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I'm now convinced that whatever is afflicting the Blue Jays is not just bad luck. It wasn't the spate of injuries that sold me, though they provide the supporting evidence. It wasn't the end of Iron Man Tom Cheek's legendary broadcasting streak.

What convinced me?
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And found nothing there
To ease the pressure off
My ever worried mind
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The main reason the Jays are under .500 is the offence. They've hit the second-fewest homeruns in the AL (50), and have the second lowest slugging percentage (.396); they're 12th in the league in runs scored per game.



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Last night Dunedin and Charleston reduced their magic numbers to one and two respectively. Dunedin beat Ramiro Mendoza for good measure. Could the big league Jays do that? Today is opening day for the Auburn Doubledays.
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The depleted Jays travel down the Pacific Coast Highway (metaphorically, at least) to sunny San Diego for a three-game set. It'll be the first-ever meeting between these two franchises in meaningful games; does anyone know if they've ever even met in the spring?

The Padres also enter the game on a lengthy skid, going just 2-7 against the AL East thus far, including an embarrassing home sweep at the hands of the Devil Rays. Sadly, we know how that feels. Although San Diego began interleague play within percentage points of the division lead, they now sit third in the wide-open NL West. The Jays could continue to do the Giants favours by taking a couple at brand-new Petco Park.

This edition of the Scout includes a very familiar face gearing up to face his old club tonight, a slugger trying to slug again, and the #1 overall picks from both the 1992 and 2004 entry drafts. And check out the eerie final bullet!

On to the Advance Scout!

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As Aaron Gleeman recounts over on his blog, Phil Cuzzi, by now so familiar to Blue Jays fans, was at it again last night in Montreal. In the top of the ninth inning, home plate Cuzzi stopped calling strikes for Montreal's rookie closer Chad Cordero, and eventually cost them the game when his crew inexplicably turned an extra-inning foul ball by Luis Rivas into a home run, as the Expos surrendered a 4-2 lead to lose 5-4 in 11 innings.

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For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins.
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It's an early one today, and no Barry Bonds. Game on!
Better late than never. Two wins, two losses, and a whole lot of runs scored for Toronto's farm teams last night.
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I’ll start with the bad news. Russ Adams tweaked his left quad muscle in the 7th and is out for a week or so. Marvin Benard also went down with a groin pull and will likely be out much longer. On the brighter side, so called “Rios-lite”, Miguel Negron is having a breakout year of his own in the pitcher friendly Florida State League.
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On my horse.
He's called....T-t-t-t-t-trigger
Of course.
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The Blue Jays' best everyday player - Vernon Wells - has been placed on the disabled list. Mike Wilner stated that he's never seen anything the like of this injury plague (for me, it's similar in nature to what the Raptors suffered through during most of 2002-2003).

Still, it'll be great to see the O-Dog back on the field and I also look forward to seeing more of Alex Rios. The young man has played better of late, and playing at his natural position (centrefield) might relax him a little bit more.

For the Jays to win tonight, Pat Hentgen will have to have excellent command and the Jays batters will have to be super patient with soft tosser Kirk Rueter.
All kinds of Blue Jays news has come down the pipe this afternoon, none of which appears to be 100% official at this time.

UPDATE: J.P. Ricciardi will be on The FAN 590 with Mike Wilner for an hour starting at 8:30PM EST and I'm sure they'll be covering some of these issues. They'll be taking your calls at 416-870-0590 or 1-888-666-0590. Thanks to Mr. Wilner for the info.
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Batter's Box recently received this press release. Sorry about the formatting; I wanted to get this up as soon as possible.
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The Blue Jays have played in Oakland many times, but this will be their first ever visit to San Francisco proper for a baseball game.

With both Miguel Batista and Jason Schmidt pitching well, this figures to be a fairly low-scoring affair. As with any visiting manager, it will be interesting to see what approach Carlos Tosca takes with Barry Bonds.