Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Blue Jays’


Today during the Jays and Yanks game Jays 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson got into a verbal sparring match with his manager John Gibbons.  The Bringer of Rain can do no wrong these days and unlike Shae Hilledrand or Ted Lily in years past, Donaldson decided to take the comedic route to douse any controversy on his relationship with his manager.

Now I’ve never been lucky enough to be in or around a major league baseball dugout or locker room but in my hacker experience in the Southern County league of Norfolk these types of disagreements were common place.

I can recall that one time I came back to the dugout in similar fashion to Donaldson (not the MVP caliber ball player type but more less the type that just struck out) I gave my coach (who happened to be my dad…love you Ricco) a piece of my mind when he offered me advice (in my defence I believe the advice was “HIT THE DAMN BALL WOULD YA?”  My dad didn’t take kindly to my antics or my colourful language and I found myself looking for another ride home from the park that night.

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As I approach my 38th birthday I’ve come to the realization that I’m not getting any younger (this realization has been expedited by me getting whipped on a daily basis in mini stick hockey action vs. the Association and the Merger as well).  Using my amateur math skills I can easily compute that I’m just as close to retirement than I am to the beginning of my career so perhaps it was just good karma that I came across something today while combing the many corners of the information highway that I would like to do when I retire.

When I retire I want to attend the Toronto Blue Jays Fantasy Camp.  The total cost is $ 4600 so I might as well start saving now, but in all honesty this would be a blast for me.  This year the guest coaches are Roberto Alomar, Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield to name a few.

As for now I guess I’ll just day-dream about my chance to attend in the Fall of 2031.  I can picture it now, Me in the batters box and crowding the plate while facing guest coach and former Cy Young award winner Pat Hentgen.  I bet it will look something like this

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Oh how someone is looking down on me today. It’s opening day, I’m off  work for Easter Monday and I’m about to get horizontal on the couch with The Association, The Merger and soon to be joining us will be The First Lady of Sports Administration (she would be the motivated one of this lunch bunch as she is currently out swimming).

The fellas are jacked and for the most part are dressed in their Toronto Blue Jays gear (The Merger has used his out clause and is exercising his right to stay in his pyjamas all day).  It’s been a tough year for Toronto sports fans (a familiar refrain I know..) so this household is looking forward to seeing what the Blue Jays can bring forth this season.

The start of the MLB season has long been an exciting time for me.  My birthday falls close to the start of the season each year and growing up I would often receive ducats to Opening Day of the season or the Blue Jays home opener.  I have so many fantastic memories of my Grandmother and Mom breaking me loose from school early to in order to make the trek to Toronto to catch the game.  Dollar hot dogs and bleacher seats at the old (and demolished) Exhibition Stadium were responsible for my baseball education.  I feel fortunate to have sat out on the hard no back bench stadium seating of the Ex with the wind blowing my hat off just in time for a sea-gull to aim and take fire at my under-combed coif.  (I’m almost tearing up thinking about it right now)

Enjoy your Opening Day!!


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During his playing career Roy Halladay was known for his pitching prowess and not his personality. Halladay was all business on the mound and his work ethic in the gym in preparation was legendary according to some.

However it would appear that retired Roy Halladay has plenty of personality to offer and today he took a not so gentle jab at Alex Rodriguez via Twitter.

This is on the heels of his awesome picture he took while at an amusement park earlier this winter.  

Methinks that Halladay’s barb is just the beginning of what is coming Alex Rodriguez’s way this season.


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Former Toronto Blue Jay great Roy Halladay pulled off a masterful photo bomb at an amusement park this past weekend on an unsuspecting fan.  Here’s Halladay’s Tweet with the visual evidence.


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Happy New Year my friends and loyal readers (all 14 of you thanks Mom).  As it has become a custom of this mediocre blog it’s that time of year where I should cobble together some thoughts on the past year and shed some light on some of my aspirations for the upcoming one as well.  In the past I’ve always managed to post this message on New Year’s eve, usually while enjoying a few adult libations in the hopes to make an excuse for my poor grammar and sentence structure.  However this year I’ve been relegated to day after post.  There’s really no excuse for the delay other than I’ve been a disaster at posting and blogging all year so at least I’m consistent, no?

2014 by all accounts was a fine year for the First Lady, the Association, the Merger and I.  As a family we had a blast with many activities throughout the year (trips to the hockey hall of fame, Hamilton Bulldogs game, various McMaster athletic events and Blue Mountain to name a few)  Individually the boys are growing up faster than either the First Lady and I are comfortable with (would love these little gaffers to stay little for ever).  Both the Association and the Merger are enamored with sports (something they come across naturally from their DNA make-up) whether it’s the Association racing down a loose puck playing hockey for the first time or the Merger flashing down signals as a catcher for the A’s in Rookie Ball, the young men are proving to be loving their early sporting experiences (this has been a joy to watch from the sidelines).

The First Lady as per usual has had a stellar year holding down many roles in and around our humble abode.  She’s been a wunderkind of sorts with her abilities to manage being around 3 gentlemen (I can call myself that right?) who all have a penchant for forgetting to use some common bathroom etiquette (namely the toilet seat).  There’s no question that the fellas and I appreciate all that she does and is.  WE LOVE YOU MUMMY!!

In this yearly diatribe it’s been my custom to present this little corner of the cyberspace with some resolutions of sorts that I try to intend to keep (really I do try, no lie).  First and foremost I need to be more active and eat a whole lot healthier.  There’s no ifs, ands or buts about this. Newsflash folks, I’m not getting any younger (or smaller) and I’m getting slower (tortoise like I believe).  So by hook or crook I hope that 2015 brings a more svelte straight from the arse your way.  Like it or not, the Association and the Merger are going to keep me active anyways, however i’d rather not be the panting and out of breath dad chasing them around.  Another thing I would like to do is do a better job updating this blog.  It’s quite possible that I had more guest blogs than blogs of my own. Getting to 500,000 visitors (or accidental visits as they might be) would be a great accomplishment for a someone with the limited skills that I present.

As for my the sports teams that I support I can’t remember a better time to be a Toronto sports fan. The Raptors are in the midst of being an Eastern conference contender.  The Blue Jays (minus thus far any bullpen or 2nd base upgrades) are looking like a powerful bunch with the acquisitions of Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson.   The Leafs, well they are the Leafs.  I expect a playoff push to be in the cards but again they are The Leafs, no cup is nothing new for this guy.

So there it is folks.  A sober rendition of my New Years post.  2015 here we go.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

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I’m not a New York Yankee fan by any means.  I admire their excellence and tradition  but as a Toronto Blue Jays fan I’ve come to loathe their success at the expense of the team that I root for.

One Yankee that I cannot find fault in is the captain, Derek Jeter.  I have nothing but respect for him and this new Nike commercial is very apropos.

I too would like to tip my cap to number 2.

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The dog days of summer are here.  The Blue Jays are floundering, The Raptors are a few weeks away from assembling their middling team, The Bills are already training to be mediocre at Training camp and The TFC (home game winner aside) are well The TFC.  So now would be the perfect time to pass on some great reading about Canada’s (and possibly basketball’s next great thing) Andrew Wiggins.

I just finished reading an interesting piece on Wiggins on the Bleacher Report by Jonathan Wasserman and as per my usual policy I’ll gladly pass you down the internet highway to someone much more knowledgeable, more capable, more connected than I.  So click on this link and give it a read.

As for my uneducated eye I can see no reason that Wiggins isn’t worth the hype that surrounds him.  It’s likely that he will run wild at Kansas this year and be Canada’s second straight first overall selection in the NBA.

If this is the case Canada Basketball is living in it’s own golden age now with the young talent that is soon to be available to them.  Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Nicholson, Kevin Pangos, Kelly Olynyk to name a few.  Exciting times are ahead indeed.  This should be fun to watch.

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Since I’ve been on a posting strike (self inflicted as previously noted) I didn’t really post my thoughts during the baseball hotstove last off season about the prospects of the Toronto Blue Jays returning to glory.  If I was a revisionist historian I could easily play the “I told ya so” card and pretend that I didn’t think they would be any good in the AL east.  Alas I’m not such a jerk (a jerk I am, but not this kind).

The Blue Jays season hasn’t unfolded as it was scripted as of yet.  Minus the 11 game winning streak, the Kawasaki phenomenon or the Steve “#RaisetheBar” Delabar all-star nomination the Jays season has a been a bust.  A glass half full guy would suggest that half the season is still there for the taking, however a realist might tell you otherwise.  Truth be told the Jays are a flawed a team.  I still think that they have the makings of a team that can compete, but I think they collectively as a squad need to rededicate the way they play the game.

My most pressing concern while watching the Jays play is how they approach their at bats.  They have far too many swing and miss type of ball players.  All or nothing can’t play in the AL East.  That’s why somebody like Kawasaki is beloved by the fans/media because of the way he grinds out his at bats.  For the Jays to a consistent threat game in game out they need to change their offensive style.  But who am I, right?

The fine folks at Grantland.com take a much more comprehensive look at the Jays and their troubles.  As per usual I suggest you take a read from a more legitimate source and a writer who most definitely hasn’t made as many grammar mistakes I have today (I’m sorry to my former editor the First Lady…end your strike would ya?)


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The newest Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey recently wrote a heartfelt thank you letter to the fans of the New York Mets.  If I’m to believe that these words are heartfelt (and let’s face it I’m no position to believe otherwise) than I have even more optimism than I already did about his acquisition.

The word chemistry is thrown around in pro sports a lot. When you are winning teams are always said to have “good chemistry”.  When the same roster is languishing the “chemistry” is now suspect.  So I must tread lightly when thinking Dickey’s presence will enhance any type of chemistry issue within the Jays clubhouse.  However these words that Dickey wrote do speak volumes of the type of individual the Jays have acquired and I’m a firm believer that you can never have enough stand up and solid folk around.

I applaud Dickey for his kind words in his letter and I’m even more eager for the baseball season to begin.  Here’s R.A Dickey’s letter in it’s entirety.

A little over a year ago I was knocking around book titles with my publisher  when we finally found a keeper. The minute I heard the words, “Wherever I Wind  Up,” I liked the cadence of them. I liked the mystery of them.

Most of  all, I liked the way they captured the essence of my nomadic pitching life — which has now taken another completely unforeseen turn.

I never expected  to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be  doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and  looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an  organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:

A  chance.
A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on  a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread  with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of  financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed  contract to go pitch in Korea.

The Mets gave me that chance almost  exactly three years ago, and I will always be grateful to them for that. Only  God could’ve written the narrative that has played out in the three years since.  That is what I want to focus on, and what I want to hold in my heart.

I  am not going to lie to you, though. The trade was hard for me at first. This is  where my heart was, where I wanted to be, where I lived out a story of  redemption and felt that every one of you shared it with me in some form or  fashion. I loved pitching for you. I loved your passion, the way you embraced me  from the start, and the way you seemed to appreciate the effort I was putting  forth. Every time I’d walk off the mound after an outing, I’d look in your  faces, the people behind the dugout, and felt as if all your energy and support  was pouring right into me — even when I was lousy. It gives me chill bumps  thinking about it even now.

Every organization has to do what it feels  is in its best interest, and I have no doubt that that’s what the Mets did by  trading Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas and me for two young players who, by all  accounts, are terrific prospects. It doesn’t make saying goodbye any  easier.

From the beginning of last season to the end — when you cheered  with all you had that Thursday afternoon when I won my 20th game — I felt that  this was a shared journey, that we were all in it together. What a great way for  an athlete to feel.

There were so many special relationships I formed  that made my time with the Mets so much richer. Not just in the clubhouse,  either. I enjoyed talking with Bill Deacon, the head groundskeeper, about his  craft, and all that went into it. The security people who helped my wife and  kids get in and out of the family lounge, the policemen who helped me get out of  the parking lot, the folks at the Hodges Gate — so many people went out of their  way to be kind to me, and they should know how much it was, and is,  appreciated.

I was going to take out an advertisement to express these thank yous, but  decided in the end that there was too much I wanted to say. So I am writing this  instead.

As I move beyond the sadness over leaving here, I know I have a  tremendous amount to look forward to. The Blue Jays may need name tags on the  first day of spring training, but once we get acquainted, well, this team could  be something. I appreciate the welcome I’ve already gotten from them, and what  they’re trying to build. We’ll see how it all unfolds.

God has blessed  me in so many ways. His grace and mercy are at the center of my life. I may not  pitch for the home team anymore (a friend told me I now have to start calling  myself a Canuckleball pitcher ) but wherever I go from here — wherever I might  wind up in the future — I hope you know that I will never forget my three years  in New York, and never be able to adequately thank you for everything you’ve  given me.

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