Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Now everybody is on the run
Tell me now it's untrue.
What did her daddy do?
He jacked a little bitty baby
The man has got to be insane
They say the spell that he was under the lightning and the
thunder knew that someone had to stop the rain
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Congratulations to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, who swept the Eastern League finals over the Altoona Curve in three straight games. Owner Drew Weber moved the franchise to Manchester this year from New Haven, where a very good Blue Jays Double-A affiliate had played to tiny crowds in 2003. GM Shawn Smith and his staff did a tremendous job getting the community involved, and the Cats had numerous sellouts. Fan enthusiasm will be very high next year when the champs begin play in their new ball park.

The Jays organization should be very proud. It's the first championship at any level since Joe Carter hit that home run a while ago. Great work by GM J.P. Ricciardi and the whole front office, farm director Dick Scott, manager Mike Basso, coaches Rick Adair and Jim Bowie. Most of all, this title is a credit to the talented and dedicated players. Brandon League was the series MVP for stellar relief work to preserve the lead in all three games, but it was a team effort. Starters Gustavo Chacin, Chris Baker and Francisco Rosario were excellent, while Mikael Jova, Aaron Hill, Ty Godwin and John Hattig were among the hitting stars. Well done, everyone!
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Five (count 'em) rookies get the start for the Blue Jays today against the Devil Rays -- and it would be six greenhorns if Alex Rios weren't grabbing some bench. Russ Adams (SS), Gabe Gross (LF), Guillermo Quiroz (C) and Eric Crozier (DH) are in the lineup, while Dave Bush toes the rubber. Barring trades (and that's a risky thing to bar, with this club a miserable 27 games under .500), Bush, Adams and Gross are locks to start next year with the big club, while Quiroz looks like he could use another half-season in the minors, and Crozier's jury is still out. Don't expect this many rookies to debut with Toronto in one season for a long time; we'll look back years from now on 2004 as the renewal of the big-league club. Todd Ritchie, the walking incarnation of Kenny Williams' buyer's remorse, gets the start for Tampa. Have the D-Rays improved on their 2003 campaign? They could go 1-16 from this point onwards and still beat last year's 63-99 record.
The season's just a few weeks away from being done, so let's make the most out of what we have left.
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Why put it off another day?
One by one, little problems
Build up, and stand in our way.
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As I think you've figured out by now, this hasn't been the best of seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays. (This is a bit like saying Hurricane Ivan is causing things to become a bit damp.) The question becomes: where are they going to go from here? Is the club on the way up, or on an express toboggan ride to the depths of Tigerland (or, to keep it up to date, Snakeland)?
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He was lookin' for a fourth-place finish.... Back in 1982, the Blue Jays finally escaped 7th place in the American League East when they tied for sixth with Cleveland. You can imagine that the Indians weren't really thrilled to be the team that the expansion Jays finally caught and eventually passed. Well, karma's gonna getcha, even if it takes 22 years, and now Toronto faces the prospect of being the team that the Devil Rays caught to finally get out of the AL East cellar. Josh Towers, returned from an injury timeout, and Doug Waechter hook up as mound opponents tonight, as Tampa Bay sets out to accomplish their first step towards franchise respectability. Three games up on the Jays and five back of Baltimore, the Rays have stars in their eyes. Can the Blue Jays keep them down?
It seems fair to say that the 2004 Toronto Blue Jays season will be one of those events that most everyone associated with will try to forget as quickly as possible. But thankfully, in this equitable society of ours, every dark cloud has a silver lining: the June amateur draft order goes in reverse order of the previous year’s standings.

Accordingly, like a celebrity dead pool, the chief thrill for some of us at this stage lies in wondering how low in the standings (and therefore, how high in the 2005 draft order) the Blue Jays will finish.
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Tied to a wheel fingers got to feel
I spin on a whim I slide to the right
I felt you like electric light
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Sorry, I can't think of anything witty, topical or otherwise interesting to say about this late-season matchup of two also-rans. Miguel Batista starts for Toronto, and seriously needs to regain his command; August and September have been brutal for him. He'll pitch to Gregg Zaun, not Guillermo Quiroz, but Russ Adams and Gabe Gross get the nod against Orioles righty Rodrigo Lopez. And that's pretty much about it.
Our buddy Jim from Toronto Baseball Guys has another block of nice seats for the game on October 1st against the New York Yankees. Last time we had a ton of fun heckling Box fave Esteban Loiaza; who will it be this time?
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Write your own headlines; Toronto stories to start with. You'll get the idea. Jump in! one rule: no nicknames, those are too easy. Proper names -- first or last -- only.
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In a couple of relatively quiet transactions in the offseason two Japanese relievers were brought over to the majors. Each of them has been outstanding and merits a closer look. Additionally, I take a look at several other Japanese relievers, from Kazuhiro Sasaki to Masao Kida.
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With the threat of a serious downpour looming in Altoona last night the game was delayed for three hours. Many rounds of sunflower seed spitting contests later, very little precipitation had fallen and the game finally began. Altoona could have used some serious rain right after the 5th inning but the weather held out.

Fisher Cats took game 1 of the best of 5 series in the Eastern League Championship Series.
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I am just an imbecile
I will only complicate you
Trust in me and fall as well
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