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Wednesday Bantering: Jays stuff and other stuff

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Calgary 3
from the winter tour a few years ago.

Stan Lee was such a big part of my life growing up. I was a massive comic book fan. Massive Marvel fan. I came into comics around the time Stan was leaving the everyday role of writing every comic that Marvel published, but he was still the face of the company.

He was in Calgary a couple of years ago, and he did a question and answer session. He was 92 years old and he couldn’t sit down. He paced the stage, walking, sometimes running back and forth. I was just amazed that he was so vibrant at that age. If we could all live into our 90s and be like that, life would be good.

The Blue Jays announced their Winter Fest and their Winter Tour.

The Winter Tour only has one stop, Halifax. I’ll admit I’m grumpy about this. It used to be that there would be several stops on the winter tour. Now it’s one place. I mean, if they are going to Halifax, why not go to Charlottetown too. Or Moncton or Fredericton. To me, one city (as nice of one as Halifax is) isn’t a tour.

If you are in or near Halifax, mark January 11th and 12th on your calendar.

Winter Fest will be two days, expanded from the one day of last year, January 19th and 20th. Tickets go on sale November 19th for normal folks. Season ticket holders (Nov. 15th) and game pack members (Nov. 16) get first dibs.

Tickets will be $20. Kids $5. Season ticket holders $10 and game pack folks $15.

You can read more about it here.

Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt talked to Mark Shapiro about the “culture change” that they are trying bring about. It is interesting.

The line that caught my attention was, talking about how they wanted to change/improve every part of the Jays organization “including how we deal with media”, which seemed like a bit of a shot at former PR boss Jay Stenhouse.

Anyway, it is a good and very understanding interview. They set up the interview talking about how Alex became a folk hero and that Shapiro was looked at as the evil guy kicking out the hero.

They talk about how things fell apart this year, how things could have been so much different if Donaldson didn’t come down with the ‘dead arm’ and Marcus’ troubles. Anyway, give it a listen.

Baseball America Arizona Fall League MLB Prospects Hot Sheet includes Nate Pearson:

The Scoop: Pearson touched 104 mph in the Fall Stars Game and followed up with his best performance of the fall, pitching four perfect innings against Scottsdale last week. As impressive as his fastball was touching 101 in the game, it was Pearson’s secondaries that really stood out, namely a mid-70s curveball that was responsible for three of his five strikeouts. After pitching only 1.2 innings during the regular season due to injury, Pearson finally shook the rust off with arguably his best performance as a professional.

Curtis Granderson is a ‘finalist’ for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award.

The Orioles have hired Mike Elias, who was assistant GM of the Astros, to be their GM. My condolences Mike.

In the Athletic Jayson Stark writes about “Pace of Play”.

A lot of it talk about a pitch clock. I’m not a fan. But there are other ideas:

  • Limiting pitching changes, either requiring relievers to pitch to multiple hitters or limit the number of relievers who can pitch in a game. I’d absolutely hate that second one.
  • Speeding up replay challenges. Apparently that is happening:


2014: 1:46

2015: 1:51

2016: 1:36

2017: 1:28

2018: 1:23

Apparently each team makes 3-4 reviews a week, so it isn’t like there is a lot of time to be gained here.

  • Shorten time between innings? It sounds like baseball could go more ‘mid-inning’ commercials (because we don’t flip to other channels during those). Maybe they could cut one between inning commercial?

Jayson has other ideas there, but I don’t see anything that’s going to cut game time all that much.

My city has voted against holding the Winter Olympics in 2026. Honestly, the yes vote could have won easy, if they had been honest with us. They gave us a budget that didn’t include upgrades they were going to make on McMahon Stadium (which needs a ton of work) and the cost of the new hockey rink that they could have built for the Flames under the guise of needing it for the Olympics.