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Photo Credit: @BlueJays

Baseball Things Are Happening!

It’s the greatest day of the year! The one day we wait for, agonize over, and dream about all winter: the day we convince ourselves that most of Spring Training isn’t a bit of a boring slog and just appreciate that somewhere down south under the Florida sun the Toronto Blue Jays are doing things. As a team!

And, sure, maybe it’s not quite as nebulous a thing as all that — we know where they are, they’re not just somewhere — but WHO CARES???? AARON SANCHEZ THROWING TO RUSSELL MARTIN!!! MOTHERFUCKING YES!!!!!!

Even better in slow motion with the soundtrack from a dystopian hellscape movie!!:

Potential fifth starter, or Buffalo ace *COUGH*, Joe Biagini was out there, too:

And it’s the newest Blue Jay, Craig Breslow, aka “the smartest man in baseball,” according to Josh Donaldson (via John Lott’s latest for the Athletic), and… um… at least one other person. “Just ask him,” Donaldson quipped. (Of course, as John points out, Breslow can back this up: he has a degree in molecular physics and biochemistry from Yale, and “scored 34 on the medical school admission test. The average is 20.”)

Hell, we’ve even got the first “offseason transformation” story of the year — or, more accurately, the first headline in that vein:

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask for me to be an offensive threat. I mean I’m six-three and 225 pounds. I should be able to drive the ball fairly consistently. I’ve done it in the past,” Maile told Griff. And… well… god love him, but in 906 career plate appearances above Double-A, Maile has just 50 extra base hits (37 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs). By contrast, in 2017 Kevin Pillar, in just 632 plate appearances, hitting exclusively against big league pitching, produced 54 extra base hits. And Pillar was 15% worse than a league average hitter! (i.e. his wRC+ was 85)

Ahh, but this is spring, where any potential transformation, no matter how outlandish it sounds, is at least plausible. Let’s just let him have it. Maybe he makes some changes and they work! As Griff points out, Maile is certainly useful on the defensive side — and the Jays, for what (very) little this is worth, were 20-16 in the games he started behind the plate last year.

All the good things are still possible in Dunedin in February. Drink it in! Baseball is happening!