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Countdown to Spring Training Links Feb 16, 2014

Another week and Spring Training is almost here meaning that someone will be in the best shape of their lives. A whole pile of links today including how not to take a picture.

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The Blue Jay Hunter: The Dome Effect: Does an Open or Closed Roof Impact Home Run Totals at the Rogers Centre?
In the past few years, the Rogers Centre has developed a reputation around the Major League as a hitters' ballpark. A bit of a bandbox; a home run haven, if you will. It certainly hasn't always been that way, but recently it seems like home run numbers have mysteriously and steadily increased within the confines of the Rogers Centre.

Today, I understand why we all needed Jim Fregosi: Griffin | Toronto Star
The former Blue Jays manager was one of a kind, a reminder of what baseball should ideally be all about, what it means to be a baseball friend. He died Friday at age 71.

Toronto Blue Jays prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman: The long and short of what scouts say | National Post
Sanchez and Stroman stand head and shoulders above the rest of the Jays prospects. There is, however, some disagreement about where they rank

Toronto Blue Jays still seek pitching, but all parties remain patient as spring training opens | National Post
Misinformation about contract talks has always been endemic

Blair: Time for Gibbons to take control - The Globe and Mail
After a massively disappointing 2013 campaign, the team needs to get off to a strong start if it wants to keep new and returning fans

The Blue Jay Hunter: Preaching the Importance of Defense
One thing the Blue Jays have not been known for recent memory is their defense. In fact, you have to think back to the Scott Rolen/Marco Scutaro/John McDonald days to find a Toronto Blue Jays squad that had a reputation of being defensively solid.

Blue Jays Notebook: Still ‘trying to improve’ -
The Blue Jays say they're still looking for upgrades, but this team looks quite similar to last year's 88-loss club. This notebook also has notes on the Jays' spring home, five-year policy and ticket sales.

Tao of Stieb: Jays facing questions this spring -
Tao of Stieb explains that the Blue Jays face lots of questions as spring training opens -- starting with the performances of Melky Cabrera, Brett Lawrie and Drew Hutchison.

Former Toronto Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson hoping to rebound this season with Padres | National Post
The 6-foot-7 Johnson said he struggled with his "extension" in Toronto


The Sense In Waiting to Trade Jeff Samardzija | FanGraphs Baseball
The Chicago Cubs have had two sets of negotiations involving Jeff Samardzija. The two sides have talked about a long-term extension — so far nothing’s been agreed to — and the sides seem pretty far apart

Maybe We Should All Learn the Split-Finger | FanGraphs Baseball
Swinging strikes are the best. The batter tried to make contact and failed in a head-to-head matchup of will and strength and coordination.

CC Sabathia Is Skinny Now And It's Weird
This screengrab of a gaunt-looking CC Sabathia at last night's Knicks game is making the rounds, and it's damn near disturbing. Is he...OK? We are happy to report that Sabathia is healthy, maybe healthier than he's been in decades.

Derek Jeter: Rated Very High By Ass
Not inaccurate.

Here's Video Of Tracy McGrady Pitching Off A Mound
We've been hearing a lot about former NBA star Tracy McGrady's desire to become a professional baseball pitcher, and now there's finally video of him throwing off a mound. He doesn't look too bad!

MLB Under Attack On All Sides For Failing To Pay Mimimum Wage | FanGraphs Baseball
Major League Baseball may still enjoy immunity from federal antitrust laws, but that immunity doesn’t mean the league or its teams can ignore federal and state laws that require employees be paid a minimum wage.

So What Does a Mike Trout Extension Look Like Now? | FanGraphs Baseball
Speculating about how much money it would take to sign Mike Trout to a long term deal has become something of a sport unto itself.


A woman attempting to take a picture at a hockey game in ...
A woman attempting to take a picture at a hockey game in Sochi today.

Bar Games, Ranked
Wait a minute, you can only watch the real, live Olympics on a weirdo foreign computer TV at 3:00 in the morning?