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What kind of nonsense is this? Not nonsense, but actually perfect sense, especially on a site dedicated to a team called the "Jays."

According to our good friends over at the incomparable, there have been four major leaguers who went by "A.J." and four more by "B.J." -- and now, of course, one of each of those (Burnett and Ryan) are teammates for the 2006 TO Jays. Alas, C.J. Nitkowski was not acquired to complete the A.-B.-C. J. trifecta, but Nitkowski is more than welcome to join ...

The J's, Initially Speaking
With all due respect to Bell, Buhner and Powell, among others, we are not looking for guys actually named "Jay" (see the old Jays vs. Rays Hall of Names piece, and that has nothing to do with Toronto vs. Tampa Bay, for more on that idea), but we're only looking for players who went by (or as with Burnett and Ryan, currently go by) the initial "J." as all or part of his appellation.

With additional all due respect to pantheon Hall of Famers like Johnny Bench and Jackie Robinson, that doesn't mean just the first or last name starts or started with that initial -- it means B.J. Surhoff and J.R. Richard are the veteran leaders in the clubhouse, along with J.T. Snow and, uh, let's see ... D.J. Dozier? Okay, anyway, let's see how this goes.

Oddly, only five of the 37 players available to us appeared in the big leagues before 1992. And before you ask, we're only going with players who actually went by their initials, so no matter how often Chris Berman calls Tommy John "T.J.," the 288-game winner doesn't make this team, though he'd likely be its ace ... We've asked this question before, but Mr. Drew, tell us again how "David Jonathan" gets abbreviated "J.D."?

So anyway, of the 37, there's a nice nearly-even split between the batter's box and the mound -- 19 position players and 18 pitchers. The middle infield looks like it might be quite weak, with iron-gloved wunderkind B.J. Upton at short and nobody in particular really ever filling the role of "regular MLB 2B" -- the only huge hole on the roster, though we'll scramble to fill it okay. In fact, let's put Upton at 3B -- his natural defensive position to date has been designated hitter -- to go with another current six-hole pivot guy ...

So the new 2B, J.J. Furmaniak, hit just .192 in a cuppajoe with the Bucs this year, but much probably to even his own surprise, two teammates in the starting lineup ended with worse career batting averages, in starting CF J.J. Davis and -- yes, that's right -- designated hitter J.R. Phillips, who didn't connect often, but when he did, it went a loooong way ...

We'll probably even miss some, but even though there's no O.J. Simpson on this team -- and who's going to say that's bad news? -- there was plenty of U.S. college football action for the guys eleigible for this squad ... For instance, how about Dozier, the former Penn State tailback who gained nearly 700 yards in the NFL? ... A.J. Sager quarterbacked a fine University of Toledo football team, and is still doing double duty as a college football radio analyst for his alma mater and a minor league pitching coach for his other alma mater, the Detroit Tigers ... And of course there's J.R. House, briefly a Pirate and now a Mountaineer, serving this season as West Virginia's third-team QB after a brilliant high school career in that state ...

Oddly, seven of the 19 position players were primarily catchers, which if you go by stereotypes may be a good thing -- since apparently nobody with a common "J" initial has ever managed in the big leages, and catchers seems to turn into managers pretty often -- well, then. But we DO have a general manager, now don't we?

Front Office
GM: J.P. Ricciardi (current Blue Jay honcho)
MGR: See the list of C who didn't make the team below?

Starting Lineup
C A.J. Pierzynski* (.287 through 2005)
1B J.T. Snow (189 homers, six Gold GLoves through 2005)
2B J.J. Furmaniak (.192/5-for-26 with 2005 PIT)
SS J.J. Hardy (.247/9/50 for 2005 MIL)
3B B.J. Upton (.258 as 19-y.o. rook in 2004)
LF B.J. Surhoff (also a C; .282, 188 homers in 19 years)
CF J.J. Davis (.179, PIT, WSN, 2002-05)
RF J.D. Drew (.287, 142 HR through 2005)
DH J.R. Phillips (.188 23 homers in 501 AB, 1993-99)

C J.D. Closser (.319 2004 COL, .219 '05 COL)
C/1B/3B J.C. Martin (.222, 1959-1972)
2B/3B/SS P.J. Forbes (.188, 1999 BAL, 2001 PHI)
SS J.C. Hartman .185, 1962-63 HOU
OF R.J. Reynolds (.267, 1983-90)
OF J.T. Bruett (1992-93 MIN, .250 in 96 AB)

Starting Rotation
RHSP J.R. Richard* (107-71, 1971-80; 1980 All-Star)
RHSP A.J. Burnett (49-50 through 2005)
LHSP J.P. Howell (3-5 for 2005 KCR)
RHSP D.J. Carrasco (14-15, 2003-05 KCR)
LHSP C.J. Wilson (1-7 for 2005 TEX)

CL-LH B.J. Ryan (16-19, 42 saves through 2005)
RH-SET T.J. Mathews (32-26, 16 saves, 1995-2002)
LH-SET J.C. Romero (1999-2005 MIN, 25-20)
RH-LONG A.J. Sager (12-15, 5 saves, 1994-98)
LH-LONG C.J. Nitkowski (18-32 in 10 years through 2005)

The J-ded: Not Earning a Varsity "J"
C A.J. Hinch (.219, 1998-2004)
C J.R. House (2-for-10 for 2002-03 PIT; now WVU 3rd QB)
C B.J. Waszgis (.222 for 2000 TEX)
OF D.J. Dozier (.191 for 1992 NYM)
RHS/RP D.J. Houlton (6-9 with 2005 LAD)
RHRP J.D. Durbin (0-1, 2004 MIN)
RHRP T.J. Tucker (13-9, four saves through 2005)
RHRP J.J. Putz (2003-05 SEA, 6-8, 10 saves)
RHRP J.D. Smart (1-3, 1999 MON, 2001 TEX)
RHRP J.J. Thobe (4 games, 4 IP, 4 ER for 1995 MON)
RHRP J.J. Trujillo 0-1, 4 games, 2.2 IP, 3 ER for 2002 SDP
??RP J.B. Young 1 game, 2IP, 13 runs, 5 ER, 1892 Browns)

There's A.J. and B.J. ... and C.J. and D.J.? | 10 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
westcoast dude - Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 04:57 PM EST (#135635) #
Maybe we should start calling Hudson "O.J." and Wells "V.J."
hey, this is fun: Zaun would be "G.J." or "Zee Jay" and Doc would be "Dr. Jay" and then of course "Shea Jay"...(no?).
Ryan C - Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 05:38 PM EST (#135644) #
How is it possible to get through this entire article without a single mention of BJ Birdy? I ask you.
rtcaino - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 01:41 AM EST (#135713) #
Sooo... Can I be the bat boy?
Magpie - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 05:30 AM EST (#135717) #
Y'know, I actually sign my name "D.F.McIlroy" - can I play?
Chuck - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 07:40 AM EST (#135720) #
You can call me J, or you can call me Johnson, but always call me when a left hander is starting.
-- Reed Johnson
Mick Doherty - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 10:17 AM EST (#135739) #
Mags, I won a couple of spelling bees as a kid, and am positive that "D.F." does not qualify for an All-J team!
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#135777) #
D.F. stands for something completely different at my office, and it's not a compliment.

The use of initials is a modern thing. Can you imagine "G.H. Ruth"? I don't know about you, but it wouldn't send shivers down my spine as a pitcher unless I was involved in nasty litigation with G.H. Ruth as the opposing lawyer.
Craig B - Friday, December 09 2005 @ 12:37 PM EST (#135793) #
Chuck, that was hilarious.
robertdudek - Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 05:30 AM EST (#135924) #
I agree with M.G. about the use of I.Nitials - J.P. Morgan notwithstanding.
robertdudek - Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 05:32 AM EST (#135925) #
Owner of the team:

Fictional oil magnate J.R. Ewing.
There's A.J. and B.J. ... and C.J. and D.J.? | 10 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.