Just to make it clear: I'm not hungover, but Tom probably is. Last night there was a Beyonce concert in the Superdome in New Orleans and with a foot ball match before and after the show. You can read more about the game here from the good folks on the football side of SB Nation.
Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can all concentrate on baseball from here on. Spring training (when pitchers and catchers report) is just 8 days away! The Blue Jays will be playing their first spring training game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland on February 23, and we will make sure to have a GameThread up to prepare our fingers for the regular season.
In fact, we will probably have GameThreads up for most of the games this spring. You heard it here first: there will be a big announcement from Sportsnet tomorrow regarding an expansion in the number of spring training games they will be broadcasting. Perhaps they will even be broadcasting every single (non-split squad) game! Of course, they have yet to announce a radio partner for Jerry Howarth for this season--but perhaps they would surprise us and reveal that tomorrow as well. Names like Dirk Hayhurst, Jack Morris and Dan Plesac have been floated around in various rumours but it could very well be someone else-- maybe the Fan would pull a Gibby and go re-hire Warren Sawkiw.
The Blue Jays finally had a pretty quiet week after an unusually busy offseason. Since the last edition of Monday Morning Media Mashup, we heard that Kelly Johnson will be reunited with his favourite pop-up stealer Yunel Escobar after he signed with the Rays*, R.A. Dickey spoke about his work with Bombay Teen Challenge in Mumbai's red-light district, the Blue Jays signed Andy LaRoche as a non-roster invitee, the Jays' new batting practice cap was revealed, and after a week where his name was tied to a Miami performance-enhancing drugs supplier Melky Cabrera decided to not play in the World Baseball Classic but to train with his new team instead (and later so did Esmil Rogers).
*Does anyone know how many middle infield combos have played together for three different teams as Escobar and Johnson would (Braves, Blue Jays, Rays)?
Also happening last week was the announcement of the finalists of the MLB Fan Cave contest, and friend of the blog April Whitzman made it to the top 52! The next step is to whittle the list down to 30, and she needs your help to vote for her here! Let's get a Canadian Blue Jays fan in there this year!
Here are your Monday morning breakfast links. Not much to share today.
Blue Jays Related
Sergio Santos eager to retake job as Blue Jays closer - BlueJays.com
Santos tells Gregor Chisholm, "Casey [Janssen] did an unbelievable job, but at the same time, I would love to be the closer." I love Janssen, but I really don't care who gets named the closer. Someone has to prevent runs from scoring in every inning of the game.
Up Close: The 2013 Blue Jays Winter Tour - Sportsnet.ca [Autoplaying Video]
If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, I recommend taking half an hour out of your day to take a look at the Jays' Winter Tour across Canada.
2013 Predictions: Edwin Encarnacion - Blue Jays Way
Matt Brown and Kieran Roy make their predictions about Edwin Encarnacion (and J.P. Arencibia here) over at Blue Jays Way.
Brett Lawrie Looks Forward To 2013 Season With his Canadian Team - Jays Prospects
Brian Crawford spoke with Brett Lawrie last fall when he made a rehab appearance with the Lansing Lugnuts. The piece includes a rare picture of Lawrie in a Lugnuts uniform!
Down on the Farm
Chase DeJong...Climbing the Blue Jays Prospect Ladder - Blue Jays Plus
Gideon Turk interviews Chase DeJong. I expect him to go to extended spring training. He will probably spend most of his time in the GCL or Bluefield this season. I'd be (pleasently) surprised if he goes to Vancouver.
But What Do I Know? … Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Larry Walker, Earl Williams - Cooperstowners in Canada
Kevin Glew reminds us that the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is going to be announcing its class of 2013 this week. Also: did you know that Jason Dickson is now a nursing home administrator in New Brunswick?
Photos of all 2013 MLB BP Caps - Sportslogos.Net
Chris Creamer shares scans of a NewEra catalogue that includes photos of all the new batting practice cap, sort of confirming that the Atlanta Braves are going to be keeping their racist cap. Also, the caps there look like they have an awfully high crown.
Mets Close To A Deal With Brandon Lyon - MLB Trade Rumors
Your dreams about seeing Brandon Lyon return to the Blue Jays bullpen for 2013 appears to be over. Sorry.
Former Blue Jays Vizquel Joins Angels Coaching Staff - Jays Journal
Kyle Franzoni writes about former Blue Jays veteran present Omar Vizquel's joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as an infield instructor. Let's see how many of the Angels' coaches and players he'll throw under the bus this year!
Let's Get Grass at the Rogers Centre- The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian wants grass in the Rogers Centre. I'm no architect or engineer, but I still feel that it would cost too much and take too long for the needed renovations to be done in the offseason. I'd love to get grass in there but it seems like there are just too many hurdles to get it done. Prove me wrong, Blue Jays.
St. Louis Cardinals lead Keith Law's ranking of all 30 farm systems - ESPN (Insider Only)
Keith Law ranks ranks the Cardinals', Twins', and Rays' farm systems as the top three in the league. The Blue Jays are 24th, but Law says they were top-ten, "probably top-five" before the big trades.
Scoping the Non-Roster: LH Pitchers - Jays Journal
Kyle Franzoni does something I had hoped that someone would do ('cause I didn't want to do it). He will be introducing each player on the long list of non-roster invitees, beginning with southpaws today.