Rain, Rain, Go Away....

Sunday, March 23 2003 @ 05:02 AM EST

Contributed by: Jordan

...and don't come back to Florida for the next two weeks, because I'm flying down there on vacation next Saturday. But the rains did come today to Bradenton, washing out the Jays-Pirates game and setting up the possibility of a rare spring training doubleheader between the Blue Jays and Bucs tomorrow in Dunedin.

The other noteworthy item in today's abbreviated report from Spencer Fordin is that as Opening Day draws closer, Carlos Tosca is going to start using his bullpen the way he would in the regular season: Escobar to close, Politte to set up, Creek and Tam as seventh-inning relief, and Trever Miller/Pete Walker in the long-man roles, with Aqualino Lopez the wild-card reliever.

Not only will it be interesting to see these usage patterns play themselves out, we can also look forward to seeing the team generally start to bear down as the time draws near when the results matter. The Jays' spring-training record up till now has been highly pleasant but essentially meaningless; the next week of games, however, will provide a more accurate barometer of this team's readiness to compete.