The Jays host the Pirates this afternoon in yet another game of baseball-ish, as the march towards Opening Day continues. Perhaps the player who holds the key to the 2014 Blue Jays season more than any other, Brandon Morrow, will be on this hill, and Mike Wilner tweets that he’s scheduled for three innings. Morrow, you’ll remember, was kinda terrible when he was able to get himself on the field last season, so we’ll all be watching — er… listening — closely to see how well he does, how comfortable he looks, and if there are the kinds of hints we want to see that he’s returning to the form that saw him post a 2.96 ERA in 2012 — good for 12th in all of baseball among pitchers with 120 innings or more, though… the peripherals weren’t quite as good, and… y’know… only 120 innings.

Aaron Sanchez will get into this one too! Plus Santos, Loup, Jeffress, and Jenkins, per yet another tweet from Wilner.

Hey and the Great White Hope is in the house!

And baseball-ish!


Yes, unfortunately this game is an audio-only one. Can’t imagine what Sportsnet might otherwise be airing. Though, actually, don’t they have like a billion channels or something? I don’t work there, so I have no idea what the exact number is. Anywho, the Jays have provided a handy graphic to help guide you through the hoops required in order to listen to the club’s spring broadcasts for free. So don’t say they’ve never done anything for you.

Looking forward to hearing Joe Siddall on the airwaves for the first time. He’ll be calling today’s action with Mike Wilner. Here’s a great, touching piece from the Windsor Star on Siddall and his grieving family, who last month lost their 14-year-old son to cancer.

Another Wilner tweet tells us that the Jays have sent some players to minor league camp: Luis Perez (who’ll start the year on the DL, he says), Derrick Chung, and Parkdale’s Jack Murphy.

If there is failure in Ryan Goins’ future, writes Gregor Chisholm at, it’s not going to be through lack of work ethic. And good on him, I say! I hope it works out for him, and for the Jays, I just… y’know… think it’s a rather terrible decision to not aim higher.

Behind the paywall at Baseball America is some great praise from Ben Badler for the Jays’ free agent acquisitions on the Latin American amateur market this year — continuing a trend that is a welcome change from the J.P. Ricciardi era.

After yesterday’s outing, Scott MacArthur tweets some comments from R.A. Dickey, who feels great compared to last year, in terms of health (he’s said that a twinge that began in the spring of 2013 became the back and neck issue that plagued his first half of the season), and in particular on some high, hard knucklers he reared back to throw. He hopes to throw more than 100 pitches twice before opening day, MacArthur adds.

MacArthur also had a one-on-one with Pete Walker at Read it.

Great stuff from John Lott of the National Post about Colby Rasmus and the changes he made that made him an elite big leaguer in 2013 — and could lead him to a massive payday at the end of this year.

Lastly, in a notebook post at, Gregor tells us that the Jays are saying J.A. Happ’s spot in the Jays’ rotation isn’t in jeopardy because of two tough starts. I get that — he didn’t pitch as bad as his line looked during his spring debut a week ago in Clearwater — but I also get the wariness that Jays fans have about him and why the Jays seem so intent to believe in useless September data and mechanical changes that… might be real? I don’t know. Someone asked me on Twitter the other day who I’d like to see as the Jays fourth and fifth starters and I answered Drew Hutchison and Ervin Santana. I stand by that. But I also think Happ can be a lot better than the gloomiest of fans want to believe, so… there’s that.

TV: None

And now the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

2B Chris Getz (L)
LF Steve Tolleson (R)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
DH Josh Thole (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)
SS Jonathan Diaz (R)

RHP Brandon Morrow

Pittsburgh Pirates

LF Starling Marte (R)
CF Chris Dickerson (L)
DH Neil Walker (S)
1B Gaby Sanchez (R)
RF Travis Snider (L)
3B Brent Morel (R)
C Tony Sanchez (R)
2B Josh Harrison (R)
SS Clint Barmes (R)

RHP Jay Jackson

Comments (109)

  1. Anyone else’s MLB TV unable to play the Jays game?

  2. The ‘handy graphic’ links to Wilner’s tweet.

  3. The handy graphic link just gets you to Wilner’s tweet again

  4. Bit of a rocky start for Morrow, but 14 pitches over two innings ain’t bad either. The unsolvable riddle continues.

    • Yeah, that didn’t happen. In Spring Training, Gameday just makes it the minimum pitches required to complete the at bat. Balls in play are shown as one pitch, strikeouts are three and walks are four. It’s hard to get an actual pitch count without watching/listening.

  5. I am blacked out for the audio what the hell. anyone have a link to watch or listen?

  6. Thanks for sharing Joe Siddall’s story. My little boy will be getting an extra big hug from his dad this evening!

  7. Also, I’ll take our ex-Pirate over the ex-Jays the Pirates have, thank you very much!

  8. FFS Morrow… at what point in the next 3 weeks do we hear that Morrow has an injury.
    Im giving him this season then it’s time to pull the plug.

  9. Snider looks like the bat boy in that picture…

  10. Stoeten-
    Anything planned for Opera Bob’s for Opening Day?

    • Yeah Stoeten, dont fuck this up!

      • Let’s drink like 18-year-old rock stars.

      • Stuffs gonna happen at Tall Boys this summer too, right?

        • They’ll do stuff, I’m sure. Not to do with DJF, but a great bar all the same.

          We were supposed to do a bunch of meet-ups last year — Coors Light wanted to, I was told — but it didn’t really happen. The Jays sucking out of the gate really took the wind out of everybody’s sails.

          • DJF Vancouver-Seattle roadtrip. Do that and leave the coors at home.

            • I’d like to do Montreal, to be honest, but haven’t really … y’know… done anything about that. Not that there aren’t all sorts of parties to crash anyway.

              • I was planning on Montreal as soon as I heard about it. Can you imagine the return of MLB to Montreal? Was really looking forward to reserving some great seats and a nice overnight but,
                The bozos in charge of ticket sales decided in their wisdom that they would reserve
                ALL the best seats for groups. So I decided against it.

              • Montreal would be an absolute Dooooooozy.

                Let me know if you guys go.

    • No, but I’m wondering about it…

      • I’m going to arrive fashionably late to the soiree.
        Just tell me where the overflow bar will be.

        • Hmm , Just thought about something.
          I assume I’m invited too.
          Like will the doorman allow me to enter.I got ID.
          Will the Score be providing an open bar?

          • No soiree just yet, but you’ll be on the VIP list.

            • What year did the DJFers get together on Opening Day? Was that the JPA home run against the Indians?

            • Wait, what?
              RADAR on the VIP list?

              This must be the end times.

              • It’s a trick Karl.
                VIP list
                Vulgar Insolent Prick List
                And I’m on it.
                I show up. Tell them my name’s on the VIP.Bang.
                Bag over my head,into a cage in the basement and some quality time with Wanda the dominatrix and her pet dog Fluffy.
                I fell for it the last 3 times, they ain’t gonna do it again.I’m no dummy,ya’know.
                Actually I’m getting used to Wanda but I hate that damn dog.

                • What was that GW Bush line?

                  Fool me once…uh…shame on ..uh….

                  Fool me …Can’t get fooled again !!!

                  From one VIP to another.

          • Careful, RADAR

            Go thru’ the process:


  11. Excuse me?

    • Is that at me?

      Sorry, I thought you said you’d pull the plug on 29-year-old, mid-to-upper-90s throwing Brandon Morrow, who had a 2.96 ERA in 124 innings in the AL East just the year before last, if he doesn’t have a good season. So, naturally, I just assumed you’re a moron.

      Oh, and you also yucked it up about an injury in the next three weeks. So… yeah, that’s totally what I thought. Did I read that wrong?

  12. Here’s a picture I took from last year in Port Charlotte.

    I said, “Hey Nick, smile like it’s October 1993!”

  13. The thing that really bugs me about Happ is, at least give me 6 innings. If you’re gonna have 4.50 ERA that’s fine, but not fine if you’re averaging 5 innings a start.

  14. Lovely two frames from Sanchez

  15. Missed the game — how did Morrow look, exactly? More concerned with velocity and command than box-score numbers.

  16. No you read it right. Morrow is injury prone, the Jays should not be hedging bets on him whatsoever.
    They should sign Santana while the opportunity is there.

    • Technically, if I understand your point, the Jays SHOULD be hedging their bets as it pertains to Morrow. But anyway …

      I agree with a lot of what you said above though, though not all of it. I think this is a make or break year for him. I think he’ll be an effective major league pitcher, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that if he can’t perform reasonably well and remain healthy for a good portion of a full season, then there’s a reasonable chance that he’s not the starter we as Jays fans have hoped he’d be. I mean, he’s living his peak years now so the expectation is that he should flourish now or, well, never. It’s entirely possible that he’s a reliever in the making, if he can’t – for one reason or another – take the rigours of a full major league season.

      • This, minus the middling caveats. If he can’t perform or stay healthy this year than he is not the starter we thought he could be.

        • You need the middling caveats, lest you be called a moron by Stoeten and his sheep. I was just trying to avoid the Buchholz comps, the citing of games played in the last ‘x’ # of years, the list of seemingly unrelated injuries, etc. No thanks, middling caveats it is!

          • Once a clown, always a clown, eh?

            • Is that clown comment at me? Can’t always tell on mobile but it looks like it. Anyway, not sure why it was warranted but you have a tendency to jump on people for comments that don’t exactly match your opinions. As if, you know, there’s only a single way to view situations. So step on my oversized shoe while I pull an exceptionally long handkerchief out of my pocket, because if my comment makes me a clown, well I sure as shit stand by it.

              • Well said. While I agree Morrow has the potential to put up Roy kind of numbers minus 70 innings he has to be seen as the starter with the most potential to end up on the DL. That speaks more to RA and Buerhle being as close as a given to 200 innings.

    • i think you meant to say we SHOULD be hedging. Which I do agree to, though it isnt restricted to Morrow. Depth which pushes the 5th random pitcher down is always good.

    • Right, because pitchers never pitch well again coming back from injury.

      Chris Carpenter says hello.

    • “Jays should not be hedging bets on him whatsoever”

      I’m not sure that word means what you think it means.

    • Morrow can be injury prone and ensuring there’s cover for him can be a good idea, but that doesn’t make it not insane to want to pull the plug on him after next year, or to act like there must be an injury, especially when the reality is that over the last four years only 81 pitchers have made more starts than Morrow. A lot, yes, but not even three for every team. Hardly a number where you’re writing a guy off already. Look at how long they’ve stuck with Dustin McGowan because of the talent in that arm. Just silliness to talk about giving up on a guy.

  17. Don’t use the word “hedge”, man. There is a guy on here that goes yelling warpspeed batshit nutz when you try and use it. Might have to use the word “insure”. shieeet

    • If by “hedging” you mean “depth,” then yes, we are hedging. We have replacement starters if one of the five currently penciled in the rotation fail.

      Assuming the opening day rotation looks like Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ, and Hutchison,

      then we have Redmond, Drabek, Stroman, Nolin, McGowan, and a few others who can step in.

      So many Redmond isn’t a sexy option and maybe Drabek walks too much, but you’re telling me Stroman isn’t a quality hedge? Nolin still has a shot at figuring it out, too.

    • “The idea behind the trade centers on the Blue jays struggling again this season…”

      Come on fellas, let’s nip this foolishness in the bud right now!

      • typical NYC centric wish list. They also seem to feel that if he is traded to NYC, that it should be for a couple of NYY prospects of which they have basically zero. The Mets, on the other hand, do have lots of prospects, don’t they? Hmmmm

    • The word “rumour” seems like the wrong one here. This is more like “if one possible scenario were to happen at some point in the future, here is another possible scenario that could follow. And this possible scenario is no more or less likely than any number of other possible scenarios”

    • Yeah I read that the other day and thought, “shades of the Red Sox thinking they’ll just pick up the phone and get whoever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want.”
      Reyes is being paid quite well and if I’m AA I hang up the 1st 5 times they call.

      Fuck those pricks

    • I am going to guess that Tulowitzki is going to be another name “rumored” to be in the Stankees sites

  18. The more the season approaches, the more I cant wait because the offense looks like its going to be special, EE and JB both look ready to go now, sluggers usually don’t see the ball like this so quickly. Melky, Rasmus, Reyes, Lawrie all being healthy solitifies this as a top 3 offense in the AL.

    The same positive vibes about the offense are completely opposite about the pitching though. Seriously, with this offense and bullpen, all you need is middle of the pack starting pitching, thats its. its not so much to ask/hope for is it??

    • Baltimore did alright with it a couple years ago, but they’re still there, upgraded their pitching, and have a better offence, most likely.

      • Weren’t they ridiculously lucky that year, too? IIRC their Pythagorean record was around .500 or something.

        The Jays are due some of that pixie dust.

        • They were, though the team evolved and got better over the course of the year — added Guthrie, brought up Macahado, etc. — so if I recall it was like they banked a bunch of wins when they were just getting a bit lucky (and locking down wins with a strong bullpen) and became a bit of a more complete team eventually. Still a lot of luck there, though, yes.

          Oh shit. You mentioned Pythagorean record, so I guess that means RADAR will be showing up any minute now to say something dumb and dinosaurish.

          • So there I was,perusing the comment section.Considering what was said.In a good mood.Pondering all things good.
            Then bam.
            Pythag wins.

    • If they’re dead set on using Goins at 2b I’d love to see them get a platoon bat to hit the lefties. Izturis is not the guy, he doesn’t even hit lefties better than righties.

      • If they can actually find a decent platoon bat to hit the lefties, they might as well let him hit the righties too, since Goins is garbage against both.

        • Definitely weaker against LHP, though. Even Izturis, for the defensive issues, might be better there — especially if it’s behind a someone who is more K and FB than he is a heavy GB guy. If they’re not going to be smart about it, they could at least be smart about it, y’know?

  19. Why are baseball fans so much more rational and sensible than hockey fans?

    • If that’s true — and I think it might be in a sense, at least in that a greater number of baseball fans think critically about the game and the silly tropes they’re constantly fed — I’d wager it’s because of how much farther ahead of the curve baseball is in terms of advanced stats, which itself is because it’s just an easier game to quantify because of all the clear data points, and the fact that it’s far less a fluid moving game like hockey. Because of that, so many of us are long past the point of wrestling with breaking down tired narratives with fancystats, and that’s changed the way that the game is discussed and written about. It’s been a slow process, and there are lots of places where those who talk about the game can get away with doing so like the last 25 years didn’t happen (the leads on the Jays TV and radio broadcasts sure can, and people love them for it — and there’s still a place for it too, though I’d argue we can have smarter analysis without cramming stats down people’s throats the way a lot of people fear (or pretend will be the case just to diminish something they don’t understand)), but so much mainstream coverage of baseball just can’t get away with being the equivalent of Nick Kypreos and expect to have any kind of credibility with a huge group of fans (probably still a minority in general, but an ever-increasing one among those who actually follow the game closely).

      • If you don’t like the term “grit” or “they need to score more than the other team to win” then you’re gonna have a bad time watching hockey talk. At least out west.

    • Hockey has fighting, blood, dislodged teeth, ice girls, body checks, and Don Cherry.
      Baseball has tight pants, grass, 7th inning stretches, plantar fasciitis and complex math.

      Baseball has the brush back, hockey has this…..

      And I love both.

  20. They’re still mentioning 3 and $30 mil as the max Ervin signs for. It’s gonna be interesting when he actually signs. If it’s it 3 years how can the Jays not be in on that.

  21. I’m thinking about purchasing mlbtv. Does any recommend it? I don’t have Sportsnet but I’m not sure if you can watch live Jays games on mlbtv or if living in Toronto is subject to local blackout. Thanks.

    • It’s supposed to be, apparently, but last year it wasn’t blacked out. If not, there are likely ways around the geo-fencing. None that I’d know about, of course, but I bet there are things out there.

    • Also if you enjoy baseball outside of the Jays, you can’t go wrong with My summer nights are usually watching the Jays, then watching West Coast games (Mike Trout!) till I fall asleep.

  22. Actually, I believe you can’t watch the Hays on anywhere in Canada. The entire country is blacked out. I’m in Victoria, BC and haven’t been able to watch the Jays on I emailed mlb asking them how the hell can someone on the other side if the Country be blacked out, how could I possibly choose to get to their games. Their reply was that’s just the way it is. One less thing to tempt me to spend money on I guess :)

    • JAYS

      • That was the same rhubarb for me when I bought it a few years ago. Was hoping it had changed…”Yeah sure, I’ll just hop in my car and drive to Toronto for the game. It’s ten minutes away.”

  23. Fuckin hell. Does anyone know any way to get around it? The whole blackout thing. Other than to go to the RC to watch it live or order sportsnet. Thanks.

    • Show up here shortly after Stoeten writes a post and ask your question again. There are several very tech savvy regulars who will give you a multitude of options.

    • Get UnBlock Us.

      It cost you 5 bucks a month. It’s super easy to set up, even if you don’t know shit about computers.

      You’ll be able to watch all the Jays games with no blackouts, plus you can get US (or even UK) netflix.

      There may be some cheaper options out there, but I’ve been using it for 2 years and I’m happy to pay the 5 bucks for a reliable service like that.

      • Unblock us works perfectly. And if you want to be REALLY cheap about it, you can keep making hotmail/gmail accounts and get a free trial every week.

    • If it’s blacked out (which it wasn’t last year or so far this spring) you need to set up a vpn so the site thinks you are connecting from outside the country. Google “unblock us” and you should be able to set it up really easily. Works for hulu and american netflix too. There are other vpn services out there as well that will do the job. You can now free yourself from ever paying a cable bill again

    • The easiest way is to hook up a rogers on demand service. Just find someone u know that has rogers TV and internet and you are set. Every jays game seemed to be on there last year

  24. Chris Getz looks good in ST. It’s possible he wins 2B work over Goins. If not already, AA should shop Izturis.

    • I’m sure if they could get rid of Izturis they would. Not too many people lining up to pay $7 million for 2 years of 2013′s worst regular major league player.

  25. I loved that interview with Macarthur…

    It seems to me that Hutch and Stroman are really close to making the team. If the Jays decided not to go on the free agency market to provide them with the real opportunity to start, I think that changes the narrative quite a bit; and may even work!

    Here’s hoping.

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