Good morning, Bluebird Banterers! Like most of you, I'm kinda bummed that the Blue Jays are not playing tonight, but that just leaves more time to listen to our latest podcast and to read through these links! This week, I've decided to move the game recaps to the end of the post, since I assume the majority of readers would've seen and read them already.
Be sure to go and vote in the Bluebird Banter Fan Confidence Poll on the left side of the page. For some reason the confidence meter has fallen all the way to 73% from 80% on Opening Day. Stuff the ballots with confidence!
Blue Jays Related
Evan Crawford Thrives in Major League Debut, Blue Jays Crush O’s - JaysProspects.com
Andrew Blanchette reviews Evan Crawford's Major League debut in the 9th of yesterday's game.
Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie vows to be 'smarter next time' after attempted steal of home - National Post
"It's just the way I play the game," Lawrie says--but is that way aggressive or reckless?
Encarnacion adjustments - Sportsnet.ca
Shi Davidi writes about how Edwin Encarnacion spent the winter in the Dominican Republic working on shortening his swing by finishing with two hands.
Jays' Drabek transforms into thinking man’s pitcher - The Globe and Mail
2011 Kyle Drabek was like a linebacker who just wanted to attack, 2012 Kyle Drabek is more of a quarterback, ready to think and make the right decisions on the mound.
Blue Jays coaches share wisdom at coaching clinic - BlueJays.com
After the game yesterday, Jays' coaches and alumni chatted with 170 amateur coaches in a coaching clinic. I am intrigued about the 16-page "Blue Jays' Way" instructional manual Alexis Brudnicki mentions in the story.
Jays Set for Massive Free Agent Haul - NotGraphs
Blue Jays revenue have traditionally come from ticket and merchandise sales, but with their expansion into all-beef hot dogs, Jays fans should be prepared for the Jays to turn into big spenders.
Kevin Gray interviews Sal Fasano (video)
Kevin Gray speaks to New Hampshire Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano about the championship season in 2011, calligraphy, swag, Evan Crawford, and a preview of 2012 . "You can win and develop at the same time."
Hutchison Nearly Ready - FutureJays
In a subscription-only article, Max Sullivan writes how Fisher Cat Drew Hutchison may be just about ready for the Show.
Hechavarria a hit with 51s - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Todd Dewey with a short article on Adeiny Hechavarria's transition from Cuba, and playing some games at second base this year.
8th inning, leading 8-2 - Baseball Is Magic
Greg Wisniewski, aka @coolhead2010, has a new blog--Baseball is Magic! Here, he writes about the prank the Jays played on Eric Thames on his day off.
Around The League
SF Giants closer Brian Wilson: "I guess you could say this was coming" - The Splash
Henry Schulman talked to the surprisingly good humoured San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson about his recent season-ending injury. Wilson felt a "pop" in his last outing but continued to throw 10 more pitches to close the against the Rockies on Thursday.
Ugandan kids embrace baseball despite visa issues - The Globe and Mail
A nice story on the development of baseball in Kampala, Uganda. I have still yet to see the Sportsnet documentary on it, but it's on the top of my "to-do" list.
Youkilis responds; not in lineup today - ESPN
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wonders about Kevin Youkilis' physical and emotional committment. In front of the media. Dustin Pedroia: "may be that works in Japan." This morning Valentine apologized, sort of. Wow. This is going to be fun!
More around the league, Jackie Robinson Day, and game recap links after the jump.
Baseball's Worst Sacrifice Bunt - Baseball Nation
Jeff Sullivan tempts the long arm of the MLB and posts GIFs demonstrating how Jesus Guzman turned a sac bunt attempt into a 2-5-4-3 triple play. See the full video here.
Vintage Subway Ride to Ballgame Transported Fans to Another Time - New York Times
Baseball fans meet transit fans. The MTA in New York City runs a 1924-vintage subway car to shuttle fans to Yankee Stadium for the home opener.
Edwin Jackson: Historic journeyman - CBS Sports
Former Blue Jay Edwin Jackson won a game for the Washington Nationals, becoming the first starter to pick up a win for seven different teams (Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals) since 1901 before age 29. Everyone else who did it had fun names: Jersey Bakely, Egyptian Healy, and Silver King.
NO ORDINARY JOHN: @Braves to retire John Smoltz's No. 29 on June 8.
Triple-A roundup: Loewen homers twice - MiLB.com
Lots of Blue Jays connections in this round up, featuring former Jays Adam Loewen, Jo-Jo Reyes, Dave Bush, Mark "Coffeecock" Teahen, Robinzon Diaz, Luis Valbuena, and Randy Ruiz! Glad to hear they're all doing well in AAA.
Louisville Slugger, the making of | Infield fly
Chris at Infield Fly finds a video detailing the making of a Louisville Slugger. I was at the factory a couple years ago--it is definitely worth a visit for any baseball fan.
Batter Works to Regain the Swing He Lost in the ’60s - New York Times
Michael Laser--what a fantastic name--writes about re-learning how to hit at age 57. Reading this made me want to drive out to a batting cage and swing (and probably miss).
Jackie Robinson Day
Cito Gaston, Blue Jays reflect on meaning of Jackie Robinson Day - Toronto Star
Richard Griffin talks to Cito Gaston and Eric Thames about the impact of Jackie Robinson. On the pressure put on Robinson, Thames remarked that "he didn’t have to only carry a country on his back, he had an entire race on his back."
Branch Rickey Found Inspiration in Catcher’s Tears - New York Times
Former Dodgers President Branch Rickey was a coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, the team's only black player Charles Thomas was forced to sleep in a cot with his coach. During that night, the humiliated Thomas sobbed and rubbed his hands--"black skin, black skin. If only I could make them white." Or so it was told.
MLB honours Jackie Robinson with ballpark tributes - The Globe and Mail
Baseball players all around the league talks about Jackie Robinson.
Real Jackie Robinson Tribute Would Be More Blacks in Management - New York Times
Jimmie Lee Solomon, head of MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program, says ther percentage of African-American players may never hit double digits again.
Celebrating Robinson and Other Black Players, on the Field and in an Exhibit Hall - New York Times
Man I gotta go to New York--the Metropolitan Museum is now featuring an exhibit of baseball cards of the first black Major Leaguers.
One-Hoppers: Remembering Jackie Robinson, and the Man Who Taught Me About Him - Baseball Prospectus
Jay Jaffe remembers his grandfather, who taught him about Jackie Robinson.
Dodgers buy contract of Jackie Robinson - The Gazette
The brief article in The Montreal Gazette that announced Jackie Robinson's call up to the Major Leagues from the AAA Montreal Royals.
Game recaps from the National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Sportsnet Radio the Fan590 (includes audio highlights and the super extendo BlueJaysTalk show), Sportsnet (video recap). Here is also the view from the other side, a recap from the Baltimore Sun. Apparently Kevin Gregg was not happy with coming into the game in the 6th inning, falling just short of blaming his horrible outing on that: "is it a familiar situation? No, it’s not. It’s something I’ll have to get used to as I go through it."