The Afternoon Snack is now The Daily Duce– all the latest must-read Jays links, fully Rob Ducey-fied…

In the Globe and Mail, Jeff Blair writes about the nervy three weeks upcoming for the Jays, as “all that money and possibilities are in someone else’s hands at a time when nothing good can happen in spring training – only injuries – until opening day.” He also talks about R.A. Dickey’s catcher– who most believe will be Henry Blanco, the veteran who “has become a subliminal presence in the clubhouse, moving easily between the various cultures”– and the fact that the reigning NL Cy Young winner wants J.P. Arencibia to catch for him in the World Baseball Classic, when he starts game one for the USA on Friday.

Blair also has a terrific piece about Brett Lawrie, and the steps being taken by the organization, often in the form of having Mark DeRosa attached to him at the hip, to rein in some of his destructive exuberance. “He does everything you can do on the field,” says DeRosa, who compares Lawrie’s personality to a less laid back Bryce Harper. “I guess what I’d like to do is expedite things.”

Matty Leach-bomb of MLB.com writes about Colby Rasmus, who tells him he’s happy being just another player on a team full of big names, rather than someone more fully in the spotlight. Leach also talks about the club’s rotation health, which will be crucial to a successful 2013.

Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTR reviews the Jays’ off-season, in which… holy shit, they made a lot of moves!

Maury Brown predicts at Baseball Prospectus (paywall’d) whether attendance will be up or down for each club in the American League, and is unsurprisingly bullish on the Jays, explaining that “it’s very possible that the Blue Jays could see attendance break the three-million mark if they start the 2013 season off on a high note. You can mark this down right now: Toronto will see the largest attendance increase in the league this year.”

At Sportsnet, Mike Wilner recaps yesterday’s loss to the Phillies, but notes some good news: Ricky Romero and Sergio Santos felt great physically and thought their stuff was working well. He also passes along the news about Dustin McGowan’s sudden health– though he thinks the always-injured pitcher will probably start the season on the DL regardless– and the fact that Brad Lincoln is moving back into a relief role, partly because of how decent some of the Jays’ depth pitchers have fared so far (i.e. J.A. Happ, Claudio Vargas, Justin Germano, Dave Bush and Ramon Ortiz).

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi has a lengthy feature on the remaining, and perhaps the most exciting, member of the Lansing Three, Aaron Sanchez. “Each year since we’ve gotten him, it seems like he adds a grade to his fastball and he does it so easy that I’m not sure what his limits are. Often times when a guy’s velocity and power increases, it’s like having a new toy and sometimes the control and the command lag, usually it might take a year for the guy to get comfortable with that newfound power and velocity,” explains Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava. “It’s still not where he wants it or we want it. As he matures, that’s going to be a big part of his development.”

And one more from Sportsnet, as Arden Zwelling talks to Dustin McGowan about his slow road to recovery-ish.

Great stuff, as usual, from John Lott of the National Post, who looks at the success Aaron Loup has had after lowering his arm slot, and the somewhat forgotten Tommy John trio of Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek and Luis Perez, who are all nearly ready to take their first steps back out onto a mound again.

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun asks a huge number of Jays players who they think the best newcomer the team has added this winter is. His colleague, Steve Simmons, writes about the relationship between a couple of cats wound just a little bit differently: John Gibbons and Brett Lawrie.

Elsewhere in the Sun, Ken Fidlin writes about the Jays’ intention to keep up the defensive shifts they used to good effect last season, and about Mark Buehrle, velocity, and Mark Buehrle’s lack of concern about velocity.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin gives a lengthy preview of the WBC tournament.

Parkes talks Jays and their Spring Training ratings in his Monday Morning Media Culpa at Fanatico.

Non Jays-related but interesting, part one: Nolan Ryan could be on the way out in Texas, according to Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Non Jays-related but interesting, part two: Mother Jones takes an extensive look at what they term MLB’s “Dominican sweatshop system.”

Not sure where the lefty stuff is coming from– well, OK, mostly via Baseball Think Factory– not that I’m complaining, but here’s an interesting one on the mostly-retired O-Dog, Orlando Hudson, from Daily Kos.

The Blue Jay Hunter looks at some of the heroes of Spring Trainings past for the Jays.

At the Tao of Stieb, the Org Guy previews the Jays season by answering some questions from Replacement Level Blog. And elsewhere, the Tao himself looks at the big year upcoming for Colby Rasmus, as part of his 30-odd Jays in 30-odd days series.

Extra Base Hit has the composite fantasy rankings for shortstops, and Jose Reyes finds himself behind only Troy Tulowitzki, tied with ex-teammate Hanley Ramirez. When it comes to third basemen, Brett Lawrie comes off the board tenth, per the composite.

At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer updates the Jays’ uniform number assignments. He also has a bunch of anagrams with the names of Jays players (no out-of-control singer bashing his way through the crowd, though, unfortunately).

Mike Ferrin of Baseball Prospectus looks at all the teams who’ve added in one off-season something in the neighbourhood of the same WARP as the Jays have this year. Turns out such teams are pretty good!

Delicious blasphemy: Paul Swydan of FanGraphs wonders if 2013 will be Justin Morneau’s last stand.

At Franchise Mode, Scott Johnson– who did the awesome new Daily Duce artwork you see at the top of this post– uses Jays players as his models in a side-by-side comparison of what the graphics look like in MLB 2K13 and MLB ’13: The Show.

Lastly, great stuff from Getting Blanked today, as Zubes recaps the weekend’s overseas action in the WBC, Drew stands up for the ever-growing number of cable cutters among us and points out MLBAM’s dropping of the ball when it comes to streamed WBC content (of the legal variety), and Travis Reitsma’s excellent team preview series continues, looking today at rivals-ish club, the Baltimore Orioles. Drew also passes along worth that Joey Votto will indeed play for Canada during the WBC!

Comments (57)

  1. Just to let you know, Bob Elliot’s piece is not linking. This happened with another Sun piece as well.

    • Anybody else experiencing this? Just checked and it’s OK for me. Maybe you’ve hit the Sun’s paywall MTG? Though… it usually takes you to a preview of the article, at least.

  2. Dropping the Duce like it’s hot.

  3. Liking what we read about Sanchez and Osuna . Some expect Osuna because of Mexican league experience to move quickly through system this year

    • Sanchez’ walk rate is a little worrisome though. Is it common for young power arms to have control issues early in their careers and straighten it out? High 90s heat is nothing in the majors if you can’t locate it.

      • It’s hard to find a release point when your velocity keeps going up and your body isn’t mature yet. Give him time for his body to mature and find his release point and he should be alright.

  4. today, 4 days from WSC, i am hoping that all the jays players teams lose quickly…..lets go Mexico and Italy…….Come on Japan and cuba……

    Dont give 2 shits if Canada wins this or not…….WSC is not the WS……27 days left!

    • WBC* ffs

      lets get a comment edit tap on this thing already.

    • Yeah I just can’t make myself care about this tournament.

      It seems boring, like the All Star Game, but with lots of people I’ve never heard of.

      And the timing makes no sense at all. If it was in the fall after the World Series, sure whatever. You could break your arm and still be ready for spring. But now?

      • I would love to know how mant people watched the Aussie/Chinese Taipei game through to the end the other night. Be surprised if there were 5 people.

  5. I like to have a daily duce everyday.

  6. No link to the Blair piece about Lawrie

  7. So McGowan has miraculously recovered? Didn’t he suffer another setback a couple of weeks ago? That Wilner article is kind of vague on the subject and I’m too lazy to scrounge around for info.

  8. It’s going to be huge for the Jays if Hutchison, Drabek, and Perez can all make it back when the rosters expand. All 3 can be quality arms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all 3 were pushed to the bullpen to limit their innings, assuming the Jays are in the playoff picture.

    It would be nice if Drabek played as himself in MLB ’13 The Show to work on his delivery while recvering, and see what a strike looks like.

    • Someone threw a perfect game with Drabek in MLB 2K12.


      • That is pure insanity, but at the same time, it’s only 2K.

        Side note: I noticed fireworks going off in the SkyDome. They really need to bring that back.

        • You mean you don’t like the foghorn.
          I remember how smokey it used to get in the dome after the fireworks. Good times.

      • I threw a no-no with Clemens in the original RBI baseball. He runs out of gas in the 5th/6th and you have to live on the corners with his knuckleball.

        RA Dickey wouldn’t have been the same facination in the 80′s because every guy in RBI baseball could throw a knuckler.

        • It was a different time. I remember the years of Tecmo baseball where my pitch would break 8 inches left right before breaking 8 inches right.

          Travis was my go to guy

  9. I like the shot Hutchinson took at JP. While the entire team picked Dickey/Buehrle/Johnson and Reyes and most important newcomer, Hutchinson picked Blanco or Thole:

    “Drew Hutchison

    Blanco or Thole: “Whoever they decide is Dickey’s catcher. It’s going to be so important for his success to have a catcher who can handle his knuckleball.””


  10. Most “narratives” in sports are just made up stories by sportswriters who need to justify their jobs and write SOMEthing…..but if I was going to buy one narrative this spring, its the one about Colby just happy he can be a background supprtong piece. Just be Colby Rasmus the player and not Colby Rasmus the concept.

    I think hes going to quietly have a big year.

  11. “the daily shit”

  12. What the Deuce!?!?!?!

  13. Dont see a link at all for he second paragraph story . . And link for elliot not working for me

  14. Rob Ducey is not that brown.

  15. Watching the Blue Jays winter tour episodes I couldn’t help but grow to like Colby. At first I kind of bought into the “he probably has a bad attitude” bullshit that Larussa threw out to the world. But in watching those epsiodes he just comes across as harmless/goofy/fun and yes, a little simple. I found it endearing and now I’m really pulling for Cletus to have a monster year.

    • My guess is, like Romero, he’s a little fragile emotionally. With a good sports psychologist, they could both get over the hump. I would like to see both of them have monster years.

    • I prefer “unsophisticated” to simple.

    • The blue jay tour on tv probly made me wanna root for Brett Cecil that much more. Guy seemed genuine, cracked sarcastic jokes about himself when his 2011 stats were mentioned instead of his 2012 stats when being introduced to kids in school gym.

      Was pure Gold. I really hope he bounces back!!

      • Ya, I liked that too. When Campbell was inroducing him as a guy who won 15 in 2010, his line was something like if remember correctly “what does it say about you if they’re using stats from 2 years ago?”. Pretty funny.

        • Right thats what it was*

          People keep talking about Beurhle helping Romero and being a new mentor and what not. Hopefully Cecil can pick up some of the shit being laid out

      • Which one of those guys had the half decent wrist shot? Was it Hutch?

  16. Is anyone else hearing this?


    Just read it online. Apparently, it’s the same source that broke the Melky Cabrera PED suspension last year.

  17. Interesting.

    Cano and Granderson are a huge surprise. Nice to see Braun’s name in there:

    If it’s true of course.

    • Wow, for me the big news there is Cano. He’s the motor in the Yankees big machine. If he gets 50, then it totally changes the landscape of the AL east.

      Added benefit, if I’m not mistaken games missed due to injury don’t count towards suspension so ARod and Granderson would have to sit out additional games to their lengthy DL stints.

      Huge news.
      Holy shit.
      Huge, sweet n tasty, syrupy, maple goodness news.

  18. Speaking of the daily deuce did you see that lady dropping a deuce in the grocery store?

  19. prob not true but holy shitballs if it is


    Tjis guy called the Melky suspension s month early, so who knows?

    • On the one hand I’ll be happy if it’s true and they all get suspended. On the other hand, if it is true I’m going to be pissed cuz the Yankees already had the biggest payroll in the universe and now you tell me they were all juiced too. The Universe needs to punish them — maybe their GM could have a freak accident with a parachute or something.

  20. Wouldn’t that be a darned shame?

    • Fuck it, this news is so good I’m getting drunk. Who knows a good excuse to call in to work with?

      I’ve used:

      I can’t come to work today, I tripped on my penis.

      I can’t make it in today I’ve got leprosy.

      Can’t make it to work today, my unicorn is missing.

  21. Interesting thing about the Elliot piece. Most of the pitchers identified Reyes (or generally, a batter) as the most important addition, while the batters mostly chose one (or all) of the new SP as the most important addition.

    Clear demonstration of the differing perspectives on what area of the team needed the most help…

  22. I just had a dart and a cup of Joe and dropped the nastiest Rob Ducey.

    • I dated this chick in high school, she was kinda Edwin Encar-nastyown. She really gave some great Emilio Bona-fellatio, even though was tad bit too Mark Buerle. She seemed to really have fun with my Josh Johnson.

  23. Kudos on the Anagram reference, by the way. Miss those guys.

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