The Afternoon Snack is now The Daily Duce– all the latest must-read Jays links, fully Rob Ducey-fied… and apparently not always daily. Lotta catching up to do here!
Here’s a minor disappointment that I only just realized this week: Opening Day around here isn’t really Opening Day. I guess it’s because the Jays play in a dome, so there’s no need to add a first-series off-day to ensure the opener goes off without a hitch, but… yeah, if you check the league-wide schedule at the start of the regular season, you’ll see the Rangers and Astros kicking things off on the night of Sunday, March 31st. Twenty-four more play the next day, and it’s not until Tuesday that the Jays open their season, and not until the Rays and Orioles have completed their debuts that afternoon. Yep, the Jays and the Clevelands are the last teams to get in on the “Opening Day” action, the evening after what I’d call the real Opening Day. Lame, huh?
Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun talks to John Gibbons about Adam Lind, who is having a good camp so far, and ol’ Gibbers’ money quote should be music to your ears. “He knows that to win that full-time job, he’s got to have a good camp and we’re going to have to like what we see,” the manager explained. “Otherwise, we’ll just end up going to a platoon.”
In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm has quotes from Mark Buehrle, who was quite frustrated with himself after walking three guys in Thursday’s game. The piece also touches on the status of Colby Rasmus, who has resumed full workouts and will play both full games over the weekend, as well as some other encouraging injury updates on Sergio Santos, Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan and Chad Beck.
Elsewhere, Gregor looks at Brett Cecil’s chances at landing a spot in the Jays’ bullpen come April 2nd.
As we get set for Team Canada’s debut at the Global Honkbal Terrificular, Emily G of Bluebird Banter tells us all we need to know about our crazy Canucks.
A bunch of Sportsnet stuff: Arash Madani writes about Anthony Gose, and the future– which he, or at least his headline writer, says isn’t now. Mike Wilner recaps Thursday’s game against Baltimore, and takes note of John Gibbons’ comments about Aaron Loup, who sounds like he may be the mystery reliever who has already all-but-locked-up the first of two presumed open bullpen spots. Shi Davidi looks at the comebacks of a couple of Hills– Shawn Hill, who is pitching for Canada in the WBC, and Aaron Hill, who Alex Anthopoulos decided needed a change of scenery when he dealt him two summers ago, and he was right. Davidi also talks to R.A. Dickey, whose participation in the World Honkbal Excellente is in part motivated by coming up short with the American bronze medallists at the 1996 Olympics. And Michael Grange talks to Sergio Santos, who is trying to learn how to listen to his arm better, given that he’s so new to pitching.
Kadie Smith has an excellent profile of Aaron Sanchez over at the Toronto Sun.
In the National Post, John Lott talks to Adam Loewen, who the Jays gave a place to at camp, essentially only because he asked for help in getting up to game speed for the World Baseball Classic.
Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail looks at the theory that our national obsession with hockey may be the reason there are so many left-handed hitters on Team Canada.
In the Star, Richard Griffin says John Gibbons’ suggestion that Dustin McGowan is in the mix for a bullpen spot is unfair, while Brendan Kennedy looks at Adam Lind, who is currently on a nine-game hitting streak.
In a special to the Toronto Sun, Melissa Couto talks to Travis Snider, who marvels at how popular he still is in this country, now that he’s a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Another special to the Sun comes from Curtis Ng, who talks with Jays prospect Nicholas Purdy of Grafton, Ontario. Still no word on whether he’s related to Al Purdy or not, though they’re certainly from the same neck of the woods.
Doug Thorburn of Baseball Prospectus takes a very interesting look at pitchers who’ve lost velocity over the last couple of years, touching on guys like Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Roy Halladay.
Jonah Keri takes a look at potential breakout big leaguers for 2013 at Grantland, including Brett Lawrie.
Extra Base Hit looks at the composite fantasy rankings for outfielders, which have Jose Bautista sixth, between Carlos Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton, and Melky Cabrera averaging out as the 31st-ish pick, between Carlos Beltran and Shane Victorino.
Mop Up Duty shows us some possibilities for turning one baseball game in Toronto into a two game cross-border adventure featuring the Buffalo Bisons as well.
Daniel George of Jays Journal gives some key dos and do not dos when it comes to watching Spring Training games.
At Fanatico, Parkes looks at the somewhat alarming PR trend of instant remedies to athlete homophobia, and in doing so speaks to Patrick Burke of You Can Play about his experience with Yunel Escobar.
And lastly, Travis Reitsma’s excellent team preview series continues at Getting Blanked, today with a look at your Toronto Blue Jays.