The Jays are in Minnesota to take on the Twins here on Jackie Robinson Day– the 67th anniversary of Robinson’s first game in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers, following an astonishing (.349/.468/.462!) single season in this country with the Montreal Royals.

Sadly, I don’t have the time to write out all the thoughts I have on why this is such an important day, and something that baseball actually, somehow, manages to do right by continuing to celebrate. Sure, the league is sort of patting itself on the back for being the incubator for a powerful story of perseverance and humanity overcoming hate in the midst of an era where basic civil rights of the kind that it’s so easy for so many of us to simply take for granted needed to be fought for — the kind of story that both transcends sports and underscores the power that sport can have to effect change and impart powerful ideas to broader society — when the reality is that it was baseball’s own racist policies that were being broken down. But I suppose that they don’t hide from that is itself a signal of progress — not that they really ever had a choice.

But… well… this isn’t about the league itself anyway, nor is it about the long way that the world still has to go, despite 67 years of that progress. It’s about the triumph of what’s decent and right, and a celebration of a man who, to make the world a better place, faced more pressure and vitriol than any man should, as one of the faces of a struggle for a people that faced imposed disadvantages and hatred more than any people should, and simultaneously for the basic right to freedom for all people.

There’s no more important figure in the game, and like I say, MLB surprisingly actually gets this one right.


It is cold in Minnesota in April. Think you might hear about this a couple more times before the game is over.

The Jays announced today that Jeremy Jeffress has cleared waivers and been assigned to Buffalo — meaning that the eight-man bullpen thing worked… the first time. Guess we’re doing it again, though. Marcus Walden was D’d FA in order to make room on the 40-man for Munenori Kawasaki, who we’d known since Sunday was on his way up — and he is indeed with the team tonight, bizarrely starting in the two-spot (though at least he’ll take some pitches and maybe get on base, right? Right???). (Note: Drew nailed it.)

Another lineup note: Colby Rasmus sits tonight with a tight hamstring — which he was removed from Sunday’s game for. Makes sense given the cold, and the fact that if he were to do something to make it worse, they couldn’t retroactively DL him. Best to just wait until it’s right. Especially since, even though they’re 6-6, judging by their lineup, I have no idea how these Twins have managed to win a game.

Scott MacArthur adds that he spoke to Colby, who says his hamstring is feeling much better, and that he hopes to play tomorrow. Brendan Kennedy tweets that John Gibbons also notes that Moises Sierra has hit Phil Hughes better in a small sample, as well, so… y’know… microsplits. (FYRE GOBBONS!!!!!!)

About that, though. Gregor Chisholm tweets that Gibbons says that with more cold forecast for tomorrow, don’t be surprised if Colby gets another day off.

Better news: Kennedy also tweets that Jose Reyes is now scheduled to play for Dunedin tonight and tomorrow, and the Blue Jays on Friday in Cleveland, barring setback. That’ll play.

One more from Kennedy, who adds that Casey Janssen doesn’t have as structured a rehab program as yet — he’ll throw 25 pitches today and they’ll take it from there.

Janssen is throwing, and @stivbators tells us that various guns have his fastball at 86-88. Yeesh.

J.A. Happ still thinks he’s a starter, and isn’t particularly thrilled with being in the bullpen. Fair enough, it’s just, y’know, pitch your way out of it, then.

“Fans of an outdoor stadium in Toronto should heed this week’s attendance in Minnesota,” tweets @mattomic. “From 5° to -1 with chance of flurries each game.” (See, I told you that you might hear about this.)

Shirtless Melky Cabrera? Shirtless Melky Cabrera. (Shirtless Melky).

Padres reporter Corey Brock tweets that Josh Johnson has an upcoming visit with Dr. James Andrews, while Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported last night that Rays pitcher Matt Moore will have Tommy John surgery and is out for the year.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game: Tomorrow, 8:10 PM ET, @ Minnesota

For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.

And now, the lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

LF Melky Cabrera (S)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
RF Moises Sierra (R)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
SS Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Brandon Morrow

Minnesota Twins

2B Brian Dozier (R)
1B Joe Mauer (L)
3B Trevor Plouffe (R)
RF Chris Colabello (R)
LF Jason Kubel (L)
DH Josmil Pinto (R)
C Kurt Suzuki (R)
CF Aaron Hicks (S)
SS Pedro Florimon (S)

RHP Phil Hughes

Comments (396)

  1. outfield defense not looking good tonight

  2. Bautista :(

  3. Good lord, people, get a grip.

  4. C’mon morrow…this season largely hinges on you!

  5. Pretty stupid for Gibbs not to have melky in Centre have Sierra in left and Jose in right

    • How?

      • Well considering melky has experience in centre Jose is accustomed to right and Sierra would go to left..that first run may have been saved with Jose probably not making that mistake of being that close to wall

        • Jose’s accustomed to right, but Melky’s not accustomed to left?

        • It was Moises who was too close to the wall

          • Yes I made that clear above I’m also talking about the should have been single that turned triple

            • And if Cabrera had misplayed one you’d have been complaining about Bautista not being in there. Fact of the matter is, they’re both not well suited to the position. Nitpicking like this is nonsense.

  6. 50 pitches and he’s not out of the 2nd? Yuck.

  7. Jesus titty fucking Christ. Can we get Melky back in centre, at least he is so slow enough to lay up on that.

  8. What is Morrow’s pitch count? 75?

  9. The cold weather excuse will be used for Morrow…yet Hughes seems to be doing fine?

    • This rotation is a lead leaguer in EAR (excuses above replacement).

      Sadly, this is the only metric where Dickey is a true ace.

    • Hughes will let us back in this game..

    • So you’re preemptively being a piece of shit about an excuse you *think* they’re going to make? Good lord.

  10. How do you sit in the stands and watch this game? Boozed up? Coffee every 10 minutes?

    • Nordic stock and liquor

      • There are lots of Germans and Scandinavians in the upper Midwest…I know they serve schnapps in Milwaukee…ein prosit !!!

        • Yep. Here too in Northwestern Ontario. But sitting for 3 hours in the stands at a baseball game when it’s below zero with the wind is frickin’ stupid.

  11. This is all fine; our offence vs Phil Hughes? SLUGFEST !!!!!

  12. This is fucking bullshit, why do I put myself through this?

  13. Oi vey.

    Off to the beer store

  14. Patience. Bautista will deliver.

  15. unleash happ on these fuckers

  16. Goins hit in back-to-back games? What

  17. Morrow clearly doesn’t have it tonight, get happ waming and see if he can do any better. I dont know why we always need to wait for a starter to give up 6 runs before he gets the hook. Rather not have to watch them try to dig out of a big hole.

  18. Buck likes a sticky stick on a cold night

  19. That was fucking hilarious listening to Tabler try to say Lateral Collateral ligament.

  20. Be honest, who hasn’t missed that Asics bat?

    Where do you even get those?

  21. Fuck this roster construction. Coco Crisp misses a game, Craig Gentry takes his spot. Ellsbury or Gardner go down, Ichiro takes their spot. Grady Sizemore goes down, Jackie Bradley Jr or Shane Victorino (when healthy) takes his spot. Adam Jones goes down, David Lough slides over.

    A 5 year old could look at the Jays and see they need someone on the bench who can play a reliable CF.

    It ain’t Bautista’s fault, the FO had their heads up their asses on this one.

    • Pass around a cap in the dugout a

    • Could you look at it a little more narrowly maybe? Oh, wait, you couldn’t possibly.

      • frustrating when a situation everyone could see coming in February bites them in the ass the first time it crops up.

        how much would it have cost them to bring in somebody who can play a little outfield D and pinch run late in ballgames?

        • Narrow.

          • Dude.. What is up your ass tonight

            The roster construction is not optimall

            Having three long men in the pen is not optimal

            You yourself have made these points

            Yet tonight for some reason .. When others are pointing this out .. You are killing them

    • If Gose could hit MLB pitchers he would be on the bench and Rasmus’ heir apparent (and playing right now).

      Having melky sub in at CF is not awful (not sure why Jose is in CF), but we are not the yanks or bosux who pay $10M for a 4th outfielder

    • The Orioles are also playing Delmon Young in the outfield on a regular basis, so fuck you.

      • Young platoons with Lough, which is actually not a waste of a roster spot.

        • Delmon Young on a 25 man roster is the definition of a waste.

          The point is, your examples are terrible.

          • He has a 193 wRC+

            • Good for, oh wait, he’s not even qualified.

              Among players with at least 20 PAs, Young’s wRC+ ranks 14th, behind powerhouses like Derek Dietrich, Charlie Blackmon and over 120 points behind noted slugger Devin Mesoraco’s 317 wRC+.

              In conclusion, be stupider.

          • no i’m pretty sure you nitpicked at one that actually isn’t as bad as you believe, and actually was beside the point I was making about Lough covering for Jones in CF.

            the rest are difficult to argue with.

  22. fucking chris colabello who are you

  23. Stoeten,

    Good write-ups about Jackie Robinson from both you and Drew today. It’s amazing how influential a sports figure can be, and the celebration of this day is one (rare) positive initiative taken by the Commissioner’s office in the Selig era.

    It seems like it is becoming less and less likely that we will see in-their-prime athletes standing up for potentially unpopular things (like integration). I feel like the money in and out of the game is too good, the media is too oppressive, and the public is too easily offended.

  24. Holy shit, just signed on here, we’re down 2 runs and everyone’s on suicide watch?

    • Yep. It is absolutely insane.

      • Seriously? I’ve never been accused of being Mr Positive but c’mon. Walk and a dinger and its a tie game. Plus we have an 8 man bullpen after a day off. Let Morrow get through 5 and turn it over to the pen. Fuck.

      • i’m pretty sure the bench situation is a legit beef. obviously people are gonna react when they see micky mouse shit in the OF, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

        • Wait until inter league play.

        • Fair enough, not saying its all ice cream and roses, but a little perspective please

          • hey i dont think anyone’s making a comment about their ability to come back and win this game. that’s very much a possibility against a shitty Phil Hughes on a day that’s obviously tough for pitchers.

            in the larger picture of this season however, the roster construction of this team continues to be suspect.

        • But reacting like that means they are stupid and lack perspective and not worthy of respect.

    • You guys missed Sierra’s trip at first base. It was outstanding.

  25. The hate is strong in here tonight.

  26. Bitchy DJF crowd tonight.

  27. Josama’s wearing a burka?

  28. 4th straight inning to start with a hit

  29. Good call on Hughes sucking and letting us back in. This could be the inning

  30. Can we get Dwayne Murphy back for EE?

  31. What’s wrong with justified frustration? Just because we’re playing better than last year I’m supposed to bend over and pucker?

  32. I understand the Dominican boys with the balaclava’s, but Jesus Lawrie, you are Canadian man.

  33. 9 Walks for Linda this year? Good sign.

  34. Wow…

  35. It must be the snowfall we all woke up too this morning. Get a grip people! Thanks for attempting to maintain the sanity Stoeten, but I think your efforts might be lost on this crowd for the time being.

  36. Worst part about this game? I’m cruising on an iPad and I hate it. Give me my laptop back please.

  37. It’s true Morrow looks awful right now, but it’s also true that the cold weather can affect pitchers, particularly their “grip on the ball.”

  38. Morrow needs some sunscreen tonight.

  39. Hi guys ( actually wish I was).
    Sorry I’m late, everybody ready for the jays to kick some ass.
    It’s a great day to be a fan.
    I’m happy happy happy.
    Glad to see you all ,even Stoeten’s here, spreading sunshine all over,as usual.

  40. I have an unhealthy love for Aaron Loup

  41. Loup made Mauer look silly.

  42. So this is a good new strategy: don’t get the leadoff man aboard…

  43. Wow ump

  44. That’s a lot of called third strikes.

  45. Ump wants to go home

  46. Wish the Jays had a top-of-the-rotation arm like Phil fucking Hughes.

  47. Boston pizza is fully running out of ideas

  48. What was that about sunscreen?

  49. Twins don’t deserve to win this.

  50. Kawasaki time!!

  51. Love me some sake! Here we go!

  52. How does Kawasaki get stranded?

  53. Nice Joey

  54. Cow-a-sock-key!!!!

  55. Am I allowed to say anything positive?

  56. Kittenface!

  57. …and so it begins. lol

  58. It’s on!

  59. bautista getting dat BABIP up over .200

  60. 3 run shot coming up

  61. Eddie delivers.

  62. Hughes can’t help himself from sucking. It was just a matter of time

  63. Edwin!

  64. Seriously, a pizza taco? Does anyone even eat at boston pizza anymore?

  65. Who’s team is this? Kawasaki’s team!

  66. Dinner is served

  67. Dear Sierra, please don’t make more than one out here.

  68. Mauer brainfart there

  69. We couldn’t be winning, could we?

  70. Why did he just tag him?

  71. That was the best case scenario for Sierra, lets be honest

  72. Amazing…

  73. SWEET

  74. lol….

  75. I fucking love this

  76. Hahahaha!

  77. Brett Lawrie, clutch as fuck

  78. There are the twins we were expecting.

  79. Hey the Twins just did a 2013 Jays thing!

  80. 2 hits for Goins?!

  81. everybody hits this inning apparently!

  82. Well, it’s settled. Balaclava’s are now standard issue.

  83. Goins looks like my aunt with that turtleneck.

  84. All right, let’s shut these fools down.

  85. Now we need 4 innings of good relief with Loup already burned. Bullpen depth is big tonight…

  86. 8-man bullpen looks good right now…

  87. That inning was sooooooo fresh

  88. Lawire? More like Floorie… amirite?

  89. What’s with Gameday crashing my Flash player all the time? You’d think a business as big as MLB would be capable of being compatible with Flash, right?

  90. Let’s see Wagner win back that six grand.

  91. E5

  92. Only 2nd error by a position player? Wow

  93. Nice pitch

  94. Options be damned, I’d like Wagner to stay up…

    • yeah he definitely deserves it, but i’m not sure having a better 4/5 man out of the pen is worth losing the rotation depth of Happ, Rogers or Redmond. improving the bench on the other hand… well i think i’ve ranted enough about that tonight.

  95. nice Wagner. High heat

  96. Bullpen is even nastier this year.

  97. Let’s start passing the hat to get that six grand for Wagner.

  98. hurray for magic spirit animals!!!

  99. I love watching Muni hit

  100. Spirit animal!!!!!!!

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