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Okay, that's a stretch. Today's Diamondbacks-Blue Jays features young Arizona starter Andrew Good versus Toronto ace Roy Halladay; if the bats can come awake again, the Jays should be able to end their brief two-game losing skid fairly easily. There may not be a more underrated double-play combo in baseball right now than middle-infield Snakes Scott Hairston and Alex Cintron. The former is hot and the latter is slumping, but they're emblematic of an Arizona team that is reinventing itself from the inside, faster than many thought they could. Howie Clark is at first base and batting second for the Gray Jays; Alex Rios is batting ninth and is overdue to break out.
It continues to amaze me how many people completely miss the fundamental premise of Moneyball. It's not just casual fans and blowhards who haven't actually read the book themselves. It's also analysts and journalists employed full-time in the baseball industry.
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Don't forget that Jonah Keri of Baseball Prospectus will be in Toronto on Sunday. If you haven't been to one of the previous get-togethers with Will Carroll, you've missed some great baseball discussion and a lot of fun. This one is at Shoeless Joe's (on Eglinton just east of Avenue Rd.) starting at noon with a Q & A, followed by food and the Jays game -- some tall lefty is supposed to pitch for Arizona.

Although attendance is limited to 30, there are a few spots still available, so if you're interested, RSVP to Jonah and we'll see you there.
A split for the minor league teams last night.
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A born-again poor man's son
On the air America
I modeled shirts by Van Heusen-yeah
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In rushed the scout. "I'm sorry I'm late, good sir", he said, "but news of the strangers from the cloudless kingdom was hard to come by". As exhaustion overtook him, he held out the papers at arms length. Sadly for him, just then he collpased in a heap and drew his last breath. I took his notes and saw that they were in disarray.

I sighed and reflected - this is a major editing job. So I set to work as best I could.

On to the advance scout ....
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The thrill of interleague play is that you can see such National League stars as Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, Shea Hillenbrand and others who've never played in the American Lea... umm....well, at least you get to see different uniforms. The Arizona Diamondbacks slither into Skydome tonight, sending knuckler Steve Sparks to the mound against Pat Hentgen; a pitching duel is likely not in the cards. Roberto Alomar is still out with a hand injury, so he'll be spared another cascading chorus of boos at the ballpark where he built his career.
We started this a few months ago with the All-February Team -- and now it's time for the All-June team. Hey, we'll catch up with March, April and May some other year. For now, let's work up a squad made up entirely of players born in the month named for the Roman goddess of marriage (I didn't know that either), Juno.

And apologies to former Philadelphia A's reliever June Greene, but even with a June 25 birthdate, that 18.38 career ERA probably isn't going to earn a spot on this team.

Now, for the rest of the team, tentatively named (for the awesome logo possibilities, somebody feel free to take a shot at it) the "June Cleavers" ...
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Sometimes, I like to take notes when I go to a game on my own. Here are my notes from Thursday night's game.
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It's really not a huge surprise that former Jay Paul Quantrill picked up his fifth win in relief for the Yankees last night. What may surprise and dismay Torontonians is that after Kevin Brown left the game with lower back stiffness, it was another former Jay -- the inimitable Tanyon Sturtze -- who stepped in to throw four innings of two-hit relief. In fact, Sturtze's June totals are stunning: 2G, 8.2IP, 7H, 1ER ... okay, there's the 6BB/5K to worry about.

But it brings to mind a question: what former Jays have gone elsewhere and completely caught you off guard with their success? Guys like Shawn Green don't count -- no surprises. Neither do the Mark Whitens of the world -- no success. Sturtze probably won't stay in that camp. But who belongs there?
Dunedin and Charleston won, Syracuse lost, New Hamphsire was rained out, and here's the fastest minor-league update in the west. Click here for links to the box scores.
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Most of us around Da Box are excited to see the newest crop of Jays about to take their first baby steps into professional baseball. The vast majority of us are getting to know these players for the first time; these are players about whom we have the stats, but know almost nothing else other than what Baseball America or other scouting sites have told us.

But to others all over the U.S., these players are as familiar as their local ballfield. All of these players come from college programs that have their own rabid fans and followers. So I decided to seek a few out and ask them about some of our newest Blue Jays... what they are like as players. And I'm happy to say that many have answered the call. This morning, we have our first installment, as Tim Robertson of (a great site about Missouri Tigers baseball, where he's known as "Trripleplay") stops by to tell us about third-round pick Danny Hill. Take it away, Tim, and thanks!
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Gone bust - Tight wad - Slow recovery
Axe job - Flame thrower - Ironbar and gun
Betting shop - New owner - A walk in the sun
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The first two games of the interleague series between Los Angeles and Toronto have seen masterful pitching performances from Jays starters Ted Lilly and Miguel Batista. Tonight, Josh Towers tries to continue that run against a Dodger squad in dire need of some offence. Lefty Kaz Ishii takes the mound for LA, which means Frank Menechino leads off and plays second base. Eric Hinske sits in favour of Chris Gomez, and Frank Catalanotto grabs some bench while Reed Johnson and Alex Rios man the corner outfield spots. Josh Phelps is back at DH, batting 7th -- but at least he's ahead of Howie (Home Run) Clark.
The Associated Press is reporting that catcher Kevin Cash has been taken off the DL and put on the active roster. To make room for Cash, the Jays sent struggling reliever Aquilino Lopez to AAA Syracuse. The Jays currently have three catchers on the big league club, but the current roster will be subject to even more changes as space will need to be made when Delgado, Hudson, De Los Santos, et. al. come off of the DL.