluebird Banter Visits
Bluebird Banter Visits

Thank you, Bluebird Banterers, for making March 2012 our best month ever. We had a total of 273,252 visits, more than our previous high from December 2011. A year ago this month we had just over 150,000 visits, two years ago we had just over 71,000 visits. Thank you, readers, commenters, writers, and moderators for making Bluebird Banter one of the fastest growing communities on SB Nation! Everyone should now pat themselves on the back!

Beside self-congratulations, we actually have a televised game to watch today! Your Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their third-last Spring Training game, hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet at 1 pm Eastern. You can also catch it on the Fan 590 or its affiliates across Canada. The game is also available on MLB.TV for those further abroad. Mike Wilner will have his radio pre-game show at 12:30, but instead of tuning in to that just download and listen to this week's Bluebird Banter Podcast!

Yesterday was an Ace vs. Ace battle, and today is a battle of the Number Two starters. The visiting Pirates will be starting Jeff Karstens, and the Jays will counter with Brandon Morrow. The Blue Jays' spirits must be high today, after renowned television host Larry King picked them to win the American League East. Not sure if that's an April Fools' joke or if it was due to extreme old age. But if he is right, then maybe we can avoid the big dip in visits every October (see graph above).

The official lineups can be found here, but the unofficial ones from Gregor Chisholm are here:

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Alex Presley LF
  2. Jose Tabata RF
  3. Andrew McClutchen CF
  4. Neil Walker 2B
  5. Garrett Jones 1B
  6. Rod Barajas C
  7. Pedro Alvarez 3B
  8. Clint Barmes SS
  9. Jeff Karstens P

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Yunel Escobar SS
  2. Kelly Johnson 2B
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Adam Lind! 1B
  6. Brett Lawrie 3B
  7. Eric Thames LF
  8. J.P. Arencibia C
  9. Colby Rasmus CF

Brandon Morrow will make a 5-inning start, followed by Sergio Santos, Francisco Cordero, and Casey Janssen.

What does everyone think about putting EE in cleanup and batting Lind 5th? Will Farrell us this order in the regular season?

Unfortunately, I have an engagement that won't let me to be here at the beginning of this game, so I trust yall will behave well in the GameThread, right?

Just another friendly reminder: please do not request, or post any links to illegal live streams (audio and video). We haven't had a problem this spring, so let's try to keep it that way. Thanks!