As the days of exciting news start to slow to a trickle and we crawl closer to the start of spring training and the highly anticipated 2013 Toronto Blue Jays baseball season, the organization appears to be following the trend of their off-season and previous pre-season by going all-out on the offensive during the least appreciated season on the baseball calendar: PR season.

The Winter Tour has already started kicking up dust with clinics in the Rog Mahal and an insanely popular visit to a mall in Winnipeg, and to cap it off the team announced earlier this week that Cy Young winning off-season addition R.A. Dickey will be introduced to the fans and media today at 4pm EST via live press conference.

The Toronto “baseball” media (re: national columnists that have nothing to do until the lockout ends Luongo gets traded) are going to come together to ask questions to the new ace and our GM, and luckily I’ve seen enough of these to know what we’re going to get once the cameras come on and the talkers start talking. Here’s a handy guide of what to expect at today’s R.A. Dickey introduction if you’d like to follow along and check them off while watching, or plan to ignore the presser all together and trust that you’ll learn just as much by reading this.

Discussion about how great of a city Toronto is: Toronto is a funny little animal. The object of scorn from the rest of the country, Torontonians can occasionally be heard wondering aloud what drives the ‘inferiority complex’ that they assume is fueling the animosity towards them from people that live anywhere west of Burlington. If Torontonians really want to know what it feels like to be the rest of the country, they only need to watch what happens to themselves when somebody from the USA mentions the city directly. The series of questions to Dickey about the city may be phrased in terms of entertainment and familial comfort, but what they really sound like is: “It’s great here, you think it’s great here, right? Americans like it here, they always talk about how cool we are, right? Toronto is just like an American city, but it’s also like Europe, right? It’s not that different from New York, right?”

Softball questions about age: The weekend days that got swallowed whole while we all waited for the trade to be official revealed quite a bit about a lot of people, including a lot repeated questions and doubts about R.A. Dickey’s age and ability to sustain his level of performance. Rest assured, this is an opportunity for a beat writer to lead the Dickster into saying something clever about not feeling as old as he is, age being nothing but a number, or make reference to aging being something that catches up to all of us, and everyone there will relate to it and laugh along. Because aging sucks. Am I right, every living thing on the planet?

Dickey's Rookie Year

Questions about Dickey’s past: I fully expect the Toronto media to do the best they can to get R.A. Dickey to like them. By all accounts from the New York media, Dickey is a thoughtful, kind gentleman who is a joy to cover and work with. If it’s cool in New York, you can count on Toronto to learn about it roughly 2 years later and try as hard as it can to do whatever New York did without any effort. The R.A. Dickey story was a great read, fun to follow, and really helped propel his popularity in the Big Apple in the last few years, so get ready for Canada’s Best Sportswriters to smell that George Gross Award and repeat the whole tale for as long as it takes for them to get invited to the Algonquin Roundtable on Prime Time Sports.

Softball questions about team expectations: Somebody (Barry Davis) is going to really hang their balls out there and ask Dickey what he thinks about the team’s chances in the AL East after the big off-season. He will do this because they need a sound clip of Dickey sounding positive for promotional stuff and quick headline sound bytes, because come on. What do you expect him to say? “I think, given the moves we’ve made, there’s a very good chance we fall short of expectations and finish 3rd behind Tampa.” No, he’s going to say that the pieces are in place for something special, and I bet he also re-hashes the ‘We might need nametags’ joke he added to his goodbye piece in the New York Daily News.

A really hard-hitting question that is tough to answer: Hahaha just kidding.

Feel good photo-ops: R.A. Dickey is going to hold up a jersey with his name and number on it, and Alex Anthopolous will be there too, laughing and smiling. No joke in this paragraph, guys.

Dickey Face: Speaking of photos, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll get a nice look at some Dickey Face today. If you don’t know what Dickey Face is, go ahead and google it right now or just click here. Evidently, the guy can’t go more than a half hour without making a hilarious face of some sort. I, for one, welcome this tremendous photoshopping opportunity. Look, I found one where he reminded me of a fish:

At least one very good question: While writing this, I received word that the editor of Getting Blanked will be in attendance. As such, you can expect one very good question. If you aren’t sure which question is Drew’s, be sure to watch the whole thing and whichever question sounded the smartest was his. (Note to editor: Is this paragraph ball-washy enough? Let me know. I got my blogging paycheck today so the first round of caviar baths are on me. Delete this when you’re done.)

Alex Anthopolous playing your heartstrings like a fiddle: I’m convinced that ol’ AA has a secret twitter account (probably disguised as a parody of himself, no doubt) and occasionally trolls our conversations to understand us a little better and know what to feed to the media to get us to love him. He’s going to talk about the competitive window of opportunity and about ‘going for it’ and make us all feel warm and eager to spend money on the on-field product.

Hope: More than anything, this press conference is going to remind you that you’re supposed to get your hopes up this season. Are your hopes high? Well get them higher, because R.A. Goddamn Dickey is in town. Go buy a jersey for God’s sake. And buy a flex pack. Get your kids excited about baseball. Don’t forget, you promised in December that you wouldn’t care about hockey when it came back, so you may as well tell your boss you’re busy in October because you’ve got some playoff tickets to reserve, buddy.

There you have it, friends. If you decide this isn’t quite enough for you and plan on actually watching the presser, make sure to check back in here to dissect every minute of it. We can all gush together!

Comments (70)

  1. Here’s one: Count how many times AA says the word ‘obviously.’ Ever since I picked up on how much he says it, I can’t help but notice it and it bugs me. You’re welcome.

    • I will now be scoring along with a paper and pencil! Thank you for the tip.

    • his entire mode of speech is a bit annoying to listen to, well, at pressers anyway

      • Well, when you think about it, in the context that we’re talking about here, which is a press conference, where, that’s not to say that this is always the case, but in the case where it is the case, at a press conference, sometimes we have to consider the context of the situation and just try to make, what we feel personally and from a corporate standpoint, the best decision that we, and by that I mean myself and Paul, that we can, given all of the factors and the contexts and the constraints that we, as a team, from a day to day standpoint, in terms of press conferences, are facing.

      • His hope is to never say anything without qualifiers so he can’t ever have his face shoved into some mistaken comment. He clearly is heavily influenced in all media matters by how poorly JPR handled the media.

        I’ll tell you this – I at least believe that he believes whatever he is saying. And he doesn’t say things just for effect.

        So I’m fine with whatever mannerisms he may show.

        • @IMW *swish

          @sons, at the end of the day i’m fine with the mannerisms as well, since its not priority #1 of his job

  2. Btw is spring training the to we see all the new jays in uniform?

  3. Can Drew just get up, say “Dickey the best!” and then sit down?

  4. I can’t wait for the press conference, that I way I can ask stupid questions and act like a star struck numbnuts all while trying to become buddies with RA Dickey and hopefully he invites me over to his house so I can bring cookies and we can eat them and watch my Banana Splits DVD set. Barry Davis…Sportsnet.

  5. Thanks for saving me from watching a half hour of good-feeling back slapping.

  6. Where can I buy my DJF sponsored #DickeyTheBest t-shirt?

  7. I feel like “dickey face” isn’t something I should google at work

    • Then you have the wrong job.

      • Unless you work somewhere with no access to the internet, in which case, I apologize.

        • If he works somewhere with no access to the internet then my mind is blown because he just made a post. on. the. internet.

          • You can access the internet through one of those smart phones.I was gonna get one but I don’t want a phone that’s smarter than me.Not fond of adding machines either.Or typewriters.Don’t trust dicta phones.

    • I thought the same thing. I can assure you the link is safe.. and worth the click.

  8. Can we get a family Christmas dinner update?

  9. Didn’t Dorothy Parker once say of Toronto that “there’s no there there,” or was that Muncie, Indiana?

  10. Whenever someone not from Toronto mentions how they/other people hate the city, I always shrug and say: “I don’t really understand the problem. Being the center of the universe is not all it’s cracked up to be.”

  11. Where the hell is the Melky Cabrera press conference? In fact, where the hell is Melky Cabrera? I haven’t heard a thing from him since the signing. That would be a presser I’d watch.

    Reporter: Melky, did you spend any time over the winter and during your suspension improving on your website creation skills?

    (Interpreter interprets question in Spanish for Melky)

    Melky: Thank you to my family and my fans.

  12. Now this is totally out there, and not a hope in hell. But now that the Nationals have signed Laroche, what kind of replacement player would “the beast” Morse make in the jays lineup. WIth Oliver coming off the payroll and Morse only making 6 million. What kind of trade would the jays be looking at if they wanted him. He is a free agent after the 2013 season.

    • Two months ago I would have said that was a pipe dream. But now, it is just a day dream. Expectations: raised.

      • To me I don’t think it is too far out of the realm of possible. He would be a perfect fit to replace Lind as our right handed hitter.

  13. The interest in Winnipeg doesn’t really surprise me. I moved to Sk. three years ago and have met alot of folks who love the team. Many ask me about Toronto and would like to do a weekender there and take in a game or two.
    This offseason of the team tryin to better themselves has increased that talk. Sorta get the impression people in Sk treat the Jays as Canada’s team similar to the Riders are Sk’s team even though they play in Regina. Alot of us former Ontarians who happen to be Jays fans are also helpin fan the flames.

    • it would be great to see some Rider fans at the Dickey-dome this summer. I’d also like to see someone photoshop a watermelon on Dickey. The last time we had a top SP from the Mets here we had melon shaped headgear being worn in the Dome.

  14. The first paragraph of this article is terrible and a total run-on sentence that I had to read three times to understand what the hell Zuber was trying to say. Where’s Stotes?

  15. I’m setting the over/under on the word “chemistry” at 5.5 times.

  16. Inferiority complex? That’s such an outdated complex. Was it ever even real? Perpetuating that weak stereotype is hindering and unfounded.

  17. Great read. Very funny. Probably your best work Mr. Zuber, I thought it was Stoeten until midway through!

  18. Hockey can lick my sack

  19. The zubester knows what I like to read

  20. Drew please take this jersey and pull the ol’ Switcheroo

    http://goo.gl/HIeoM

  21. I just saw Drew on the TV!! <3

  22. AMAZING! Drew asks a great question about what the convo must have been like when deciding to give up so many prospects which is immediately;y followed by AA saying obviously 16 times and a dumb bird from CP24 asking a cringe-worthy ego stroke question about Toronto.

  23. I tuned in late, but RA is just killing this press conference

  24. I have just fallen in love he’s got my dickey all locked up

  25. “Because aging sucks.”

    My mother is in her 80s and right now is staying in a golf course condo in Florida for the winter. She calls me on Skype over the weekend (yes, really) and I ask her how she likes the place. She says, “Ahh, you know, it’s full of old people,” and then she tells me a joke she heard down there.

    Two old guys meet at a seniors centre — something like the place she’s staying at, natch. One says to the other, “Hey, I heard you got married again.”

    The second guy answers, “Yeah, that’s right, I did.”

    The first guy says, “Well, congratulations! Is she pretty?”

    The other guy says, “No.”

    The first guy then asks, “Well, is the sex any good?”

    “No.”

    “So, does she have a lot of money?”

    “No.”

    “Well, why are you doing it then?”

    “She can still drive at night.”

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