longoriaopeningday

Not pictured: the team that’s gonna fuckin’ win today!!

I think I’ve come down with a case of trench foot after traversing the slushy streets of Montreal from Parc-X to the train station yesterday, and the weather back here at home has hardly been less abysmal. And yet… baseball. Holy fucking shitting fucking baseball! It’s here! Today!

At 4:10 PM ET, to be precise!

Arriving with the exact opposite of the sort of fanfare that we were swept up in last year — the “coronation” that so irked Cleveland broadcasters — the Jays begin under the radar, under the ugly catwalks of Tropicana Field, and under nothing like the same weight of expectations. None of this, in other words. In fact, most pundits figure the club will finish last in the division, and with the question marks in the rotation and elsewhere, it’s hard to blame them.

But why focus on that on a day like this? Because we learned very quickly last year that what all of the predictions and projections amount to is something approximating jack fuckin’ shit. So, while it may be flawed to simply think that this is basically the same roster that was expected to contend this year, therefore they must be contenders again — sorry, it’s not at all the same roster, in terms of reasonable expectations, and it’s not as though the teams around them have remained static — that doesn’t mean that things can’t go really, really well.

There is a lot of talent here, and a lot to actually be excited about. Drew Hutchison is untested, but looking very good, and certainly not the sort of injury-waiting-to-happen that those who want to slag him for having had Tommy John surgery — sort of likeĀ everyone does — want to believe. Morrow and McGowan will almost assuredly pitch well for as long as they can stay healthy, and when they do break down, the club could do worse than giving a few turns to Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers or Marcus Stroman, before shifting their gaze to where Aaron Sanchez is at in double-A, having looked far more the potential front line big leaguer during the spring than his minor league record, and its 134 walks in 256 minor innings, has shown.

The bullpen, even without Casey Janssen out of the gate, looks to be as strong as ever, and the lineup, even with its glaring holes — its lack of a true platoon partner for Lind, its lack of a true centre field backup, its lack of a late inning pinch runner, its Ryan Goins — will find all kinds of ways to hit, even with less-twitchy 2014 Brett Lawrie still topping everything in sight. And defensively, Goins at least won’t bring the kind of butchery we saw at second last year. Reyes — despite it being eminently true that, as a defensive shortstop, he’s a really good hitter — is certainly a better sight there than Munenori Kawasaki or Maicer Izturis (who, combined, played in 85 games at short, in whole or in part, in 2013). And the successful removal of a tumour on Melky Cabrera’s spinal column has made him look an eternity removed from the arthritic sloth we saw in left field last season.

So lets get excited! Like these guys two years ago at Opera Bob’s:

[Note: let's also maybe not get catatonic with despair if they have a mark in the loss column with only 161 games to go. It's early. Baseball is hard.]

The scene should be very similar there today — depending on what David Price and R.A. Dickey do, of course — though hopefully maybe less entirely-full-of-dudes, perhaps with more of those Encarnacion’s parrot shirts (which are apparently being sold again), and definitely more full of folks involved in makingĀ Sports Bar Heroes, who are helping to co-promote the event, and will be showing the video post-game, in order to get you excited enough for the project to give them support that’s really needed to make it happen and to secure funding by following @SportsBarHeroes on Twitter, and checking out the demo video on YouTube. Or… y’know… right here *COUGH*:

(For those of you unawares, I explained the whole Sports Bar Heroes thing here.)

Also different between today and two years ago is the fact that I’ll be taking some pictures of the event for the newly-started DJF Instagram page, which you should totally follow — especially today, because I’ll make a point of keeping an eye on the scene at the bar, in terms of it getting to capacity.

It was an issue the last time we did this, so I’d recommend getting there early if you can — the bar opens at 2 PM — and following for updates on the aforementioned Instagram, on my Twitter feed (@AndrewStoeten), via @SportsBarHeroes, @DrunkJaysFans, and @OperaBobs. (Meaning, we’ll let you know if it gets to the point where there’s not much chance anybody else is getting in.)

So… this is it! Opening Day!

Read Drew’s love letter! Follow everyone I’ve linked to above! If you’re in St. John’s, NL, hit up The Bigs Ultimate Sports Grill! If you’re in Toronto, come to Opera Bob’s! Find it at 1112 Dundas St. West, at Ossington! Write a sentence ending in an exclamation! Crack a beer or thirteen! Watch some actual, real, counts-in-the-standings baseball!!!!!!

And one more: admire John Gibbons for understanding platoons, and for putting his neck on the line with his starter at second base! Now here are your Opening Day lineups!

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
C Josh Thole (L)

RHP R.A. Dickey

Tampa Bay Rays

CF David DeJesus (L)
RF Wil Myers (R)
2B Ben Zobrist (S)
3B Evan Longoria (R)
1B James Loney (L)
LF Desmond Jennings (R)
DH Matt Joyce (L)
C Jose Molina (R)
SS Yunel Escobar (R)

LHP David Price

Comments (741)

  1. toronto fans are simply the fuckin worst.

    maybe outside of tfc fans.

    • Agreed. I’m not bitching and moaning about losing one game or saying AA should be fired. But he should be held accountable for the lack of depth this team has in key areas. They should have reinforced this offseason after the big moves last year. It just doesn’t add up.

      • tigers lost their SS and alex fucking gonzalez is their starting short stop for months, should their GM be held accountable?

        There are very few teams who can overcome injuries to their superstars. There’s maybe 6 or 7 starting shortstops that can actually hit in the whole league. If tulowitzki, desmond, hardy or any of them go down, they are going to be replaced by a replacement level glove, thats not organizational depth thats league depth in the position.

        • No, the GM should not be held accountable for any injury. But he also had no one on the depth chart behind Iglesias and had to trade for Gonzalez. So yes, that is his fault since roster construction lies solely on the GM. I’m well aware it’s a shallow position and Reyes is a premium SS. But you should be better prepared than to have to use Goins and fucking Jonathan Diaz. Especially when you know Reyes is a potential DL risk.

          • So you agree with everything I said but still have the notion that somehow AA should have a decent replacement player on reserve.

            Maybe 2 teams could field a decent ss if their primary went down. It is what it js.

            I’m all for them signing drew, but it shouldn’t be solely because of this injury

            • He should have signed Drew because the money was obviously there, Goins is shit AND Reyes’ record isn’t great when he’s had hammy problems. Nevermind the fact that there is fuck all depth at 2nd or short for the next couple of seasons in the minors short of one tool defensive types. Imo you could st least make a rational argument about the pitching depth being there to some extent if everyone is healthy, not really about the infield.

              • Perhaps all of this mouth-frothing can be quarantined somewhere in the vacinity of the bean counters at Rogers?

        • @dc. Yes Tigers lost their SS. So in short order they went out and got Gonzales who is a veteran player and who happened to get the game winning hit in the opener. The GM should be held accountable for a job well done to plug a hole with a veteran option. Gonzales is likely a better option than any MI the Jays have other than Reyes.

  2. I was feeling pretty down about today, even though its game 1. Bad loss + key player injury = serious lack of hope.

    But the complete idiocy of the fucktards coming out of the woodwork for the first game of the fucking season and posting on this thread is making me feel better. Trolls or serious who cares, you guys are such idiots I get hope realizing I’ll never be as retarded as you guys.

    Manager’s fault our player is injured. Manager’s fault Dickey got rocked. Lind should have played against a guy who he has possibly career worst numbers over 100 AB.

    Jeez…

  3. Ugh kind of a brutal day. Not worried about the loss, there will be plenty of those this year, hopefully quite a few less than the wins but more than enough to come. Far more concerned with Reyes and the Jays management and the training staff.

    AA gambled and crapped out by not adding adequate depth to this team especially when he knew how fragile Reyes had been in the past and the fact that Goins had little to no track record. Throw in Izturis’ being meh at best and you’ve got shit fuck all up the middle all of a sudden.

    Top that off with the silly Thole decision and you have potentially 3 shit bats in the lineup vs rhp everytime RA pitches and 3 even worse bats vs lhp. Now you are putting a lot of pressure on the rest of the lineup because they know better than anyone you’re looking at a lot of outs from those guys.

    Lets face it, unless the starters outperform expectations, the offense was the element that was going to carry this team. Hopefully Reyes gets back soon and it doesn’t put them into such a big hole right off the bat.

    As for the decision to play him in Montreal all I can say is WTF? Anoyone who ever had a hamstring injury knows how fickle they can be. WTF was the medical staff doing in risking approval for exhibition games? I mean how many times last year did we see guys not admit the full extent of their injuries and just make things worse. At what point does the medical staff begin to hold back before they start to trust these guys completely? Did they even have Reyes try and go full out or close to it before the game started? They should have had him strapped to a table receiving every bit of treatment and rest to make certain he was good to go and followed it up with another MRI to check the progress. Obviously I am no doctor but I think hard questions need to be asked of the medical staff and the clubs procedures in clearing players from injuries. Of course maybe, just maybe if there was some semblance of a bench or infield depth then the team or the player wouldn’t have to gamble like they seem to do. I honestly hope this bad luck or shitty fucking decision making doesn’t dig them a hole in April like it did last year.

  4. hey everyone chill out and just enjoy the game. it was david price, in tampa, the odds arent good right there. tmrw they play again, and who knows, maybe they win and drew hutchison starts his path to become the next doc halladay. its baseball. drink some beer and just enjoy!

  5. Ummmmm….. Mr. Beeston?…… AA?……..
    Of course I’m Gil Faizon……
    Just a reminder in case you hadn’t been told…….
    Stephen Fucking Drew is at home right now eating cheese balls and masturbating.
    Perhaps you’d like to call him?

  6. hopefully Reyes gets his problem with his hammy solved now so we get 140 ish of good play from him

  7. Breaking: My heart

  8. doesn’t help game is 4-0 after 3rd inning, especially against Price…gotta try to keep games close to give the offence a shot, especially against 1st tier pitchers

  9. Jose Reyes to the DL after one plate appearance is pretty much the Jays-iest thing ever.

  10. It’s only one game, and only the first one of the season, but fuck, this one really stings as a fan. Two errors, shitty starting pitching, and a Reyes injury probably has something to do with it. Definitely had a 2013 vibe to it.

    Let’s hope for a bounce back tonight!

  11. AA is a smart guy. Gaming the system re: draft picks, dumping the Wells contract, Morrow trade etc. But based on his last moves, I just dont think he’s that good a judge of baseball talent. Napoli trade, Gomes/ Aviles trades were terrible. Marlins trade is defensible, but the Dickey trade could make the Michael Young trade look acceptable. Dickey looks like an average pitcher, who happens to be 39 yrs old! Since Rogers clearly tied AA’s hands this yr re: budget, if they have no confidence in his judgement then get a new gm who they will support.

  12. So, how was the mood at Opera Bob’s yesterday?

  13. What a fucking gong show, on almost every conceivable level.

    Injuries, early and often – check
    Horrible starting pitching – check
    No clutch hitting – check
    The multiple-error play – check
    Another last place finish – you know it.

  14. Where’s our fearless leader to calm our reckless nerves after such a disappointing 1st game yesterday?

  15. To be fair, if you take away the knucklers that didn’t move and just stayed over the middle of the plate, Dickey pitched a pretty excellent game yesterday.

    – Mike Wilner, probably

  16. Baseball is a game of hindsight.

    -Tom W circa 2014

  17. I’m assuming the comments are all screwed up do to troll extraction?

  18. wilner’s genius again “you can’t have thole bunt, you can’t give away outs to david price”

    yes much better to hit into a double play and give away 2 outs!!!!

    • Yeah that was classic – why give outs away to a guy that is getting you out almost all the time? If ever it makes sense to bunt in a situation like that it is against a premium pitcher like Price.

    • The real point is that Goins was next. That’s a fair point.

    • Come on dude. Thole was primed and ready to face Price. Didn’t you hear that he went down to minor league camp and faced Ricky Romero? Seven times even! You can’t have someone who’s that prepared for the pitcher give away an AB.

  19. Ok, that was painful. Time to move on and win this series!

    04/01/14

  20. Diaz in, Reyes out. at least the infield defense improves. he’s also walked like a maniac in the minors, although that probably won’t last once pitchers figure out he can’t hurt them at all (he has zero power).

    ehh… as long as Reyes isn’t out long, they can probably survive.

  21. With Parnell hitting the DL the Mets bullpen is more than a little vulnerable right now. I mean, when Kyle Farnsworth is one of your best options, you’re kind of fucked. Perhaps it’s time for Sandy and Alex to have another chat?

  22. Holy shit everybody. It was one game.

  23. 2 days into the season and no post today. are you hung over Stoets? :)

  24. Jonathan Diaz starting at SS!

  25. Hey Stoeten, what gives? It’s after 4:00. Yesterday was a shit show. So there’s no dearth of stuff to write about. Did you turn on all the gas and close the windows? Don’t do it, man. This team ain’t worth it. And anyway, it’s early.

    • What gives is fuck off?

      OK, that’s harsh, but… no, really. I work at my pace, not yours.

      • I liked your first response better.

        Fellas, did you all get fuckin ripple chipped last night? I know I drank enough whiskey that had I passed out in a snow bank I wouldn’t have frozen. So, bare in mind the clouded haze that is your brain, realize that Andrew is probably suffering similarly.

        All good things to those who wait.

  26. Looking forward to Hutch tonight. A split would be magic after that mess last night.

  27. i realize the situation at ss/2b is embarrassing at the moment, but lets not forget how injury prone drew is. That said, I would still want him, but everyone seems to think that he’d come in and play 150+ games no problem.

  28. If Drew is an option, the price probably just went up.
    Because, well, planning.

  29. your new shortstop eduardo nunez everyone!

  30. NY Post Baseball Preview gives a glowing report on the Jays prospects for 2014.
    Let’s go boys ! Even it up tonight !

  31. I’m pretty excited for baseball. Losses will happen. The thing is, so will beers.

  32. Melky, Cletus, JB,EE

    Your new 1-4

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