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Photo Credit: © Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Threat: Would You Rather Watch That Jose Bomb Over and Over, or This Spring Game? Blue Jays @ Tigers

The not-quite-Jays are playing a game against the almost-Tigers today. Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh the regular season can’t come soon enough.

So let’s talk about all the interesting Jays-related stuff that happened at everyone’s favourite deeply-flawed but hilariously-entertaining international baseball tournament last night!

News and Scuttlebutt

Who said the World Baseball Classic is a random, junk-ass tournament not worth watching? In what other situation can you be presented with a mismatch of the Dustin Molleken pitching to Jose ‘Chip On His Shoulder’ Bautista in a game that’s like damn Olympics to the Dominican faithful? Nowhere!

Say what you want about the WBC, it isn’t perfect, hell, it’s far from being anywhere near perfect, but it’s a fantastic chance to watch players represent their countries in games that may not mean much to us up here in Canada, but sure as hell mean a lot to players from other countries around the world.

As Team Canada fans, which I assume most of us somewhat are, we were treated with a predictable clobbering from the defending champions. But, as Blue Jays fans, we were gifted with our boy Jose hitting a beautiful bomb to left field. Hell, I would probably rather watch this on repeat for three hours than today’s spring training match-up.

Jose went three-four-four with a homer, two singles, and a walk, drove in four, and struck out once. On the other side, Dalton Pompey went one-for-four with an RBI and a spectacular catch in centre field. Good times. Good times, indeed.

But the World Baseball Classic giveth and the World Baseball Classic taketh away. Our old friend Chris Colabello, who’s still searching for the truth and Team Italy mounted an incredible rally to shock Team Mexico last night. They were down 9-5 in the ninth inning, and scored five runs before Mexico could even record an out. Random international baseball!!

It seems like a fun and good time until you realize Roberto Osuna was the one who shit the bed for Team Mexico. Osuna came into the game with a four-run lead, allowed three-straight doubles, a guy reached on an error, and then he issued a walk and was pulled for some other guy who allowed two more singles.

Let’s get this straight: We can get excited about Jose’s monster home run off of some beer league slow pitch player and Dalton Pompey’s amazing grab in centre field, but we absolutely can-fucking-not get worried about Osuna blowing a game. Those are the rules!

A Josh Donaldson injury update, as Arden Zwelling tells us that Josh Donaldson is about a week away from returning to the field, but will soon be ready to take at bats from the DH position. John Gibbons said that while taking practice in the batting cage, Donaldson looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. That’s great because, uh, 2017 would be a pretty massive cluster-fuck if the MVP missed a significant amount of time.

TV:NONE

Radio: MLB.com 

And now the lineups…

Blue Jays

Ezequiel Carrera (L) LF

Steve Pearce (R) DH

Justin Smoak (S) 1B

Anthony Alford (R) RF

Darrell Ceciliani (L) CF

Richard Urena (S) SS

Jake Elmore (R) 3B

Jon Berti (R) 2B

Juan Graterol (R) C

Casey Lawrence (R) SP 

Tigers

Omar Infante (R) 2B

Mikie Mahtook (R) DH

J.D. Martinez (R) RF

Justin Upton (R) LF

Alex Avila (L) C

Brett Pill (R) 1B

JaCoby Jones (R) CF

Dixon Machado (R) SS

Brendan Ryan (R) 3B

Jordan Zimmermann (R) SP

  • daniloheat

    To be fair, pitching in Guadalajara it’s like pitching in Colorado. A lot of fly balls goes the yard because of the altitude. The Mistake Roberto did was to pitch like in a MLB game. Chris Colabello has already played in the mexican winter league and alex liddi has played in the estadio panamericano. For Osuna it’s not a big deal and he will recover, and it’s quite good this happened at a very unsignificant game (mexico wasn’t gonna win against P.R. And Ven to be honest, and I’m mexican). He just need to realize he didn’t adjust to the very different situations in mexican soil.

  • 0noggin

    While Pompey made that play look good with the dive, the statscast “catch probability” metric made it clear that should have been a more routine play and he just misjudged the ball and had to make a correction. That’s not to criticize, though: as I recall when he came up first, he was routinely misjudging balls (and often not making catches), to the point that even Ben Revere or Carrera might have been upgrades out there. So, the fact that he’s now making plays he previously would have botched is a positive sign that Pompey IS making discernible progress toward maximizing all the great tools he has as an outfield. In fact, when you factor his glove, bat and speed together, there’s no way in my books that he isn’t already better than Carrera and positioning himself to potentially steal the LF job outright from Upton some time this season. The kid is good.

  • 0noggin

    And BTW for true baseball fans out there: catch a game some time in the Tokyo Dome. The atmosphere there is unreal – the fans are very loud and engaged (in a non-obnoxious way), and in typical Japanese fashion, even the cheering is well-organized (with real brass-instruments in the crowd and cheers that are standard enough that every fan can join in, but personalized for each player and situation). Kind of like playoff baseball with something of the atmosphere of Yankee Stadium (but with a very different flavor). Experience of a lifetime.