I’m back in the Great White Ball-Freezing North after a couple lazy days travelling, and the Jays… yep, it turns out they’re still working their way through the spring grind. And they’re in Clearwater, home of Lenny’s, their giant, gluttonous American breakfast, the bowl of effing Danishes they give you before your giant, gluttonous American breakfast, and the Philadelphia Philles. Or, at least, a split squad variation of.

And shit, it’s even on TV. Baseball-ish!


In the National Post, John Lott talks to a not-quite-so-young-looking-anymore Dustin McGowan, who will actually throw off a mound for the first time in over a year on Tuesday– which gives him time, according to a presumably very diplomatic John Gibbons, to jump into the club’s bullpen mix.

Also according to Lott’s piece, the Jays are also returning Brad Lincoln to the bullpen– where he was far more successful last year, after struggling throughout his big league career as a starter. The club had said they planned on stretching him out and keeping him as depth at Buffalo, but it seems as though they’ve remembered he’s Brad Lincoln.

Lott also has an outstanding piece on Colby Rasmus, who likes the atmosphere in the room so far, and contrasts it with last season where, as Lott puts it, “when the going got tough, Farrell’s leadership did not resonate in the clubhouse.” Rasmus explains: “I’m not trying to bash anybody by starting up crap, but I think John Gibbons has got a little bit of a better idea of how to handle it, just because I don’t see him as a guy that’s going to hit that panic button and get tight and into kind of freak-out mode.” Regarding the second half of last season, Rasmus says, “It was just like panic mode, like what are we doing? Everybody looking over their shoulder. It was just a bad feeling.” He adds, “It got a little uncomfortable there – for everybody.” Good luck, Boston.

Emilio Bonifacio starts for the Jays today at shortstop, though maybe it would be better to have him at second base, as Gregor Chisholm writes in a notebook post for BlueJays.com that he’ll need more reps at second if he’s to have any hope of winning the starting job there, as a number of errant throws so far this spring have shown he’s a little rusty.

Mike Wilner recaps yesterday’s win over the Phillies for us over at Sportsnet, and tells us, among other things, about being joined in the booth by Shirley Cheek, following an emotional ovation during a pre-game honour for her late husband, and Hall of Famer, Tom.

And back to Gregor, who has a transcript of R.A. Dickey’s chat with reporters after yesterday’s outing, over at North Of The Border.

Speaking of Dickey, in an interesting dispatch from camp, Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail tells us that one of Mark DeRosa’s first duties as a Blue Jay was to tell the reigning NL Cy Young winner that last year he was tipping his pitches– though it seems only the Washington Nationals picked up on it.

Another Blair piece looks at Brett Lawrie’s comments about Russell Martin’s decision not to play in the WBC, and the Jays’– and every team’s– secret hope that their players would follow ol’ Jussell’s lead, largely because it’s higher energy, meaningful baseball being played “at the stage of spring training where only bad things can happen to players or pitchers.” He also notes R.A. Dickey’s comments saying that he expects J.P. Arencibia will catch him in real games for Team USA. So… y’know… how about that.

And yes, indeed, the Global Honkball Thingamajig is already in full swing, and my colleagues at Getting Blanked– minus one travelling Old Reliable– put up a podcast on Friday to help get you set for it.

TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

A. Gose CF
M. Cabrera DH
J. Bautista RF
A. Lind 1B
M. DeRosa 3B
R. Davis LF
E. Bonifacio SS
H. Blanco C
M. Izturis 2B

R. Romero LHP


Philadelphia Phillies

Y. Bettancourt SS
K. Frandsen 3B
C. Utley 2B
R. Howard 1B
D. Ruf LF
D. Brown RF
E. Kratz C
T. Joseph DH
E. Incairte CF

A. Cook RHP

Comments (84)

  1. When I heard Gibby’s McGowan comments I thought “I hope Stoeten isn’t driving when he hears this!”

  2. Tabby in mid-season form. Profiled Aaron Cook without mentioning his 71% groundball rate last year. Then described the Phillies as a really “athletic” team. What?

  3. This is a good thread/article from Over the Monster:


    • What. An. Idiot this guy is.

      • + Billions and Billions
        That Fred Thompson idiot was just trolling and got caught plagarising (SP?) and lying. Both the Jays bloggers and the Sox bloggers seemed to run him off the blog at the end of it. Fascinating read from start to end though.

  4. Remember when Jon Rauch inadvertently dislocated John Farrell’s jaw? Those were the days…

    Also listening to Rob Faulds actually makes me long for Buck. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

  5. Seems like Derosa’s already running for mayor of the clubhouse. He’s got his locker next to Lawrie, to impart his infinite wisdom. Helping out a cy young winner to hide his delivery.

    At least he doesn’t speak Spanish, or else he’d also be appointed by Richard griffin as the guy who is a calming influence on the Latin players. That would be a heavy burden to place on one guy.

  6. Gose has been on base in his first 2 AB’s and hasn’t hit the ball out of the infield.

  7. “Global Honkball Thingamajig” …….Clap, Clap, Clap. Funny!

  8. RT @Wilnerness590 Gose’s speed forces Betancourt to rush throw on a routine grounder, and he throws it away. Blanco scores, #Bluejays up 3-1. #Jays

    RT @BKennedyStar An optimist would say Gose’s speed caused that error, but I’m not so sure it wasn’t just Betancourt being sloppy & Howard being immobile.

    Love it

  9. That got out in a hurry.

  10. My wife happened to be sitting with me enjoying some Sunday morning baseball and she asked “what did he put on his wrist, over his hand” about Emilio Bonifacio, when he get on to first base, last inning.

    I figured it must be some kind of brace for sliding head first when stealing. I never got a good look at it myself.

    Seconds later, he stole second. Then stole third and scored an the throwing error and my wife says ” oh I think that thing he put means, I am going to score momentarily and there is nothing you can do about it.”

    And she was right. Score at will, seemingly.

  11. Ya that was a bomb!!

    • Great at bat all around. Laid off some close pitches, waited for the meatball on the payoff pitch and destroyed it. That was fun to watch.

  12. Nice to see coaches are in still working their way into regular season form as well. As if they sent Lind on a shallow fly with two out. To his credit it actually looked like he was hustling. Too bad he’s slow as fuck even when he is.

  13. Dustin McGowan is 31…when the fuck did that happen?

  14. Also nice to see that the Jays aren’t the only team that forgets how to run the bases in the off season. Nice heads up play by Santos backing up the throw.

  15. Santos is getting me giddy!

  16. Wow. Gose must have a hot date after the game or something. He was just all like “I’m gonna stare at three straight strikes so we can all get out of here early”.

  17. The Cecilator.

  18. A happy Rasmus is a hitting Rasmus. Hopefully…

  19. HA! It’s hilarious in the comments when the by’s start going on about how buddy running the Bo Sox blog probably won’t be around by the time the season starts. Jesus, I read the bickering here some times and want to punch myself in the face because of how stupid it is, but holy fuck, Red Sox fans are reallllllly fucking stupid.

    • I take that back, some Red Sox fans aren’t terrible, especially those who are now hating on this Fred Thompson dummy. Well played Boston, well played…

      • Yeah I was impressed with that too. They didnt like that he lowered the tone of the board to troll status and they let him know it over and over.

  20. Tabby on the Royals trade: “I think they identified where they needed to improve, went out and got a couple of great arms in Shields and Davis, and didn’t give up a lot”

    • @plain g

      Ya I caught that and was like whaaaaaaa??

      Maybe the commentators need to shake the rust off in spring training much like the players…??

      Or not…

      I havent heard Hayhurst this spring but people seem to have taken a liking to him somewhat at least

  21. It’s probably time to send McCoy to the mound.

  22. Lenny’s!!! Place is the bombbbb. I wonder if Stoeten went with the “gator” omelette?!

  23. Nothing to say on the game… bored with Spring Training already… but check this video from Dirk Hayhurst’s blog of Dickey warming up his knuckleball…


    The 2nd pitch is just ridiculous…

  24. Santos is just plain filthy

  25. Is it just me or does Joey B look a little bit at…?

  26. Was anyone surprised Lind got thrown out at home??

    I wanna root for this guy but fuck he makes it nearly impossible!!

  27. Rught now Lind is probably the most unlike able Jay unless you are Zaun and just want to take shots at Rasmus or something. ..
    Melky could be if you don’t believe in forgiving after he has paid his penalty

    Anyway, i am not worried about the team other than that Bautista and his wrist is fine.
    April could be rough if the team isn’t flying out of the gates.

  28. Mike Francesca did a lot of interviews with NY teams; some relevant Jays stuff is his constant allusion to his “inside knowledge” that Reyes was/is very wary of coming to “Canada” and perhaps concern about the turf. Francesa says this during his Sweeny Murti hits and also during his interview with John Buck (saying he lives in the same town on L.I. as Reyes and apparently sees him out grocery shopping – which we know is an awesome experience).

    Buck talked about TO, there is an interview with d’Arnaud, a nice one with Jeter and also Sabathia.


    • The Tuesday Murti audio has slipped off the list because of additional files, but here is the transcript of what Francesa said about Reyes’ thoughts about being traded:

      Francesa: There’s two reasons why you have to be very cautious if you are a Blue Jay backer. Number one, they’re all coming from bad teams. And number two, number two, you are counting on Reyes being happy and healthy. Josh Johnson being happy and healthy. And Dickey returning to the level he got to last year. And those are three very, very tricky things to be dealing with this year.

      Murti: Yeah. And, Reyes on turf too, you know.

      Francesa: Turf. I mean, I am talking about happy and healthy – Reyes in Canada and Reyes on turf. He might not be happy in either spot. I can tell you right now Reyes was taken aback about being in Canada. I can tell you that right now. I know that! So, he was a little stunned about being in Canada. So, I’m not saying it’s gonna . . . I don’t know what he is going to do but I can tell you that, he was a little taken aback about being in Canada.

      From February 26th WFAN, Mike Francesa discussion with Sweeny Murti at 17:35 mark of 19 minute 30 second discussion.

      • Francesca’s an idiot who drives up pointless speculation 24/7

        • +1

          If Reyes, Dickey et al had been traded to Kansas City Francesca would be going on about how Reyes isn’t happy in Kansas City. Once you leave there the New York media is out to get you, it’s just how they work.

          • But how could Dominican-born Reyes handle going to a different country to play baseball? How could he possibly do that?

  29. I missed the game, did Darren Daulton strip during the seventh inning stretch?

    • Dutch was too busy schooling DeRosa on how to be a great clubhouse leader. He had pie charts, venn diagrams and finished with a fab powerpoint presentation.

      • Wow. Such great work by Dutch. Did Derosa learn the art of looking downright studly from Dutch,, of course via pie chart? Sounds like I missed a real dandy. Do you think John Kruk would flash his one nut in the change room to make Nails swallow his Red man?

  30. My friend texted me this morning

    – Hey man McGowan is going to be in the pen, he is throwing pain free apparently

    – Hrmm they said that last year….

    – oh yah… nm

    Does anyone else feel like this is spring training for us in here too? I am just getting stretched out and getting all the insults ready for the TSN jag offs that come in here expecting some sort of high brow baseball conversation.

    Guy at work says to me”
    “hey man I checked out that drunk jays fans site you told me about, I commented and within an hour ten different people insulted me, some site you have there”

    I love this place.

    • Do not forget the star and the gong show that is the toronto sun comment section…..

    • “Guy at work says to me”
      “hey man I checked out that drunk jays fans site you told me about, I commented and within an hour ten different people insulted me, some site you have there”

      I love this place.”

      Haha. We aim to please.

    • Toe the line or you get the foot.

    • @BMHS

      It’s how baseball fandom works.People who are casual fans tend to join the conversation on DJF and state something as if they’re an authority rather than being open to a counterpoint.
      True story.I was at a wedding last year and the discussion turned to the Jays.The group claimed to be huge Jays fans who agreed that this one person was the ultimate and knew EVERYTHING about the Jays.Making small talk,I mentioned that with all the prospects in the system,I was interested in seeing Gose play with the big club.
      I could see the confused look when the person replied “Who’s Gose?”
      We are all at different stages of knowledge,with different perspectives and I love the passion,especially from the casual fan.Everyone can learn from the DJF comment section but if you make an abolute statement, be prepared to debate your point, if it doesn’t make sense.
      Game threats should be interesting this year, win or lose.

  31. Still not regretting my Rasmus Jersey purchase!
    Go Jays!

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