It’s a rainy day here in Dunedin, but from the friendly voice of Carol, who I can hear doing the lord’s work– fielding calls from fans unsure about today’s start– from outside where I am, in the Media Conference Room in Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, today’s spring tilt against Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau (both of whom are supposedly coming), and the rest of the Minnesota Twins is really going to take place. I’m surprised to be writing that, given some of the gale force winds and thick bouts of rain I’ve already seen, but who am I to question Carol?
What else have I seen? Not a whole lot. Jose Bautista had a lengthy talk with Japan’s NHK about his Sadaharu Oh-like swing, while Jose Reyes recorded promos for various broadcasts in the background (with Trevor Cole of Toronto Life coolly leaning against the wall in the fashion of someone working for Toronto Life). A large players– and Gibbers!– have passed back and forth in front of me, but that’s really about it. Not that I’m complaining. I’m just here to take a few pictures– now redundant, thanks to the excellent work of Getty Images and Al Messerschmidt– and to try to blend into the background and hope most people forget the first five years of this blog. Ha! Oh, and I’ve also seen a whole lot of media folk– and probably team personnel, too– who wouldn’t be nearly as upset as I would if there’s a cancellation.
Anywho… on to some links as we wait to see whether this rain will clear and whether my trip across the state has been entirely in vain…
Touching stuff from Spink Award winner Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, as he remembers Tom Cheek, who this year will join him in the Hall of Fame’s writers and broadcasters wing, as the winner of the Ford C. Frick award. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in the midst of all these guys here at the moment– it really is great.
Shithearts take heed: Chris Jones does some WRITING about J.P. Arencibia and his apparently jock-less quest to catch R.A. Dickey at ESPN.com.
Speaking of, Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via Global Toronto, writes that the Jays will wait until after the Jussell Martin Baseball Quintessential to decide who will be Dickey’s catcher. Arencibia, of course, caught him over the winter in Nashville, where they both reside (and, again, did so while not wearing a cup, apparently), and will be with him on Team USA during said upcoming Jussell Martin Rounders Fantastico.
Minor Leaguer of Bluebird Banter writes that he found the pairing of Mike Wilner and Dirk Hayhurst in the radio booth “surprisingly entertaining.” I agree with the latter, but personally I can’t say I was surprised, he said, further ingratiating himself.
Bluebird Banter also points us in the direction of this outstanding “fanpost” from SB Nation Red Sox blog Over The Monster.
Griff gets close to some of the same not-entirely-crazy sentiment, looking at the lack of fireworks that greeted John Farrell yesterday. “Think about it,” he writes in his piece for Toronto Star. “If Farrell had not embarrassed the organization, making Toronto seem like a two-bit town, if he’d remained with the team, maybe GM Alex Anthopoulos would have contented himself with some minor manoeuvres, counted on better health with his pitchers and gone after it with largely the same cast of young and developing players. Farrell was asked if he is happier now that he is living out his dream job.”
Elsewhere, Griffin writes about magical glue guy (my words, not his– though very possibly Alex Anthopoulous’s), and Brett Lawrie’s next door neighbour in the locker room, Mark DeRosa.
Some person called Bob Confer of something called the Niagara Gazette calls out Mark Buehrle for being an “absentee father” for choosing not to live in Western New York, where his pit bulls are legal, and instead leaving the dogs with his wife and children in St. Louis. Yeah, I’m sure this column will go over real well.
The great Peter Gammons tweets this gem at us: “Jose Reyes thinks Jose Bautista will knock him in a record # of times. Record is Mike Sweeney knocking in Johnny Damon 58 times in 2000.” He was here yesterday– too bad I missed him, I could have sung him the song in person.
At Baseball Prospectus (paywall’d), Russell A. Carleton tries to quantify some aspect of chemistry, and… yeah, who knows?
I mentioned it yesterday, but because I’m pretty sure people were insisting last week that I was an idiot for passing along information along these lines that was contrary to what Alex Anthopoulos had said about it, why not pass along John Lott’s piece from the National Post about MLBPA head Michael Weiner’s visit, and the suggestion that Melky Cabrera might not be out of the woods just yet.
At Franchise Mode, Scott Johnson gives us a player-by-player look at the Jays’ rankings in MLB ’13: The Show.
The Outside Corner previews the Jays for the upcoming season… y’know, in case you lapsed into a coma six months ago and are just now regaining consciousness. (Or, I suppose, if you live in a market other than Toronto… or are just a casual fan… or… you get the point).
Lastly, over at Getting Blanked, Drew shows us a video of Pete Walker catching R.A. Dickey yesterday, revealing that… yeah… those knuckleballs ain’t so easy to handle.