Can you smell that smell? Spring is coming… Fast!

How do I know spring is coming fast?

Because pitchers and catchers started reporting for spring training on Sunday February 13th.

Hurrah!

Major League Baseball is right around the corner.

Hopefully the Toronto Blue Jays will begin the season where they left off last year and can compete for a playoff spot throughout the season.

Go Jays Go.

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The Buzz is Back Surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays

Hear that buzz?

If you live in Toronto, or are a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, you hear it… And it’s fun.

For the second straight day, the Toronto Blue Jays got a standout performance from one of their players as starting pitcher Brandon Morrow threw a one-hitter and the Blue Jays held on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0. Morrow struck out 17 batters, one shy of Roger Clemens’ franchise record 18 set Aug. 25, 1998. The Jays sweep the Rays.

The day before, in a 17-11 win over the Rays, Rookie cathching prospect JP Arencibia made his long awaited debut with the Jays after he led the minors for most of the year in home runs, finishing off his Las Vegas (AAA) run with 31 HR’s to go with 32 doubles and a .303 batting average. He went 4-5 in his ML debut including hitting a homerun on the first pitch he say in the majors. He ended the day with 2 homers. The 24-year old, right-handed hitting catcher was chosen 21st overall in the first round of the 2007 June draft. He has shown great power numbers in his minor league career, with 82 home runs over four seasons.

This has been an exciting week for the Jays and their fans, as earlier in the week they rode into Yankee Stadium and took two of three games from the pinstripes, knocking them, briefly, out of first place. On the season series, the Jays have now won five of nine from New York, out-homering the normally powerful Bronx Bombers 17-8.

After taking 2 of 3 from the best team in baseball, with a .604 winning percentage, the NY Yankees, the Jays have now swept the second best team in baseball, the Tampa Rays. So look out. The now hotest team in the AL (and second hotest after the 8-2 Cincinnati Reds), the Jays are within 3 1/2 games of the 3rd place Boston Red Sox, heading into a series with them next.

At least playing meaningful games this far into the season is good for the Jays for this year and for next year.

Go Jays!!!

So who would you rather have pitching for you this year???

Brandon Morrow 4,79 ERA. 118.1 IP. 10 HR. 55 BB. 134K. Making $409,800 in 2010.

OR

AJ Burnett 4.93 ERA. 126.0 IP. 16 HR. 52BB. 94K. Making: $16.5 million in 2010.

Is it wrong of me to smile every time AJ loses… Especially to the Jays? I really felt that Burnett had 1 great season in the past 10, which got him a huge deal from the NY Yankees, after which he tailed off and became the average pitcher he is again…

Since 2001, here is his win-loss stats.

2001 Florida 11-12
2002 Florida 12-9
2003 Florida 0-2
2004 Florida 7-6
2005 Florida 12-12
2006 Toronto 10-8
2007 Toronto 10-8
2008 Toronto 18-10
2009 NY Yankees 13-9
2010 NY Yankees 9-9

he 18-10 season was his most productive and that came after then Jays GM, JP Ricciardi called him out in the media for not being able to play through pain, because he had been on the DL so much in his career.

It’s officially baseball season!!!

Congratulations to the Chicago Black Hawks on winning the Stanley Cup, probably the most difficult championship to win in professional sports.

With this win, their first since 1961, it means my Toronto Maple Leafs have now gone the longest between cup wins, last hoisting the cup in 1967 – or 4 years before I was born.

Also nice to see an original 6 team win!

Some quick thoughts… I guess third time is a charm for Marian Hossa, eh?  And PAtrick Kane won’t have to beat up cabbies in Buffalo anymore, he can just flash them his Stanley Cup ring.  And what about Bill Wirtz.  Stringy former owner passed away and the first thing his son did upon taking over team was to televise games and remind Hawks fans and residents of Chicago that they still had an NHL team. 

That being said…

IT’S BASEBALL SEASON!!!

and with that, my poor Jays are having their asses handed to them by the Tampa Rays, formerly the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  Apparently, the words “Bay” and “Devil” are satanic.  LOL.

But seriously… I’m hoping the Jays don’t tank it now that all eyes are on them, and I hope Vernon Wells continues his streak and we can trade him, as well as Overbay, and bring up the kids…  I hear the shortstop prospect Etchivierry and pitcher Drabek are blue chippers as is the first baseman whose name I do not know at this moment.

Go Jays!

Jason Bay, the New York Mets CF

Damn.

Would have been nice to have Jason Bay, a Canadian, in the Toronto Blue Jays line-up but that dream will have to wait for at least 3 more years as Bay – who opted out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox – has signed a 3 year $66 million dollar contract with the NY Mets.

I would however like to see the Jays sign Carlos Delgado.  His smile and approach to baseball can get fans through some of the tough years ahead.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are for sale by Rogers Communications. 

You heard it here first.

I happen to know for a fact from an internal source within the Rogers empire and how else can you explain the recent signings by the Jays.  They are aiming to just compete this year and next.  By then they should have rid themselves of that horrible Vernon Wells contract and hopefully the prospects they get from the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies will be showing some progress and the Jays can make a run.  By that time hopefully the NY Yankees and Boston Red Sox will have payroll over $500 million each and all their players will be over 35 years old.

I still expect Rogers to keep the naming rights to the SkyDome / Rogers Centre, that massive piece of real estate they stole for $25 million dollars and originally cost taxpayers in Ontario somewhere in the vicinity of $625 million to build back in 1989.

As for Roy Halladay, it looks like he will be a Phillie and Cliff Lee of the Phils – who wouldn’t pitch on 3 days rest – is going to Seattle, with prospects coming Toronto’s way.  I like this trade.  Roy deserves better.

NY Yankees

I can hear their commentator in my head…

Close your eyes and picture it… Listen to his voice…

Thheeeeee Yankeeees LOSE!
Thhhhheeeeeeeeee Yankees LOSE!

Way to go AJ Burnett. 5 years as a Blue Jay, one decent season, also your contract year, with an 18-10 record.

While the Yankees may and probably will win the world series, AJ doesn’t deserve it. You think he was average this year winning only 3 games from July to September… See how he is when there is nothing to play for in his eyes.

There is still something to be said for loyalty!

I hate the NY Yankees…

I can’t help it but I REALLY hate the NY Yankees, and the Boston Red Sox. These 2 teams spend way too much money and are in the same division as my Toronto Blue Jays.  They may draft well, but they basically buy their players…

I can tell you why I hate the current Yankees… A.J. Burnett, and their $300 million dollar payroll. Oh, and A-Roid.  Don’t forget 9 Jays players plunked this year by crappy Yankee pitching or dirty SOB’s who think it’s ok to hit players.

The Bo-Sox?! Big Papi, off roids, loses weight and can’t hit for shit… Coincidence?  I hate cheaters!