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The server I host Da Box on is undergoing an attack from an unknown assailant. This attack most likely has nothing to do with Batter's Box itself. However, its result is that I have trouble keeping everything up and running. Most recently our web server has been down for a short time.

If you notice any problems, please e-mail one of the Bauxites, who all should know how to get ahold of me at a moment's notice. However note that if you've been sending e-mail to any addresses, it has likely been delayed (but hopefully not lost forever).
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Thanks to Thomas for the update. According to the official Toronto Blue Jays site, the Jays have signed righties Juan Campos, Josue Matos, lefty Dave Maurer, and outfielder Noah Hall to minor league contracts with invites to Major League Spring Training. Pete Walker has also cleared waivers and has been invited to spring training with the Jays. I guess Major League General Managers like him a lot less than I do.

The Jays have also named Joe Breeden as bench coach for the big club. The Jays did not have a bench coach in 2003.
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John Sickels has graciously agreed to be Da Box's first interview of 2004. Most of you know that John publishes his annual Baseball Prospect Book. The 2004 issue will be mailed Feb 1 and can be ordered here.

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Aaron returns from Sin City, older and wiser, with a brilliant blog entry. He made a few rookie mistakes, but he's still a prospect.
The bete noire of Batter's Box, Hall of Fame-bound Roger Clemens, has unretired. Despite the memorable send-offs at Fenway, Yankee Stadium and Pro Player for the legendary fireballer, Rocket Roger will be joining his friend and training partner, Andy Pettitte, in the revamped Astros rotation.

It says here that the effect of this move will be keenly felt in the NL Central and Wild Card races. What does the pena think?

Thanks to Leigh for the heads-up!
Not much activity today, so I thought I'd hilight some Jays-related articles you may have missed.
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Here's a little diversion for those of you feeling uninspired about working on a Friday afternoon. This week, the Jays signed Terry Adams to be a part of the 2004 bullpen. The problem is, the guy's name doesn't work very well.
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I wish that Joe Morgan had never become a broadcaster. I wish he'd never written a book called Baseball for Dummies. It's not that Morgan is a bad colour commentator - there are worse. It's merely that some of the stupid things he says and writes these days chisel away at his exemplary playing record.
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"Joe Carter was the RBI machine of his generation". So said coliver in MED's Hall of Famers thread. Now I don't want to pick on coliver; this type of comment is frequently made about Joe. But is it right? Was Joe Carter a uniquely good RBI man? If so, despite the fashion among analysts to deride RBI at the expense of other metrics, it might be a good reason to revisit our opinions of Touch 'Em All Joe.
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The Toronto Star reports that Halladay was named Blue Jay Pitcher of the Year, while slugger Carlos Delago was named Blue Jay Player of the Year. Seeing as Halladay won the AL Cy Young and Delgado finished 2nd in the AL MVP voting, these come as no surprise.
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Easily the most significant long-term Blue Jay lost this offseason was Kelvim Escobar.
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Genius from The Late Show With David Letterman last night: Top Ten Things I'd Like To Get Off My Chest Now That I'm in the Baseball Hall of Fame (As presented by Paul Moliter and Dennis Eckersley)

Yes, they were really there. Yes, Molly openly flirted with Eck. (Molitor presented 10-8-6-4-2 ... see especially 10 and 6) ... Molitor mentions the Blue Jays by extension in explaining what he did with his '93 World Series ring.

Let's start a "Top Things I Want to Get Off My Chest Now that I'm in the Baseball Hall of Fame" discussion on behalf of ... well, everyone. Here's the opening pitch:

"Since I retired, I've been working on it ... and now I actually can break a pane of glass with my fastball." -- Phil Niekro
John Sickels' latest Down on the Farm piece features the Jays' own Dustin McGowan and describes him as "one of the top pitching prospects in baseball."
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At long last Baseball America reviewed the Jays 2003 minor leaguers, and how their top 10 prospects from 2002 fared in 2003. The Jays were the last team to be review by BA; it's one of the disadvantages of being last alphabetically in all of baseball.

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Is he here to replace Lurch?

As first reported by R Billie and confirmed by Donkit R.K. in the hijack thread, the Blue Jays have signed righthander Terry Adams to a one year deal for $1.7M. According to his scouting report on, Terry is a severe ground ball pitcher who features a straight, low-90s fastball and a sharp slider, and must keep both offerings low in the strike zone.

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