Not sure how *COUGH*, but a couple weeks ago Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, sent out a press release that slipped across the interweb, unnoticed by us,j announcing the return of alumni Jose Bautista for their annual home run derby.
WTVY.com, of nearby Dothan, AL, picked up the release and posted it on January 28th, and today Twiterrer @SlaytonT1 tweeted out the picture above, confirming (y’know, assuming it’s not from a previous year’s event), that the Jays’ slugger is indeed at the event, swinging a bat. And, damn it, it’s great to see– assuming of course that Bautista, whose request to play for the Dominican Republic in next month’s World Baseball Classic was denied by the club– has gotten all his permission slips signed.
Of course, we’d already heard reports that he’s been swinging, and with only meatballs being tossed his way, it’s not exactly like he’s facing the kind of live pitching the Jays were hoping to ease him into over the course of camp. So… uh… I’m sure it’s all good. Actually Jose retweeted it, too, so… obviously it is.
And actually, you can tell from this clip of last year’s event that he’s wearing something different in the pitcure above– and also that he was using an aluminium bat back then, too. Which is just kinda ridiculous to contemplate.
Apparently he also threw a bullpen session, as well…
Crotch grab in the direction of @jefflewis21 for the tip.
While I personally would find being forced to watch 2400 games in a six month period something bordering on torture– in addition to being subjected to what appears to be actual torture– apparently some people are down with it, as they keep applying to spend a summer in the MLB Fan Cave.
MLB has narrowed down their list of potential 2013 Fan Cave participants to 52, and until February 13th, it’s up to the unwashed masses out here on the interwebs to help whittle the list further down to 30. I can’t possibly be arsed to slog through the whole lot of them– or any, really– so consider me incredibly biased, but if Vancouverite music journalist, Jays fan, and singer of “baseball punk” band The Isotopes, Evan Wansbrough, wants in, how can I possibly not attempt to throw the support of the DJF Monkey Army behind him?
Pretty easily, actually. But I’ll do it anyway!
Click here to go to his MLB Fan Cave page and vote! And check out Evan’s Fan Cave video, plus a clip of the Isotopes’ Ballad of Rey Ordonez after the jump.
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KLaw Week continues over at ESPN.com, and this afternoon Keith has had his second of two chats with readers in the wake of the release of his Top 100 prospects list, and all the goodies that go with it. So, here are all the Jays-related nuggets from both Tuesday’s chat and today’s chat– but, of course, all the non-Jays stuff is gold too, so you should probably check them both out in full. I mean… what else are you going to do? It’s damn February.
Noticed Syndergaard was ranked relatively low on your list compared to most top prospects list, reasons?
Those other lists are wrong, obviously.
Ben (Leland Grove)
Why did James Paxton miss out?
Poor command, lack of an average third pitch, walked a man every other inning as a 23-year-old in AA.
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This is hardly news to anyone who has been following the Jays and using the internet for the last several years, but because so many formerly casual fans are finally enthused about the club– and also, because this is kind of ridiculous– I figure it’s worth pointing out something about what you’ll see if you venture over to BlueJays.com today (and with the State of the Franchise live stream happening this evening, there’s a decent chance you will).
The site, at the moment, is plastered with ads for MLB.tv, which is MLB’s fantastic online broadcasting service. I can’t recommend MLB.tv enough, if you’re a baseball fan, but the thing that jumps out at me today is the fact that all the ads on the Jays’ site, including the one above, are plastered with Jays players.
Call me naive, but doesn’t the ad– and the several others like it– kind of make it look like you can stream Jays games through MLB.tv?
Which… OK, technically you can do that, but I have a feeling it’s maybe not possible that you can, thanks to this little bit of fine print on the subscription page:
All live Toronto Blue Jays games are blacked out throughout the entire country of Canada.
Obviously the Jays’ main site isn’t just there to serve Canadians, so it’s not like the ad is completely disingenuous. And very obviously it’s something that’s come not from the club, but from MLB.tv itself, as the placement of Jays players in the ad on BlueJays.com is just a variant of what we see from other clubs– here is what the Cincinnati Reds’ page looks like, for example– so we’re not particularly special in being slightly misled here.
It’s just… y’know, don’t go purchasing this service expecting to get the thing that the ad imagery makes it totally look like you’re signing up for.
It’s not that I don’t believe that the Jays’ budget has already stretched the ol’ payroll parameters about as far as they can go, but when they’re still handing out $750K each to fucking Henry Blanco and Mark DeRosa, clearly there’s something still left for, say, Brandon Lyon?
Cue Jon Heyman:
Not horribly surprising. Yet, also, not something I’m real keen on expounding a shit-tonne of words on at quarter after five on a Friday afternoon.
So… uh… there’s that.
Bluebird Banter has already scooped this one up, but it’s not like there are a million other things to talk about right now, so… via the @DunedinBlueJays, here are the Jays’ new batting practice caps for 2013.
In his headline Minor Leaguer writes that they’re “more horrible than expected,” but I think I have to quibble with that slightly. They’re probably exactly as horrible as expected. Maybe I’d have to see them on someone’s head, but… I don’t know. They’re OK, as far as hats with absurdly large maple beacons are concerned. And while the ridiculously designed, incorrect maple leaf with the weird nub is bad, at least it’s not as atrocious as the Bank of Canada putting the leaf from a damn Norway maple on our shitty new money. I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough that they’re so thin and stick so close together that I’m sure I’ve paid $40 when I only wanted to throw down twenty multiple times already? And it’s only been, like, a month?
These hats, though… they’re OK, I guess. Whatever moves units, right? Give the people what they want.
That’s Andy LaRoche. Andy.
Not the good LaRoche. Andy.
And according to a team release, the Jays have signed him to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
LaRoche was last seen in the Majors in 2011 with the Athletics, playing below replacement level for 40 games, with a sub-Arencibia .293 wOBA and 93 wRC+. But hey! He hit left-handers to a .370 wOBA in 2009, and… also… y’know… uh… he’s entirely just minor league depth.
Which would be entirely warped if you’d been in a coma since 2008, when he was the “big get” in the deal that moved Jason Bay to the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers (as Paul Swydan wrote about at FanGraphs in 2010, when the Pirates finally cut bait on the newest
Jay Bison), but… is totally not at all warped in the slightest here in twenty-effing-thirteen, with his career wOBA and wRC+ sitting at .288 and 73.
So… yeah. Enjoy him, Buffalo! Whatever is left of him, that is. And hey, the usually-fastidious Mike Wilner tweeted that the club had signed “Andy LaRocke,” so maybe there’s still hope that it’s a different guy.
(No, really, that’s the whole post.)