84 - 78. Book it.

Let's be honest, predictions are really silly. You can say whatever you want at the start of the season and be right. Last year I thought your Toronto Blue Jays were going to be just awful. I went on record with this shitstain: 

Dead last in the AL East, maybe even the entire AL. 

We won 75 games last season and that included contributions from Scott Rolen and Alex Rios for roughly two thirds of the season.  We replaced them with Edwin Encarnasion and Jose Bautista.  That win total also includes a full season of Roy Halladay and Marco Scutaro.  We replaced them with Brandon Morrow and Alex Gonzalez. I hate to be so negative before the season even starts but I think we may be in danger of flirting with the teams fourth 100 loss season.

I also had Adam Lind as the team MVP. 

Huh. How about that?

Naturally, I took bets. The line was set at the 2009 win total of 75 minus a half point. I had the under. There turned out to be only one taker. A friend from work, when asked for his thoughts, dropped an 85 on me. After I finished laughing directly at him we promptly put 20 bucks on it. He liked the young arms and thought they would come together.

So for this year, I have decided to look past all the perceived holes and question marks facing the mighty Blue Jays. I refuse to acknowledge that the unbalanced schedule and inter league play hurts our chances of victory. All I did was ask "Mr 85 wins out of fucking nowhere in 2010" for his thoughts again this year minus the whole betting thing. This is what he came back with: 

I have 84 in my mind. I gotta believe that the way Johnny is gonna run this year that we'll win about the same but just a little differently.


And Down The Stretch They Come

I think it's fair to say that this years edition of the 25 Man Roster Challenge has been sponsored by injuries. It's basically a 22 Man Roster Challenge now because 3 (Morrow, Francisco and Dotel) of the 17 players that every ballot had making the Opening Day Roster are a lock to start the year on the DL, with special attention being placed on 2Frank. 15 of the 17 competitors selected him as the closer, which happens to be the primary tie breaker. Team April and Team OKBluejays are looking good with the Jon Rauch prediction. Hat tip for taking the long-shot guys. Speaking of long-shots, how about yours truly taking Jo-Jo in the rotation!

Maybe I'm not such an idiot after all eh?

Please take a moment to look over the ballots and get your vote in for which one you think will win it.


A Completely Unreasonable Request?

I can't believe this only has 2,300 hits on YouTube. Shocked in fact.

A good friend of mine showed me this clip and inevitably the conversation came to a point where we discussed going to see the Red Sux play in the Dome and all that it entails.
  • Packed house
  • Paying more for a ticket
  • 50/50 split on the cheering
  • Full parking lots
  • Red Sux gear being sold by the vendors
You know the deal.

I actually caught myself saying that I prefer not to be in attendance. How can that be?

I must say there was a time when I relished seeing our free spending fucking divisional rivals. It didn't matter to me how pathetic the turnout of fellow Blue Jay faithful was. I had no issue making up for the home side. Taunting Red Sux fans was awesome fun. They were such easy targets. So. Much. Material.

Nowadays the shitshow that is the entire downtown core when Red Sox Nation is in town - especially when it's a weekend - should be completely avoided whenever possible. Just a friendly suggestion. I would be interested to see whether or not there is a spike in crime in the city on those weekends.

As I was writing this up, something donned on me. Just gonna go ahead and throw it out there. If we all stopped going to see this perennial powerhouse play baseball around 10 times a year - every year - would the cheap bastards @ Rogers start thinking that maybe division realignment is the way to go? I figure the revenue that these games bring in is the only reason why that hasn't happened yet.

Please note: at any point in this post feel free to substitute Red Sux or Red Sox Nation with the words Skankees or Evil Empire. It still works.


Young Studs

Just in case you missed it, the team over at Jays Journal put together the list of all lists when it comes to your Toronto Blue Jays prospects. There is no other list in existence of the internet that is as detailed and complete. Whether or not you agree with every ranking is completely irrelevant. The amount of time and effort that must have gone into compiling a masterpiece of that magnitude is what you should be focusing on.

In hono(u)r of St. Patty's and all it's glory, I thought what a great opportunity to point out the fact that a whole bunch of players in our Minor League system are fairly young. Like needing fake ID to get into the bar young.

Check out all the players from the Jays Journal Top 50 list - including the near misses - that will begin the 2011 season at the age of 20 or younger.

Henderson Alvarez 04/18/1990
A.J. Jimenez 05/01/1990
Marcus Knecht 06/21/1990
K.C. Hobson 08/02/1990 
Anthony Gose 08/10/1990
Drew Hutchison 08/22/1990
Carlos Perez 10/27/1990 
Michael Crouse 11/22/1990 
Griffin Murphy 01/16/1991 
Jake Marisnick 03/30/1991
Christopher Hawkins 08/17/1991
Kellen Sweeney 09/14/1991
Dickie Thon 11/16/1991
Justin Nicolino 11/22/1991
Gustavo Pierre 12/28/1991
Shane Optiz 01/10/1992
Mitchell Taylor 05/11/1992 

The newly affiliated Vancouver Canadians play every home game in British Columbia where the drinking age is a much more civilized 19. When their season starts at home on June 17th, every name from this point on would not be able to legally have a drink in Canada. 

Brandon Mims 06/18/1992 
Aaron Sanchez 07/01/1992
Deivy Estrada 08/22/1992 
Noah Syndergaard 08/29/1992
Adaric Kelly 12/01/1992
Santiago Nessy 12/08/1992

Unless of course they decide visit Alberta, Manitoba or Quebec where the age of majority is only 18. These guys wouldn't even be able to get served there. 

Gabriel Cenas 10/16/1993
Adonis Cardona 01/16/1994

I remember the time I got busted using fake ID at a bar. That was pretty embarrassing. Thanks very much for your time.


CBHFM Fantasy Baseball Pool

It's about that time.....

Fantasy season is upon us. Who doesn't love it? It gives you a damn good reason to pour over the boxscores every morning guilt free. The only down side - if you can even call it that - is that the baseball season is very long compared to other sports and some managers tend to lose interest which in turn ruins the league for everyone. That and the obvious "help your buddy out" one sided trades.

A while back, my buddy at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum called me and made it known that he was interested in starting up a fantasy pool. I told him two things. One: keep it cheap and simple. Two: offer unique prizes. 

That phone call was over 4 years ago.

Please take a moment and check out the 2011 edition. It's only 10 bucks to join and this years first prize is pretty kick ass. The thing I like most about this pool is the near zero maintenance. Simply pick your players and wait for the e-mail updates every week.

Just for fun, I had my guy go over the results from the previous years pools. Check out the head to head results. Even with the shit stain I put up last year, I am still ahead and I'm hungry for another top 5 finish in 2011.


2007: 19
2008: 36
2009: 5
2010: 82

For an average of 36th place


2007: 47
2008: 33
2009: 30
2010: 53

For an average of 41st place

His boss:

2007: 74
2008: 142
2009: 108
2010: 38

For an average of 91st place


The Faceless / Handless Wonder

Your Toronto Blue Jays dipped into the international free agent market again today signing Francisco Tejada a 17 year old "toolsy" OF from the Dominican. Click here for the info I was able to find on the young man. That's all I got. No pictures, no stats and no videos.

While I was searching, I did come across these:

And my personal favorite:

Love the knee pads sweetheart.


I think it's fair to say that the J-Force is lacking a little bit with respect to in game entertainment. Just saying.


Walking Wounded

Player: Travis Snider

Injury: Upper-left (rib) side intercostal muscle strain

Quotes: "I tweaked something. We've just been taking a very cautious approach with the idea in mind of being ready for opening day. Hopefully, this thing is short-term. It happened about a week ago while playing golf before we even reported. It was a freak thing. It wasn't something that exploded on me, but just progressively got worse. It was a par-3. I hit it in the water. The best way to treat it is with rest and ice and not push it. I'll start playing as soon as possible. There's no timeframe at this point. It's already gotten a bit better. I'm glad it happened in February so that I don't have to be away from the team and trying to rush things back. The timing is unfortunate for spring training. There's a lot of work I wish I was able to be out there doing, but the most important thing is to get healthy." Travis Snider

Where he's at right now: He has taken batting practice for three consecutive days.

Prognosis: Expected to resume full baseball-related activities this weekend.

Bullshit Meter: Off the charts. Bob Elliott thinks something is up. He's not the only one.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Everybody took Snider on their ballot. So if he is unable to go then everyone is fucked equally.

Player: Aaron Hill

Injury: Tight right quadriceps muscle

Quotes: Manager John Farrell described the decision as “precautionary” and said the injury is unrelated to the hamstring problem that put Hill on the disabled list at the beginning of last season.

Where he's at right now: He went through full baseball-related activities on Sunday.

Prognosis: Expected to make his Spring Training debut on Wednesday morning.

Bullshit Meter: Extremely high. To say that this injury - considering it`s proximity to a known previous injury - is unrelated, is a little suspect. Generally the human body over compensates when a specific area is hurt and that sometimes results in another injury. Anyone that has sprained one of their ankles will tell you that eventually the other ankle gets worn down due to over use. Perhaps that is what is going on with Hill's leg. Just saying.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: See Snider.

Player: Frank Francisco

Injury: Undisclosed shoulder issue

Quotes: "It's not alarming, he's still throwing a baseball, we've got a progression mapped out for him. There's not an injury here per se, there's not a fatigue factor, he just likes to take things a little more slow, a little bit of a more gradual buildup to games." John Farrell

"It's the shoulder. We're just working to get it strong enough to go through the season. ... I think it's just part of the process." Frank Francisco

Where he's at right now: He never actually got shut down.

Prognosis: Expected to get into a game this weekend.

Bullshit Meter: Very low. The slower pace is consistent with Francisco's past so there is nothing to see here.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Everyone took 2Frank as well. Team April and Team OKBlujays were the only ones to not select him as the closer for the tie breaker. If he is unable to go, they stand to gain the most.

Player: Jon Rauch

Injury: Twisted right ankle

Quotes: “We just want to be sure that he has passed some tests from a physical standpoint before we put him back on the mound, we’ve got time on our side right now, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be ready once we get into the [Grapefruit League] schedule.” John Farrell

Where he's at right now: He is throwing 40 pitch bullpen sessions restriction free.

Prognosis: Expected to get into his first game on Thursday.

Bullshit Meter: Very high. Word is he hurt himself while walking down a flight of stairs. The only thing less believable than that is if they said he hurt himself walking up a flight of stairs.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: See Snider.

Player: Scott Podsednik

Injury: Plantar fasciitis in his left or right foot or both

Quotes: "I did everything normally up to a few days ago then it jumped back up and bit me. I want to do all the things to prevent this from coming back during the season. It would be easy to try to hit the ground running, but I can't do that. I have to be smart with it. I have to get prepared to take on the demands of 162 games, so I've communicated well with (trainer George Poulis) to this point and they're going to have a good plan for me to do that." Scott Podsednik

Where he's at right now: He took live batting practice yesterday and is expected to begin a light running program.

Prognosis: Doctors told him the cortisone shot he had injected normally takes around a week and a half to two weeks before it starts to work. Do the math.

Bullshit Meter: Ridiculously high. A quick recap shows that this injury apparently happened during a three day window. Sure it did.
  • signed to a minor league deal Feb. 16
  • received a cortisone injection on Feb. 19
  • arrived at spring training Feb. 23
25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Team James and Team Dave were the only contestants not to have Pods on their ballot.

Player: Kyle Drabek

Injury: Stiff neck

Quotes: "It's starting to get a little bit better, but not to the point where we're going to think [Monday] is going to be that drastic of an improvement," John Farrell

Where he's at right now: He missed his (dream match up) scheduled start yesterday.

Prognosis: Will throw a bullpen session tomorrow and is expected to make his first start of the Spring on Saturday.

Bullshit Meter: Very high. We are being led to believe he hurt himself sleeping. Really?

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Team Jonathan, Team James, Team Nemesis Enforcer and Team Man With The Golden Arm are the only managers not to have Drabek on their ballot.

Player: Dustin McGowan

Injury: Entire right arm and shoulder area

Quotes: "This is basically my last chance to get it right, and I want to do it the right way and make sure everything goes smoothly," Dustin McGowan

Where he's at right now: He is still throwing his scheduled bullpen sessions and continuing to building up his pitch count, intensity and repertoire.

Prognosis: Not expected to break camp with the team. Looks like another DL trip and "rehab assignment" to start the year in his future.

Bullshit Meter: Non existent. Not much to say here. It is what it is.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: No one selected him. Everyone is cheering for him.

Player: Jesse Carlson

Injury: Inflammation in his left shoulder

Quotes: "We're going to back him out for a couple of days," John Farrell

Where he's at right now: Recent test results revealed there is no structural damage to his left shoulder.

Prognosis: Doctors recommended that he stops throwing for the next seven days.

Bullshit Meter: Very low. Cito abused Jesse for a season and a half. Looks like it may be catching up with him.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Team Last Row 500`s, Team April, Team OkBluejays, Team Jeff and Team Jonathan all have Carlson making the Opening Day roster.

Player: Chad Cordero

Injury: Inflammation in his right shoulder

Quotes: "What's best for him is to back off a little bit," John Farrell

Where he's at right now: He has thrown a bullpen session and is scheduled for another one tomorrow.

Prognosis: Not expected to pitch in a game anytime soon.

Bullshit Meter: Uber low. The Chad had the same shoulder surgically repaired and lost pretty much two full seasons because of it. Yikes.

25 Man Roster Challenge Implications: Team LastRow 500`s is the only contestant that took a flyer on Cordero.


You Don't Know Dick really, really just needs to let it go. J.P. is long gone and voluntarily signed up to deal with the NY Mess. Ha!