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Third time's the charm.

The third go round for Opening Day this year, but for most of us the real one, or at least the really important one, as the Fighting Jays take to the turf today to face the Twins. As an added bonus this will be one of the best pitching match-ups of the season, as the best pitcher in the league takes on the other best pitcher in the league (with apologies to my pick for AL Cy Young winner Mr Harden).

The local press has lots of good baseball stuff today, the two best pieces are behind the subscriber wall at the Globe, a Steven Brunt column and a piece on Jamie Campbell who 'vows to cut down on the blather' during Sportsnet broadcasts. James Rusk has a look at the improvements to the RC that VBF has been keeping us up to date on, and notes some season ticket holders aren't too impressed with changes to their seats. John Lott has a long look at the best Jays team since '93 and in the Star Allan Ryan is interviewing the jays about their cooking skills for reasons not evident to me, other than he was (a) bored, ((b) desperate to meet a deadline (c) drunk.

It was a great day for baseball yesterday, I spent the evening channel surfing between various games. Watched a bit of Barry failing to get a walk while making Petco look like a Spring Training park and saw Josh Barfield get his first hit. I saw Mike DeJean(!) get a win in a game at Coors that only featured five runs and watched the Tigers rookie Zumaya warm up for real major league hitters by having a couple of innings against the Royals. There were some sobering signs for the Jays yesterday, Curt Schilling looked great going 7 strong against Texas in Arlington and the Yankees unloaded on an uncertain looking Barry Zito for seven runs and the A's vaunted bullpen for seven more in an emphatic reminder of why they're rated to win the division.

7:15 start at the RC, if you can't be there the game chat will be in full swing.

T.D.I.B: Tuesday report | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Matthew E - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#144181) #

VBF just used my favourite Opening Day quote, so here's my other favourite:

Beat the drum and hold the phone / The sun came out today! / We're born again; there's new grass on the field...

China fan - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#144182) #

      It's very interesting that today's starting lineup has Rios batting second.    This must be largely a reward for his excellent spring, and a sign of confidence in his improvement this year.  Personally I like the move -- it bolsters the speed at the top of the lineup.  Here's the complete starting lineup, courtesy of  

     Left fielder Reed Johnson will lead off, followed by right-fielder Alex Rios, center fielder Vernon Wells, third baseman Troy Glaus, first baseman Lyle Overbay, designated hitter Shea Hillenbrand, catcher Bengie Molina, second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop Russ Adams.

      In other developments, Lilly's injury is lingering and it looks increasingly possible that Janssen or Banks will take his spot on Saturday.   To me, this is a worrisome development, and it suggests a lack of pitching depth -- or at least a lack of starter depth -- in the high minors.   All it takes is a couple of fairly minor injuries to Burnett and Lilly and suddenly we have to start a pitcher who has never played a game above AA in his life.  (Neither Banks nor Jansen has ever played at AAA, let alone the majors.)   For some odd reason, most of the top prospects and emergency replacements from last year -- McGowan, Marcum, League, Rosario, even Pete Walker -- have been shifted to full-time reliever duty.   There are still lots of prospects in the system, but a definite shortage of pitchers who are able to step into the rotation now if needed.  Scott Downs is the only experienced backup available for the rotation.  Others might disagree, but I find this a concern.


China fan - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#144185) #
    By the way, I see that Gerry (in the Jays season preview) expresses the same concern about the lack of starting-pitching depth.  I forgot to add Dave Bush to the long list of last year's starters who are gone or converted to the bullpen. 
Pistol - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#144190) #

I'm not particularly worried about the starters.  With Burnett set to come back you're only looking at one emergency start this weekend.  Plus, besides this week, the Jays have enough off days that they can even go with 4 starters until the end of April even if Burnett didn't come back on schedule.

I suspect Banks would be the choice over Janssen, just because he's already on the 40 man roster, although Gibbons' quote made it sound like he preferred Janssen.

Gerry - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#144196) #

Last night I saw Orlando Hudson misplay a ball in extra innings that cost Arizona the game.

I saw Barry Zito unable to throw a strike

I saw a bunch of kids playing well for Florida

I saw Jesse Barfiled throw out a runner at the plate when the the batter got a hit with the bases loaded, anyone remember that one?

I saw Bonds look like his bat was a shade slow, he had two hittable pitches the first two at-bats and was a little late on them

I saw the Angels get out of a bases loaded and no-one out jam late in the game then come back to win it

It's great that baseball's back

gv27 - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#144197) #
I saw the same Barfield play Gerry.  Incredible.  As much as I loved the man as a Blue Jay, I had a hard time digesting him in a Yankee uniform.  So I was disappointed to see that ESPN decided to have him wearing a Yankee cap when they flashed his big league bio information.  By the way, his son looks like a player!
Mosely - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#144199) #
Quick question - looks like I'm gonna be in the Tdot this weekend and will likely take in Sundays game. I'll probably need 4 half decent seats together. Will I be able to get walkups, or should I go ahead and buy tickets online now?

How awesome is it that I had to ask this question?

Craig B - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#144201) #

I would buy them now.  If you just wanted some tickets, it would be no problem, especially with it being Tampa.  But we haven't yet seen how the changes (eliminating a few rows of lower deck seating) will impact the amount of lower-deck seats that are available and you said you wanted "half-decent" seats.

You can also call the ticket office and ask; they've always given me an honest answer about those sorts of things.

But I will say right now... you will find the SkyDeck (upper deck) seats on the infield are much better seats for the price, than lower deck seats way down the foul lines...

HoJu - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#144202) #
During his report on the Fan this morning, Wilner mentioned Banks as the likely choice to replace Lilly.
Jdog - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#144204) #

As far as being concerned about starting pitching depth, i don't understand the big problem. I think the main reason some of you are concerned is that the young pitchers we have in AAA dont have a lot of experience, but i don't see it as a problem.

I think AA and AAA hitters are both similiar enough in their talent level that it doesn't make such a huge difference. Look at Chacin, he had all of 2 games or so in AAA and came up to the majors and did exceptionally well. Banks has a full year at AA. Janssen seemed to adjust pretty well last year to being challenged.

I for one almost feel guilty cause I am hoping that Lilly isn't able to start so i can see one of these kids come up and pull a Dave Bush and throw a two hitter or something silly.. How many AAA games had Bush pitched in? I'm pretty sure he didn't have a full year. Anyways whether justified or not I am not too worried about the starting depth. The fact Marcum has some AAA experience and Banks does not, to me, it does not mean Banks would be less effective.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#144213) #

Bush had 14 AA starts, and 16 AAA starts. That's perfect.  Marcum had 9 AA and 18 AAA.  That would be fine.  Chacin had only 2 AAA starts, but 63 AA starts. 

Banks has had a full season and a half at AA, so it would not be pushing it for him to get a spot start here and there.  But, Janssen has only had 9 AA starts.  It's important in almost all cases for pitchers to get substantial AA experience at least (and ideally AAA experience) before they make their appearance in the Show.  The exception might be college pitchers with exceptional stuff and good control, like Roger Clemens.

Pistol - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#144215) #

Justin Upton hurt his shoulder and is out a couple weeks.  However, the real news is that the D'Backs will be moving him to CF now.  So Upton goes from being behind top prospect Stephen Drew to being behind top prospect Chris Young.  Of course Arizona has a couple of years to figure it out, and it's probably likely that it sorts itself out on its own.

Lugnut Fan - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#144220) #
It will be interesting following Upton this season.  It's too bad that he is hurt.  South Bend is coming to Lansing a week from Thursday and I wanted to see him play.  I haven't seen any of Arizona's minor league rosters as of yet to see if he is for sure coming to the MWL to start the season, but I know that they had stated that was where he was going to start.
Skills - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#144239) #
What does everyone think about Rosario being moved back to the starting rotation in Syracuse? Outside of it being the Jays best way to keep Rosario in AAA since the bullpen is now packed with the moves of Marcum and McGowan, I'm not really sure what to make of it. As someone mentioned before, I'm a bit disappointed in the move of McGowan to the bullpen.  However, maybe it makes sense because it will allow him to focus on a role he appeared more comfortable in, and it shifts the riskier proposition, of preparing a prospect who has stalled somewhat to be a starter, to a player who everyone has lower expectations for, Rosario. 
Gerry - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#144245) #
If the Jays need a starter Banks is on the 40 man roster, Janssen is not.  That's why Banks would get the call.
Gitz - Tuesday, April 04 2006 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#144288) #
Josh Barfield not only looks like his father as a person, but he also looks like a dead ringer at the dish; the stance was virtually identical to Jesse's. Ah, genes.

As for the A's/Yankees game: rest assured, Jays fans, your Opening Day can't be any worse than the A's. Consider:

1) Zito having his worst start. Ever.
2) Bobby Crosby getting hurt. Again.
3) Brad Halsey hitting FOUR Yankees in 1 1/3 innings.
4) Frank Thomas, though he homered in his first at-bat,  "tweaked" his ankle in the sixth inning and didn't return.

I know this could have happened in July, and in that event I would just shrug and look forward to the next game. Alas. The problem with expectations.
jsut - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#144349) #
I just saw that Gabe Gross's first at bat of the year was a 2 run pinch hit HR.  Good for him.
T.D.I.B: Tuesday report | 25 comments | Create New Account
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