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Thursday Bantering: Ray, Berrios, Moreno

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New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

It is Thursday, right? It has been a bit of a busy week since coming home from holiday. We had a really good time. I was a bit nervous travelling now, but we wore masks, we kept distance as much as we could and spent much time outside. And, of course, we ingested enough alcohol to kill off any germ that came near us.

Anyway...

There is a story in the Athletic (Kaitlyn McGrath is doing great work there) about Robbie Ray's transformation from potential. Here is a little bit:

So over the offseason, Ray underwent a two-a-day workout regime to bulk up. On the mound, he re-worked his delivery, opting to return to a wind-up that worked for him in the minors in 2012. With pitching coaches Pete Walker and Matt Buschmann, Ray bought into the approach to catch more of the plate with his pitches. The underlying message? Don’t worry, your stuff is good enough to be in the zone.

The muscle helped a jump in velocity and more stamina.

This was cute:

There are two rules in show biz: Never work with children or animals. And always get paid up front.


The Blue Jays have officially announced josé Berríos's new contract. Later today, there is a press conference.

It occurs to me that we didn't have a poll on his signing, so let's:

Poll

About José Berríos 7-year, $131 million contract

  • 67%
    I love it
    (821 votes)
  • 28%
    I like it
    (350 votes)
  • 2%
    Neutral
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    Dislike it
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Hate it
    (3 votes)
1211 votes total Vote Now

Berríos finished 9th in Cy Young voting. I want to think he'll finish higher than that a few times over the next seven years.


Justin Verlander signed back with the Astros. I had been getting my mind around him in a Blue Jays jersey.

The team made offers to Noah Syndergaard and Eduardo Rodriguez.

I wonder if teams and players want to get contracts signed before the fight over the new CBA.


Gabriel Moreno had a pretty good time of it in the Arizona Fall League. He hit .329/.415/.494 with 10 doubles, a home run, 13 walks and 13 strikeouts.

The real news is that he's been playing a fair bit of third base. So it seems like there is a good chance that he'll come into spring training with a shot at becoming our 3B unless we add someone before then.

Playing third, he could be a full-time player instead of catching and missing a couple of games a week. If he hits as well as we hope he will, having him play every day would be a good thing. And we do have Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk. If Jansen's offensive breakthrough is real, it would be good to have both him and Moreno both in the lineup.


Later today, we'll find out that Vladimir Guerrero finished second and Marcus Semien finished third in MVP voting.


Stuff like this bugs me more than it should. I know the world is all an 'us vs. them' thing now, but this is just irritating:

Yes, let's hate analytic people.


Question for you guys who know about this stuff, I'm taking up tennis. I'm going to play once or twice a week.

I took a lesson, and the first thing the guy said was, 'you need a better racket.' He told me which model to try and also what strings to get for it. It isn't cheap.

So my question is, does the racket matter that much? I get that I'll be laughed out of my club if I use the one I found in my garage, but I seemed to be able to hit the ball with it.


Happy Birthday Gordon Lightfoot. One of my very favourite singer/songwriters. We'll have a vote later on which was his best song.