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Countdown to Opening Day Begins Friday March 22, 2013 Links

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Here we are in the final stretch before the games and stats count for real. More links for your Friday morning reading pleasure unless you are Ricky Romero.

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Adam Lind hitting the ball
Adam Lind hitting the ball


Blue Jays GM on plan for Ricky Romero: ‘You constantly evaluate’ | MLB | Sports | National Post
In the past the GM had always said no. This time, at the end of a meandering reply in which he said Romero remains in the rotation, Anthopoulos finished with this: “The plans are still the same, but just like anything else, you constantly evaluate.”

Toronto Blue Jays’ Mark DeRosa enjoys a spring renaissance after considering retirement | MLB | Sports | National Post
The pitch that hit him in Tuesday’s exhibition game left him angry, but only for a moment. It was just a flesh wound, a forgettable footnote on a sparkling spring stat line: .429 batting average (12-for-28), .500 on-base percentage, two doubles, two home runs.

Johnson ready and raring to go as part of Jays’ star-studded rotation - The Globe and Mail
General manager Alex Anthopolous addressed the club’s primary weakness this off-season by adding a trio of erstwhile aces to the starting rotation

Encarnacion, Reyes return to Blue Jays after WBC win - The Globe and Mail
Key cogs in Toronto lineup hope they can carry energy from championship team back to MLB clubhouse

Blue Jays: Brett Lawrie’ rib injury on the mend | Toronto Star
“I feel great. Everything I’ve done up to this point has been good,” he said Wednesday. “... It feels like it should be alright.”

Jose Bautista’s spring homers help Toronto Blue Jays breathe easier | Toronto Star
With every ball that Jose Bautista launches far over the wall, the Toronto Blue Jays are more certain he’s back to form.

Quick Pitch: Rasmus’ Bermuda Triangle; Romero vs Leadoff Hitters; EE 3 Year Chase Split
Matthias looks at Rasmus, Romero and EE.

Hayhurst: Romero tweaks not a good sign -
The hood is up for Ricky Romero and the mechanics are at work on his delivery. That's not a good sign, not at this point in the spring, anyway.

The Blue Jay Hunter: Should Brett Lawrie Dial It Back?
Perhaps a can less of Red Bull?

The Blue Jay Hunter: 2013 Blue Jays Preview with Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus
Ian looks at BP's take on this year's Jays.


Jonah Keri on the art of stealing bases - Grantland
Oakland's Coco Crisp brings us deep into the mind of a base stealer.

MLB: Montreal Expos rebirth under review | Toronto Star
Warren Cromartie is convinced that Major League Baseball can be reborn in Montreal. The former Expos outfielder and head of the Montreal Baseball Project, a group whose aim is to bring the major leagues back to the city, says he’ll know soon whether fans and the business community really want it.

Cooperstown Confidential: Is it 1989 again for the Yankees?
Spring training of 2013 is not boding well for the Bombers.

Pitcher injuries and witchcraft
Player development isn't keeping up with the times.

A Snapshot of Team Finances: Middle Tier | FanGraphs Baseball
Guess the team! 2012 Attendance: 2,099,663 Local TV AAV: $36 million (estimated) Estimated 2013 Payroll: $114 million

Marlins Threaten to Sue Longtime Season-Ticket Holders Who Complained About View-Obscuring Sign - Miami - News - Riptide 2.0
First the Marlins alienated every taxpayer in Miami with their stadium deal. Then they pissed off every casual fan...

For Steinbrenner and Yankees, a Commitment to a New Order -
Hal Steinbrenner talked about his conviction that the Yankees should be able to contend with a payroll under $200 million, placing an emphasis on retaining more prospects. Note: Really? It's not like the Yanks have that excellent core of young (HOF) players. The ones they have in the lower minors are good but even the Yanks can't be that lucky again.


Finally, An Advanced Stat To Measure Hockey Fighters
The statistical revolution has officially arrived, upside your head.

Jonah Keri heads to Vegas to place some bets on the baseball season - Grantland
Bookie Keri has his lines. Don't like his Jays line, but that's the problem with fans and sports betting is that emotion gets the better of logic (I still think he's wrong.)


Baseball History - March 22nd - National Pastime - Baseball History
1972 The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years, Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers to appear in three World Series.

1993 In a tragic accident, Indian pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews are killed when their motorboat strikes a pier. Bob Ojeda is severely injured, but will return to play major league baseball.