One day left until the Blue Jays' pitchers and catchers report. Quite a few of them are there working out already. Winter will officially be over. Over the next week, Toronto's beat writers will be flocking down to Dunedin to write about all the players who are in the "best shape of their lives" and to bask in the Florida warmth. Photographers will capture Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey in Blue Jays uniforms for the first time, we'll see Blue Jays veterans Rickey Romero and Brandon Morrow standing beside them, and we might even get a glimpse into how Dustin McGowan is doing. Even though there it is just a day away--I just can't wait!
Before I continue with your Monday morning links, I'd like to remind you that single-game tickets for 2013 are on sale starting this coming Friday at 10 am, but if you subscribe to the Blue Jays' e-newsletter "Inside Pitch" today, you get to be part of an exclusive pre-sale on Wednesday! Good luck--there are still a few seats left for the Home Opener. Here are your unsorted, but mostly Blue Jays-related, links:
Former NY Met and current Toronto Blue Jay R.A. Dickey tells story of his journey to rescue India's youth from horrors of sex slavery - NY Daily News
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pens a story of his visit to Mumbai, India. Mumbai is a place of tremendous contrasts: a slum with open sewers and rodents can sit metres away from a brand new Porche dealership.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons Unplugged - Toronto Star
After posting an article on John Gibbons Saturday, Richard Griffin posted the transcript of his interview with the Blue Jays manager yesterday. It seems like Gibbons will continue to be a laissez-faire type of manager who isn't shy to ask his players to confront him if there are problems. It is also interesting to read about his various job searches, including how he was talking to the Jays about becoming a scout after he was not renewed by the Royals.
Nationals, Braves lead NL quartet atop offseason Power Rankings - SI.com
It means nothing, really, but the Blue Jays are #5 and his favourite for the AL East on Joe Lemire's offseason Power Rankings (he helpfully reminds us that these are power rankings DURING the offseason, and not OF the offseason).
No. 2 Blue Jays: Offseason acquisitions make Toronto the beast of the AL East - Yahoo! Sports
The Blue Jays continue to dominate in the offseason standings. Tim Brown has some really nice things to say about the team he ranks #2 in the Majors for Yahoo! Sports' "MLB Springboard" series. By process of elimination, the #1 team on their ranking are the Montreal Expos. Who would've seen that coming?
Key Blue Jays spring questions - Sportsnet.ca
Shi Davidi looks at the burning questions surrounding the Blue Jays roster this spring.
Jays' Santos on pace to be ready for start of season - Toronto Sun
Ken Fidlin spoke with Sergio Santos about his injury and recovery. He "felt great" throwing a bullpen session last week at 90%, and will be ready to step it up to 100% soon. Hey Sergio, don't get "too ready" for the season this time around...
Scoping the Blue Jays Non-Roster: Oufielders - Jays Journal
Kyle Franzoni continues his look at the Blue Jays' non-roster invitees, this time at the outfielders. Franzoni includes Adam Loewen on the list, saying that he would likely be headed to Buffalo in 2013. He is actually officially listed as a first baseman on the roster--I heard from someone who spoke with Loewen during the recent Baseball Canada banquet that the plan may be to send him to New Hampshire to play first base (due to Mike McDade's departure). Loewen has played 64 games at first in the minors.
Can the Jays crack the Toronto pro sports jinx? - The Globe and Mail
Paul Beeston thinks that winning is a "social responsibility" of running a sports franchise. Then Jeff Blair goes and calculates which North American city has the highest and lowest winning percentages over all their sports teams in MLB/NHL/NBA/NFL or CFL. Toronto is 12th, finishing above Minneapolis-St. Paul.
What To Expect When You're Expecting Spring Training To Start - The Tao of Stieb
The Org Guy posts while the Tao is off somewhere warm and palm tree-filled. Yes, spring training will get boring, but we aren't supposed to find that out until three weeks in. And then it'll time for the World Baseball Classic!
Seven potential breakout players in 2013 - ESPN (Insider Only)
Jim Bowden lists Brett Lawrie as a breakout candidate for 2013. "A .300 season with 18-20 home runs is a realistic projection for this passionate, high-energy player."
Backwards Hall of Fame Year 6: The 2008 Ballot - Infield fly
We're finally in 2008 of the Backwards Hall of Fame voting experiment. Here, instead of voting in players who deserve to go into the Hall, we vote out players who don't.
George Bell, Tom Cheek into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductees list - Toronto Sun
Bob Elliott explains how small the induction committee of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is and how important a role a single person can have on the voting. George Bell was on his last year of eligibility and it took a question by long time baseball fan Ted Shillington to get things moving for him. So Ted, who do you have for the new Pope?
How My Foolproof Scientific System Got Us Onto The Price Is Right - Deadspin
Not baseball related at all: How Ben Robinson used research to get his girlfriend on The Price Is Right.