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The Red Sox come to town after being blown out of Detroit, losing all three games by a combined 26-14 margin. I'm not sure which of their three losses was worse - coming back to tie it at 2-2 in the 9th on Friday, the first blown save by Jose Valverde in a year, only to then lose it in the bottom half of the inning? Getting wrecked 10-0 on Saturday? Or blowing leads of 7-5, 9-7, 10-7 and 12-10, finally falling on a two out, two run home run to Alex Avila in the bottom of the 12th. From the opposite end of the spectrum, they were really all quite enjoyable.

Will the Jays be able to keep the beat alive against the suddenly seemingly vulnerable Red Sox? All this, and more (well, not really), on a new episode of Advance Scout.
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Yes. it's time for Opening Weekend Overreactions, or as we like to call is here at Da Box, Overreaction Sunday ....

Should anyone be concerned? Or does the headline say it all?

The Boston Red Sox are, right now, the worst team in baseball, as they are 0-2 and have been outscored, 13-2 -- they're the only team in baseball with a double-digit negative run differential.

The Sox' East Coast metropolitan nemeses, The Yankees of New York, share their 0-2 misery, but have been outscored "just" 15-12. On the gloomy side, baseball's All-Time Greatest Closer (TM), Mariano Rivera, blew one of those games in the ninth inning.

Atlanta's Braves, also 0-2, join the Red Sox in offensive futility, having scored just two runs, though they have given up just five.

Other winless teams include the Padres (0-3) and five more 0-2 starters, in the Cubs, Giants, Rockies, Twins and Indians.

Should anyone be inching toward the panic button yet? (Well, no -- of course not. It's early April.) But which of these teams are actually showing a sure-to-be-continuing trend?

Some games were closer than others, but all the boyz on the farm made us proud on Friday evening. Las Vegas was a winner and so was Lansing, both squeaking in runs in the late innings. The D-Jays behind some great pitching put the shut out hurt on cross town rival Clearwater while New Hampshire put their second win in the books for a good start to their defence of last year's Eastern League Championship.

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On Monday we took a look at the offense; on Tuesday the defense. Today we bring it all together.

Also, this is your last chance to enter a record prediction and a playing time prediction.

Lastly/elsewhere, the Jays rank as the number nine franchise in baseball, per Fangraphs' annual offseason exercise. Our own Marc Hulet wrote the piece.
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Yesterday we looked at the offense. Today we look at pitching and defense. Feel free to chime in in the comments.

(Note: these comments were mostly made in advance of today's Cecil-related news.)
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ESPN has just released its initial MLB power rankings for 2012. No real surprises at the top -- Yankees, Rangers, Angels and Tigers are the top four. The highest-ranked NL team is the D-Backs at #7, with the Phillies, Cardinals, Giants and Marlins following directly behind, all just a noodge ahead of your #12 Blue Jays.  The Rays are #5 and the Red Sox are #6, so 12th in MLB translates here to fourth in the AL East. Bringing up the rear at #30 are your (dreadful?) Houston Astros. Let's go 'stros!

Who looks, to you, to be ranked too high or too low?

My take ...

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We kick off our three-part Jays preview with a look at a couple of offense-related questions.

Feel free to chime in with your own opinions in the comments.

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In case you missed it in today's Star...
 
 
Seems like an eminently reasonable remark for a team leader to make publicly, hey?

 

When the Blue Jays came a purler in the 2009 season, turning in a disappointing year where a strong one was expected, it basically destroyed all of my long-term hope for the Jays.
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It's that time again! The results for last year's contest were just posted a couple weeks ago, so go check them out if you haven't seen them, then come back here and make your predictions for this year!

Edit: removed my predictions so as not to influence others... a little late, but whatever.
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It's time for the annual survey, and I'm hoping you guys work your magic once more.

http://www.tangotiger.net/survey/

As you've hopefully noticed we've started running our 2012 previews - the other divisions last week, the AL East this week, with the Jays to follow next week. I used this as an opportunity to look back at some of the predictions we made at the start of the 2011 season, and thought that this would be a good opportunity for self mockery. We here at the Box are nothing if not humble.

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So, Orioles... how've you been this year? Haven't checked in with you since the preview I wrote last year. People were expecting a lot from you, maybe even a fourth-place finish in the East, ahead of those overrated Blue Jays.
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But they most likely won't.

A few day ago at Fangraphs, Paul Swydan made a convincing case why they should both stay over Ben Francisco. I'm going to add my support here.
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The baseball season is just a couple of weeks away. And you know what that means... it's fantasy baseball season! The gang was joined by some fantasy friends (I mean real friends we play fantasy with, not friends we pretend to have, I swear) to discuss how playing fantasy sports changes us as fans. In part two, the long-awaited NL East Preview, recorded last week with Alex Obal in New York.

Subscribe here. Listen here.
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