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You have to use your bench players sometime, so tonight Carlos Tosca is going to get Dave Berg (RF, batting second), Tom Wilson (C, sixth) and Mike Bordick (3B, ninth) some AB against Boston lefty Casey Fossum. There will be no second-guessing from me; Hinske can use a night off to get his mind right, Cat's back is worth taking precautions with, and Myers has made two consecutive very good starts.

Ken Huckaby will get one of his final starts as Doc's personal security blanket tomorrow, unfortunately relegating Myers to the bench again, and there's another southpaw (Rogers again) slated for Saturday, so we'll soon know whether this is a strict platoon or mere lineup juggling; my guess is Hinske plays Saturday but Hudson or Woodward sits. The A-team won't be on the field together again until Sunday.

I hear there's another sporting event on TV tonight, and I might even watch it, but I'll also be listening to Tom, Jerry and Mike on 610 AM.
If you do Mens Journal has the full instruction kit on the famous Bonds' offseason workout

Personally just reading it was often to make me need a long lie down and a cold beer.

I particularly liked the "* Do not try this drill at home; you could break your wrists" disclaimer
The Terrible Twenty continue for the Jays, as the Beantowners arrive fresh off a 5-2 start to the season against the past, present and future fourth- and fifth-place clubs in the AL East. Starting pitching has been generally solid for the Bosox, but the now-infamous "Closer-By-Committee" is providing yet another example of the often-unavoidable clash between baseball strategic theory and the harsh reality of inadequate personnel.

Grady Little isn't only experimenting with his relief corps; Boston has been using players not generally thought of as versatile in versatile ways (see batting orders below). Doesn't look like much of a defence to me, and the Jays might be able to put some pressure on the suspect D, particularly on turf. And we're talking a man's turf here, not that sissy good-for-you stuff in St. Petersburg.

Having said that, the Red Sox are absolutely tearing the cover off the ball at the plate, and turf might enhance their awesome offence even further. By sacrificing defensive expertise and grace, the Red Sox can trot out an exceptionally powerful, patient and explosive offence. Let's see if the Jays redeem themselves for the Yankee fiasco of a series in front of the home crowd. Mark "Lurch" Hendrickson, Tanyon and Doc will be the most important three players of the series on either team.

On to the Advance Scout!
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Pirates farmhand Jonh Wasdin threw a perfect game last night for the Nashville Sounds against everybody's second-favorite AAA team, the Albuquerque Isotopes.
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Well, thankfully we have a domed stadium in Toronto.
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There's not a great deal of significance in the Week One standings in the major leagues; the Royals are undefeated. So in the Batter's Box Fantasy League, let's not award the Ricciardi/Tosca autographed T-shirt to R Billie just yet. If this sounds like the whining of a guy in 15th place in a 20-team league, it probably is...
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Peter Gammons weighs in on the opening week of the season, dropping as many names as he can, as usual, including a familar one:

The Reds do love infielder Felipe Lopez as much as they say they do.

The latest rumour out of Cinci (heard it on the Braves game today) is Barry Larkin replacing Junior in CF, opening up a chance for Lopez to prove there's more than a 10-cent head attached to his 5-tool body. The prolific Gammons has two new columns on ESPN today, and in this one, mentions another ex-Jay getting an opportunity:

Brandon Lyon -- claimed off the waiver wire from Toronto last October -- has been (Boston's) best reliever with a win and a hold in two strong outings. As (Theo) Epstein points out, Lyon has some closing tools -- hitting 95 mph in short stints with good command of his fastball, changeup and slider -- but he hasn't yet proven he can bounce back or shoulder a lead.

I don't remember Lyon ever throwing that hard, especially last year. Youneverknow.
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Kent and I watched the game along with Aaron Gleeman of Aaron's Baseball Blog.

We had a few things to say... watch out, this is a massive log. Pun sort of intended. Editor's comments are in **double asterisks**.
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Just trying to point out, with the headline, how silly it is to get too excited -- or depressed -- about the first week of the l-o-n-g season, or to over-analyze the significance of one game or even a series. That said, break up the Royals!

Last night, the Jays left 15 men on base, which isn't good. However, they had 10 hits and eight walks, which is great. When faced with a "half-empty, half-full" conundrum, I always try to change the size of the glass. Considering that four of the Twins pitchers were tough southpaws, and I had predicted the "under", it was a fine offensive performance, and the Toronto OBP machine is starting to fire on (almost) all cylinders.
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Some of us around here have been quick to jump on Richard Griffin when he resorts to J.P.-bashing instead of journalism, but that's not the case today. The Star columnist has broken a very important story -- an idiotic decision by an insurance bureaucracy has forced the Blue Jays' team doctors to resign. This is a knee-jerk reaction by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (motto: "covering our own ass since 2003") to the successful malpractice suit by ex-NHL-er Dave Babych.

The doctors -- Ron Taylor, Allan Gross and Erin Boynton -- would risk bankruptcy by treating injured players, because any malpractice insurance the Jays could purchase for them would not cover suits by U.S.-based athletes. This decision also affects the six Canadian NHL clubs and the Raptors. The next time someone gets hurt at a sporting event, they will be attended by paramedics, and if necessary, taken to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room (assuming you can find one that's open) and treated by someone whose expertise with athletes pales by comparison to the specialists.

Griffin shows restraint by guessing the CMPA is full of proctologists, but he's in the right neighbourhood.
Let's hope we see the real Doc Halladay tonight, and that the Jays keep swinging the bats well. We know they're vulnerable to lefthanded pitching, so I'm expecting a low-scoring affair.

I'm in baseball heaven tonight. My last draft, the Roto Junkies AL league, is under way, and I'll be watching the game later between picks.

Welcome to the first installment of Advance Scout.

I figure we here at BB can look up stats -- especially the zombies among us -- and pitching probables on our own. My job will be to provide anecdotal reports, combined with probable batting orders and bullpen usages. Enjoy the weekend series, though the Twins aren't looking like a team ready to cut the Jays any breaks after the Yankees debacle this week.

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Archives View Printable Version Game Four: Sturtze vs. Reed
Here's tonight's "game thread" for those who want to comment. I'm already tired of Burkett vs. Ponson; I'm going to watch Arli$$ then catch up with Tom and Jerry later.
Thanks to Gerry McDonald for this link -- Baseball America has compiled the Opening Day rosters for every organization, at each level from the majors to Low-A.

Each player's batting and throwing hands are listed, along with height, weight, age as of April 1, and the peak level they played at in 2002. Like any project of this size, it's not perfect; they've got some big pitcher named Rob Halladay on the Jays roster, and I don't remember Cam Reimers playing in Toronto last year. It's still interesting, and to some, may even be useful.
So says Ken Fidlin in the Sun this morning. I'm getting letters already from people whose impatience is mind-boggling, but this is a calm look at a team that will have three-game losing streaks this year, like 29 other clubs.

Fidlin's comments are reasonable, unlike the appalling Mike Ulmer piece yesterday -- "Baseball North Goes South", screamed the headline, and Ulmer trashed the Ricciard/Oakland connection (even the marketing guy) as "compulsively collecting former employees" before admitting "two games might be a little early to write off a team". Ya think?