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

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun looks at the family history of Josh Johnson, who could have played for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, and says he’d consider doing so in 2017, as a tribute to his father, who is from Calgary. “Now, we’d have felt a whole lot better about this — and so would Baseball Canada director of national teams Greg Hamilton — had we found this out months ago, before the World Baseball Classic,” Elliott writes. If only DJF were more influential, maybe they’d have spotted it here back at the end of November.

Elsewhere in the Sun, Mike Rutsey looks at Johnson’s outing last week, and the sinking two-seamer he introduced to his arsenal during the game– a pitch Kevin Youkilis crushed in the first inning, but that may prove an additional weapon for a guy forced now to deal with life as a pitcher incapable of sitting in the high-90s, as he did at his peak.

In another piece, Rutsey talks to Ricky Romero after yet another shaky outing, and passes on word of a tender shoulder holding back Brad Lincoln. Ruh-roh!

Scott Miller of CBS Sports takes a dip into the ol’ Romero-Happ debate, and characterizes J.A. Happ’s comments in perhaps a softer way than some of those who insist he’s shooting his mouth off to the detriment of the team might believe. He’s kind of just answering questions honestly, and insisting that whatever happens will be dealt with in private.

At the very least Happ’s comments are ambiguous to not deserve nonsense like the insistence that he’s “whining. And crying. And moaning. And he needs to shut up and recognize the reality of his situation,” as we see over at Bluebird Banter. Honestly, what has he really said that’s so offensive?

Chris Toman writes at gamereax about the health of the Jays’ key relievers, which remains a question mark at this point in camp– though Sergio Santos insists he’s ready for Opening Day.

Speaking of Santos and readiness, Mike Wilner writes at Sportsnet that the presumed closer feels great and that Casey Janssen “did throw live batting practice earlier in the week, and reported no problems at all, but he’s still a few days away from getting into the controlled environment of a minor-league game, and isn’t likely to see much, if any, Grapefruit League action so that the Blue Jays can backdate a stint on the disabled list as far as possible in order to have him be available as early as they can in the regular season.”

In another post-game post, Wilner writes about Brandon Morrow’s outing yesteday, and the struggles he had with the slider. “Once he realized that the slider wasn’t working, Morrow did what any rational pitcher would do in a spring training game: ‘I just kept throwing it, trying to get it to break, trying to get it to do what I wanted. It just wouldn’t do it today. But that’s what we’re here for, to keep throwing those pitches, get it where we want it and I’ll keep doing it until I get it to where I need it to be.’ ”

Switching back to gamereax, Chris talks to a freshly-booed Jussell Martin, who says he was ready for the reaction he got from Canadian fans, following his refusal to play in the WBC as a catcher.

Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail looks at the holes remaining on the Jays roster, as we sit about two weeks away from Opening Day.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post looks at the limitless possibilities that are sitting in front of the Toronto Blue Jays this season. He also looks at the plight of Ricky Romero, who is trying to find himself all over again.

Elsewhere in the Post, John Lott looks at what should be a critical week for Casey Janssen’s recovery, and also suggests that the club may end up rotating second basemen Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio, and that Dustin McGowan will likely open the season on the Disabled List.

Lott also writes a lengthy piece about Mark Buehrle, for whom, the title says, success didn’t come easy.

Tom Maloney of the Globe also wrote about Izturis and Bonifacio, who are helping to diversify the Jays’ offence. “I love Bonifacio,” Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said this weekend. “If they don’t know it yet, they’ve got a gem. It doesn’t matter where he plays, he can impact a game defensively in about four spots.”

Mike Rutsey of the Sun also writes about the second basemen, and also Adam Lind, who is facing a pivotal season with the club, and, we’re told– though not in so many words– is in the best shape of his life.

John Gibbons serves some red meat to the Pittsburghs, suggesting to Rob Beirtempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Travis Snider’s career path could still mirror Jose Bautista’s. Hard to imagine that happening with him either sitting on the bench in place of Rajai Davis here this season– and otherwise, let’s not forget, he’d have been lost for nothing on waivers, or dealt for less, even, than Brad Lincoln.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star looks at the spring struggles of Roy Halladay.

Elsewhere at the Star, Richard Griffin has a new Bullpen post up, looking at team Puerto Rico as inspiration for Canada, answering reader questions in a chat, looking at fantasy rankings, talking to R.A. Dickey, and ranting about why the Reds are trying to get as much value as possible out of Aroldis Chapman, rather than wasting him in the bullpen.

The Tao of Stieb continues his 30-odd Jays in a similar number of days thing with a look at Brett Cecil.

Extra Base Hit takes a look at the spring stats so far of several ex-Jays.

Jays Journal suggests selling awfully low on Ricky Romero– or perhaps they’re suggesting just getting something for him before his value craters entirely. Personally, I take the gamble that he gets back to something resembling productivity, rather than paying his salary and taking back a reliever for him, or whatever else is being suggested– not that anyone with any kind 2012 aspirations would trade for him at this point anyway.

We talked on last week’s DJF Podcast about some insightful comments from Brandon McCarthy about the whole clubhouse chemistry thing. They’re definitely worth a read, as are Jay Jaffe’s attempt to digest them over at Sports Illustrated.

Buster Olney writes at ESPN.com (Insider Olney) about the struggles of Roy Halladay. He also has one on the expanding repetwah of Josh Johnson, which I’ll discuss in more detail later today or tomorrow.

This Hour Has 22 Minutes was in Jays camp, and you can see a preview for the segment they’ll do on the visit this week over at their Facebook page.

Lastly, the Washington Post is one of many publications to have an obituary for Ruth Ann Steinhagen, one of the first celebrity stalkers, and the inspiration for The Natural, after her near-fatal 1949 shooting of Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus.

Comments (57)

  1. Man, Bluebird Banter is like a trashy tabloid. They write as if they’re trying to be DJF but fail miserably and just look futile and foolish.

    • It’s an ok Website

    • They do good stuff, I just disagree with the characterization of Happ. At least, today I do. A week ago I might have called him a whiner too.

      • Like, I appreciate what minor leaguer and emily do over there but there’s some serious lack of accountability in their articles.

    • I think BBB is alright.Some of their posts are very informative,some aren’t. Enjoyed the one on minor league teams financing.I realize that they are a moderated forum for the general public and DJF is a semi moderated forum. Apples and oranges.Although, even they hate their logo.Meh,I don’t think it’s a big deal.
      Comment section can be a little unwieldly but it’s a good blog.

      • Oh Oh you called this a forum. Prepare yourself accordingly.

        • I think forum is okay.
          But calling it a board isn’t. And there is no moderator but there is an editor.Guys who write the posts aren’t writers or posters but they are contributors.Now contributors aren’t donators or benefactors so don’t confuse them.
          Reading but not commenting used to be lurking but now is creeping. Unless it’s the second Thursday of the month when everybody gets a free pass to spin the wheel that Carol is standing beside. But if you have the nerve,you can trade for the big box that Anita has to offer you.How about it,do you want to go for it?
          Other than that it’s elementary.
          I need a nap.

  2. one more link Stoeten, the Jays did some follow-up with You Can Play and the minor leaguers:


  3. Why isn’t Mcgowan being injured a bigger story?

  4. Ugh.

    My phone wallet and keys are all gone.

    my ex-girlfriend walked in on me hooking up with a waitress

    I feel like a burlap sack of smashed foreskins today.

    Thank you for blue jays news. I need this.

    • I hate that burlap sack smashed foreskin feeling.

    • Was she your ex-girlfriend before the waitress thing? If so, no biggie.

    • I think you’re girlfriend overreacted, hooking with strange on St.Patty’s day is a rite of passage. It’s also condoned by St. Paddy himself and the Roman Catholic church as long as you didn’t wear a rubber.

  5. They should remake “The Natural” with Cameron Diaz and ARod. Only she actually kills him in the end. Disney would buy the rights to that.

  6. about the Sun peace on Lind/Dickey

    Im really liken what Lind is saying, about how things have gone and how he is handling it. It makes me a little warm and fuzzy inside. He has step one down, he knows his problems, and seems to have been working hard on them. I dont expect a 424 ave or even a 300 ave, if he can give us 280 with a little power and come up a little vs Left HP ill be a happy man. Think we all will be. Was an interesting breakdown of his stats from last year, and how Mottola in AAA seemed to bring his game back, a little. His #s went up in each of the 3 times he played, before the send down was crap, after recall, got a little better, and 300 after injury sideline….wah….really, didn’t know that.
    I know he broke some hearts the past 3 years, but when guys are faced with a make or break year, ya just never know, he might be a come back player of the year, and if he is, Oct is going to be fun for the first time in a long time.

    On the Pitching part of that story, not sure why they only giving Dickey 2 Ings after he went 5 the other day and looked ON! As for the extra day off thing at the end, meh, whatever, just be ready boys, pumped for April 2nd.

    • i’ve been higher on Lind than pretty much anyone on here (everyone wanted him run out of town a year or two ago) and I think it would be incredible if he could get a bit closer to where he was when he was a silver slugger. heck, I’d even be ok if he was the same as he was at the end of last year and they only let him face righties. I still think he could add a fair bit of value that way, especially considering that most pitchers are righties.

  7. Morrow seemed to sum up some of the back and forth on ST stats with his comments……

    Everyone SHOULD READ that…..and then take a deep breath and save the fighting for mid april early may…..yes? yes awesome…..and go!

  8. My favorite part of this post is how if you click on the blue words, it takes you to the article. Splendid!

  9. I dont know i dont really buy the whole lady from the natural dying thing….like if that really happened ….i just dont buy it.

  10. Great job with the links today Stoeten!

  11. This may already have been posted and if so, my apologies.

    But here is Mr Farrell chatting to his pals in the Boston media about base running and his experiences in that aspect of the game whilst the manager of the Jays:

    “The thing that became very clear [was] that while we were trying to create a culture of aggressiveness and being an up-tempo team, it became much more clear on where the red light needed to be put on,” he said. “Trusting players to think they understood the mindset we had based on their experience level may be a little too trusting, so that had to be shut off from the dugout much more readily.”

    So all that lousy stupid bone-headed base-running? Wasn’t his fault. No sir. Absolutely positively not. He wanted those bozos to be more discriminating but they weren’t. Not his fault. Their fault. Let’s just be clear here. Mr John Farrell was not involved in any dumb base-running at all nowhere nohow. He may have used a number of $10 words to get his point across because Mr Farrell is an educated gentleman and a baseball savant. But that base-path disaster last season had Nothing To Do With Him.

  12. I think Happ will have a large and important role with the Jays this year and I don’t blame him for being unhappy that someone who he believes is inferior has his spot on the team.

    I do take exception to how he voiced his opinion though. There’s nothing wrong with being truthful when the media asks him questions on the subject, but he could have made it a whole lot less inflammatory by adding at the end “I plan on working hard in Buffalo and will be ready when I get the call.”

    I find it hard to believe that he and his agent couldn’t look at the starting rotation with it’s history of injury and Rickeys inconsistencey and see that JA will get his opportunity in ’13.
    It’s all unnecessary drama that he could have defused by simply saying “I don’t like it all, but I’m going to work hard and be ready for my chance.”

    Learn you’re fucking cliches Happ.

    • I put in 110% effort reading this post.

      One post at a time.

    • Why should Happ be a cheerleader and accept a demotion and potential loss of millions for the good of the team?

      Happ (rightly) cares first and foremost about his career. If the Jays aren’t willing to treat rotation spots as a meritocracy, he shouldn’t just accept it. He should make it uncomfortable for management to send him to the minors by performing well and voice his displeasure with the situation.

      • He’s fully entitled to be a whiny bitch, but he should do it in a boardroom with his agent and Alex Anthopolous. Not through the media. When has that EVER worked out well for the athlete or the team? Ever?

        • Happ answering direct questions that affect his career isn’t “whiny”.

          • @Jays2010, maybe not but I see you ignored the point of my argument there, “when has airing a grievance through the media” ever benefitted the athlete or his team?
            It only leads to hard feelings and a bad atmosphere.

            I suppose this could be Happs way of forcing a trade but again he’s making it more difficult to take place because teams will know the Jays have no leverage and I can’t see AA giving him away.

            If he wanted to play, or to be traded he should have shut his mouth around the media and had a private meeting with team management.

            • @FTS

              I have not said it is helping his situation. But the flip side would be to ask why you believe Happ’s answers would hurt him in any way?

              The media has a job to do and they are doing it. Happ isn’t ducking questions.

              I could care less if Happ is loyal to the Blue Jays. By the same token, I’m sure Anthony Gose would rather go to a team that would allow him to start the regular season in the majors. Generally speaking, players should care more about their careers than showing “loyalty” to a franchise they did not choose.

              You should be able to look at this situation without going to the “whiny athlete” reflex.

              • I just explained how it hurts his situation, I don’t see the point in repeating it if you didn’t understand it the first time.

                • ….and he’s a whiny bitch.

                  Sorry, reflex.

                • Leading to hard feelings and a bad atmosphere is your explanation?

                  Please. If Romero sucks in April, Happ gets his spot by May if not earlier. Making relatively tame remarks in the media won’t change that.

      • I’m not saying he is and playing devils advocate…..giving off the perception that you are a selfish whinny beotch who doesn’t put the tem first, could cost him more money on his next contract.

        I don’t beleive Happ is being that way. just saying.

    • Happ’s next lesson:

      “We gotta play ‘em one day at a time“.

      “I just wanta give it my best shot and, Good Lord willing, things’ll work out.”

      ” I’m just happy to be here and hope I can help the ball club“.


  13. Great quote by Jay Jaffe in his chemistry piece

    “There’s a difference between saying something intangible can’t be quantified versus saying that said intangible has no value.”

    • I’m surprised a link supporting team chemistry/managers having value was included in the Daily Duce seeing as how the thought around here is that making a monkey the manager wouldn’t make a noticeable difference on team wins.

    • Why is that a great quote? Regardless of your beliefs on the subject those exact words have been uttered 100,000,000 times. So what makes that particular quote great?

      • Because it perfectly captures the narrow-minded perspective among certain members of the sabermetric community who completely ignore that which cannot be quantified.

  14. Forgive me for not keeping up with things, but why are we referring to Russell Martin as Jussell Martin?

  15. So on Olneys’ Friday baseball today podcast, he interviewed josh johnson and johnson went into details about how he is refining himself as a true pitcher…yada yada.

    schilling comes on and olney asks him what he thought about what johnson was saying regarding becoming more of a pitcher and Schilling said “Its a bunch of BS”.

    it was freaking hilarious. Schilling basically said that the second johnson feels like he has some oomph in that fastball again, he’s going to start hurling it early and often.

    i tend to believe schilling on this one. sort of reminds me of what mororw was trying to do at the beginning of last year…”pitch to contact” blah blah blah. All pitch to contact means is “let me pray the luck dragons of babip favor me today”

    this is something only pitchers who have no other option should be doing. strikeout pitchers are just better.

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