So David Price got good news from the doctor today, and apparently won’t need Tommy John surgery, which is terrific for him and [grits teeth] his wonderful team and the great city of Boston. Oh well. I guess ya win some, ya pretend you didn’t lose some and are happy the Red Sox roster is intact.
The Canadian Baseball Network tells us that Rogers has struck a new three year partnership with Baseball Canada. “The landmark agreement comprises sponsorship of Team Canada (including junior national, senior national, and women’s national teams) and content creation opportunities for Rogers and Sportsnet,” we’re told, and is designed “to grow the game nationwide.” This makes all the sense in the world, and I can’t say a negative thing about it.
The promo they released to celebrate this new partnership, on the other hand…
All the feels. pic.twitter.com/NVpjdvXnbL
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 3, 2017
Now that is a well-executed slice of heartstring-pulling corporate branding. It’s moving without being hammy, professional without seeming slick, ego-inflating without being too overtly ego inflating. It’s like Baseball Canada has its own Tim Hortons ad, and just as nauseatingly cynical and manipulative. It takes some incredible talent to make shit smell this good. GO BASEBALLS!!
Oh? Should I have said something about today’s “game” between the “Blue Jays” and… I thiiiiiink… the “Yankees”? Probably, right? Well, José Bautista hit a home run, which is good, and Mat Latos was actually pretty alright, which was encouraging. Dan Shulman called the game, which was awesome, with Pat Tabler as his colour commentator, which… made me year for a one-man booth of just Shulman (COST SAVINGS, ROGERS. COST. SAVINGS.). Ryan McBroom walked it off, which I mention only because it would seem shitty to Ryan McBroom if I didn’t. But not a whole lot else of note from this one. Liriano and the rest of the Jays’ pitchers (of consequence) looked pretty good!
I’ve been digging the work that Tony Blengino has done this winter for FanGraphs, and this week he took it in a whole new direction, going through the AL East to look back at each of the clubs based on 2016 production adjusted based on quality of contact, rather than actual results, and to look forward as well. It’s long, but well worth the read. Money quote, re: the Jays, is that they’re “the only other East club with a quantifiable chance to win the division, and should be considered a favorite for a Wild Card berth.” (I don’t think I have to tell you which team is the division favourite.)
Elsewhere at FanGraphs is yet another great one from Travis Sawchik, as he pivots (a little bit) off Josh Donaldson talking about getting lift and eschewing ground balls (something Drew and I spoke briefly about on this week’s Birds All Day podcast), and wonders if the Fly-Ball Revolution has truly begun. Ryan Schimpf presumably says “yes.”
Three key ones from Benny Fresh over at Sportsnet, as he tells us that Steve Pearce will only be lining up at DH for the Jays over the next two weeks, and then talks to Jason Grilli about the season ahead, as well as the Jays’ Jake of all trades.
Great stuff, as always, from Josh Howsam of BP Toronto, as he spoke with Dalton Pompey about the Canadian outfielder’s decision to play in the WBC. Meanwhile, Elie Waitzer looks at John Gibbons as a modern day Bobby Cox — a comparison that, despite having a Jays connection, from the you just knew was going to be about ejections.
Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun talks to Kendrys Morales, who says he’s not worried about having to fill Edwin Encarnación’s big shoes.
A great feature from Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail, who looks at the guys with the least glamorous jobs in Spring Training: the players’ assistants (who apparently you’re not supposed to call bat boys anymore!).
A pair of gems from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, as he finds Aaron Sanchez getting comfortable this spring, now that he doesn’t have to worry about whether he’s a starter or a reliever (hint: he’s a starter), and talks to Buffalo skipper Bobby Meacham about his career and his role in the Jays organization for 2017.
Beyond the Box Score wonders whether Marcus Stroman can win the AL Cy Young this season. Seriously!
Here’s an interesting Wall Street Journal piece on baseball’s changing market for power hitters, which features this Mark Shapiro quote: “As an industry we’ve disproportionately rewarded power. [Now, teams are getting] a better picture of the complete player. You’re looking at it more holistically as to, ‘How does he help you win?'”
Jon Morosi goes looking for those sweet Canada clicks at MLB.com, as he talks about the WBC and former Blue Jay Scott Richmond’s long road to the 2017 event.
Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian shows 14 different brilliant ways that John Gibbons could signal for an intentional walk this season. #GibbyTheBest
Ryan Di Francesco of Jays Droppings drops (see what I did there?) a bit of history on us… the best moustaches in Jays history!
Mop Up Duty brings us word of a Tim Johnson (yes, that Tim Johnson) in
Vietnam northern Mexico. As a manager!
South of the Six reacts to Edwin Encarnación’s comments about the Jays’ “hasty” decision to move on from him and sign Kendrys Morales to DH instead, making the case that it wasn’t hasty, it was just business.
Some of you noticed a thing about Disqus comments in the piece earlier today about the outstanding, beautiful, mobile-friendly, much-needed redesign that’s coming to this site next week. What you might not have noticed, however, was my response to that in the comments. For those who missed it, here’s what I said about all that:
Without revealing too much internal politicking or explaining how or why this did or didn’t happen, let me just say that I made it very clear when I saw this post that the readers and commenters here want Disqus and would be very disappointed if it went away again, and the folks in charge are completely on board.
Returning Disqus right now, for this site alone, however, would throw a bit of a wrench in their plans for the network-wide relaunch. If you’ve ever been involved in a relaunch, you know that it’s an enormous task, and the work doesn’t stop once all the sites go live. So right now I can’t give you a specific timeline on when Disqus will be back, but Disqus *will* be back.
In the meantime, you will unfortunately see that other comment system on here once the new look is in place. My apologies for that. But I think that once you see how much better the site looks and functions — *especially* on mobile — and once we really work all of the kinks out, we’ll all be much, much, much better for this change.
Lastly, as I’ve been noting every time I do one of these lately, if you’re an aspiring writer looking for exposure for your Blue Jays content, I’d love to help you out in whatever small way I can. My advice: start your own site. Once you do that, send me the link (or if you already have one and I haven’t been linking it, send it too!). I can be reached at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (I will respond… eventually), or on Twitter at @AndrewStoeten. I will put your site in the RSS feed I use when compiling these posts. I will read what you write. If it’s good, I will point people to it. If it’s consistently good, we can definitely talk about having you do stuff for us. If we agree to work together and I don’t have it in the budget at that moment to pay for it, you’re welcome to do some things for us anyway, and if its gets good traffic and demonstrates value, I’ll certainly be able to make a business case to bring you on for pay.
I’ve been a little slow responding to some of these, because email is trash and I hate it, but I assure you I will!