The Daily Duce– all the latest must-read Jays links, fully Rob Ducey-fied and free of lame April Fools shit…
Leading off, it’s an Opening Day edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (and while you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too).
Awesomeness from Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun, who tweets from the Jays’ media availability session that “R.A. Dickey tested out the RC mound Sunday. He wouldn’t go into detail but the word is, his knuckler was crazy good under the dome.” Nails much? (Note: you can follow the Sun’s coverage of “media day” here.)
“Even if Ricky says he doesn’t care about what others think of him, he does,” writes Dirk Hayhurst, in one of the best takes the Romero situation out there, at Sportsnet. “It’s a wonderful, beautiful, human trait that will absolutely get him killed on the baseball field.”
Some prospect sleeper stuff, as Marc Hulet of FanGraphs lists his for the American League, tabbing 2012 15th round LHP Ryan Borucki as his Jays sleeper. John Sickels of Minor League Ball, meanwhile, 2011 11th round infielder Andy Burns.
Sticking with prospect stuff, Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus provides his organizational rankings, and actually has the Jays way up in thirteenth! He calls Alberto Tirado and Matt Smoral breakout candidates, and suggests Lansing is the minor league team to see, with Tirado, Dan Norris, D.J. Davis and Roberto Osuna slated to be there.
MLBTR passes along the weekend’s minor roster move, in which Lars Anderson was D’d FA in order for the Jays to claim right-hander Alex Burnett from the Twins (who has been sent to Buffalo), and first baseman Cliff Robertson from the Pirates (who has been sent to New Hampshire).
At gamereax, Chris Toman writes an excellent profile of Jays hitting coach Chad Mottola, who he says is exactly where he belongs, back in the Majors.
From the National Post: Bruce Arthur has a wide-ranging look at Alex Anthopoulos and the rebuilt Jays he has set to take the field tomorrow night against the Clevelands. Meanwhile John Lott talks to Brandon Morrow who (once again?) is looking to pitch more efficiently and rely less on pitch count killing strikeouts, as well as the newly-extended J.A. Happ.
In the Globe and Mail: Tom Maloney looks at R.A. Dickey’s oddball pitch, while Jeff Blair writes that the Jays won’t start trying to teach the knuckleball to absolutely everyone. Maloney also wonders about whether everything will click for the Jays in 2013, he talks to Mark Buehrle about his quest to end this province’s pit bull ban, and looks at all the tremendous speed the Jays team now has. Elsewhere, Globe writers make their predictions for the upcoming season, while Jeff Blair wonders how John Gibbons will fare in his second go-round, and in an excerpt from his coming book, Blairsy writes about ol’ Uncle Ted and his lack of aversion to risk.
From The Toronto Star: Richard Griffin predicts a Jays-Braves World Series, and in his latest Bullpen piece, he talks Opening Day, reviews the 25-man roster, suggests Ricky Romero’s demotion was poorly handled, and more. Elsewhere, Brendan Kennedy looks at author and pitcher R.A. Dickey, who makes his debut in blue tomorrow, and also looks at the secret of Dickey’s success, after the knuckleballer increased his strikeout total by over 100 from 2011 to 2012.
The Toronto Sun has a bunch: Mike Rutsey runs down the Jays’ rotation, talks to veteran infielder Mark DeRosa, reviews the ten questions he laid out for the club heading into the spring, and looks at a Jays club that’s ready for action. Ken Fidlin wonders about team chemistry, and breaks down the club’s depth chart position by position. Meanwhile, Bill Lankhof previews the AL East, and at 5 PM ET today (Monday) you can chat with Bob Elliott.
At MLB.com, Lyle Spencer looks at the Jays and Dodgers as clubs who went all-in this off-season, while Gregor Chisholm talks about the excitement around the Jays, and in a notebook post talks to John Gibbons about his approach as manager, and about the club’s altered infield defence with Brett Lawrie on the shelf.
Scott Spratt of Baseball Info Solutions writes at ESPN.com (Insider Only) that the Jays may find themselves undone by poor defence.
At Grantland, Jonah Keri looks at Adam Wainwright’s contract, which may be a barometer of what Josh Johnson is looking for.
At Getting Blanked, Darren looks at the how the lineups of the AL East have changed since last year, while Scott tells us about MLB’s move closer to getting protective headgear for pitchers. Meanwhile, Drew points out the ghastly Yankees lineup for Opening Day, and writes many words previewing the 2013 season.
The Jays, Rays, Yankees and Red Sox declined to provide information on the price of stadium food to CNN, who looks at what are otherwise the best and worst concession prices in the Majors.
At The Daily Beast, Jayson Stark and Peter Abraham talk about baseball writing.
The Blue Jay Hunter flails around about the notion of the J.A. Happ contract meaning something– particularly for Josh Johnson. Thing is, it doesn’t.
For any francophones who happen to be among us, friend of the blog Pat Malthais has started writing about the Jays en français at Double Jeu. Check it out!
Blue Jays Way does some interesting thinking on faith and sports.
Bluebird Banter has the Buffalo Bisons roster up for your perusal.
Melissa Couto writes a piece for Sportsnet about Colby Rasmus, who is not getting caught up in this year’s hype about all the Jays except Colby Rasmus.
For those of you who can’t make it to tomorrow night’s game, but want to enjoy it in the company of like minded fans with some $5 pints and free ballpark dogs, our friends at Opera Bob’s at Dundas and Ossington can probably hook you up. *WINK*
And, if you want to get Opening Day started really early, I’m scheduled to be on CBC’s Metro Morning at… gulp… 5:45 AM– which is a time that, apparently, exists.
Lastly, even though I feel I look a bit too much like a shifty weirdo, here’s more from Getting Blanked, as Drew and I get you set for our new season of coverage– including a daily Getting Blanked Podcast, and twice-weekly podcasts for DJF– with this short video…