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Opening day for the Jays is next Tuesday.  Opening day for most teams is next Monday.  The Jays have four games left in Florida and two in Philadelphia as they make their way back to Toronto.  The roster is now getting clearer:

Brett Lawrie will start the season on the DL.

The Jays will likely start the season with an 8 man bullpen.  The Jays think it will be easier to get Jeremy Jeffress through waivers a week into the season than it will be just before opening day.

Henry Blanco has made the roster, Josh Thole is headed to Buffalo.

Brad Lincoln has also been optioned to Buffalo, he has been nursing a sore shoulder.

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Jack Morris is the new Alan Ashby.  Morris will be the play by play guy on radio and cover on TV when Buck or Tabler are on vacation.

Is this good?  I don't know, has anyone ever heard Jack do analysis?

Meanwhile Sportsnet announced their spring training coverage....six TV games starting February 23rd, and all the games on radio or web.

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Ok, ok, I'll admit it: I grin a little bit when A-Rod's name comes up in this stuff. Am I alone?

I'm not sure why. Because he's a Yankee? No, I made an eight foot wide dollar bill with his face on it to heckle him when he was still a Ranger. Because of the absurd amount of money? Well, maybe. And maybe because of the swagger and public persona, or my impression of them.

But I softened a bit when I heard that he had a painting of himself as a Minotaur. Who can't relate to dreams of being a Minotaur?

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a trade to acquire outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Randall Delgado, infielder Martin Prado and minor leaguers Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury and Zeke Spruill, sources tell ESPN.

So, what effect will Atlanta's Double-Upton OF have on the National League East race, Bauxites? 

The Blue Jays have signed Mark DeRosa, presumably to be the right handed bat off the bench that AA was looking for.  To make room on the 40 man roster Sam Dyson was designated for assignment.  DeRosa is 37 years old, 38 by opening day, and hasn't had a 100 OPS+ season since 2009.  However I assume he will rarely see a right handed pitcher and DeRosa has hit better against lefties.
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Stan "the Man"  Musial, one of baseball's greatest (and arguably, most under-appreciated) hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday. He was 92.

Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s. Read the full story here in ESPN.com.

Read more from Batter's Box's finest veteran, Dan "Magpie" McIlroy ... The Man

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A pinch hit from earlweaver fan.....appropriate.

Every reader of Battersbox old enough to follow baseball in the sixties through eighties will have their own reasons for honouring Earl Weaver, one of the most wonderful personalities in baseball and among the most successful. Here are my personal top ten reasons:

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Yesterday I received a package from an anonymous tipster familiar with the Darren Oliver situation. In it were copies of a large number of faxes purportedly from Jeff Frye to Blue Jays brass. I was stunned -- I mean, who faxes stuff in 2013? I was also surprised at how many of the alternate compensation packages didn't make it into the press.

In no particular order, here are some of the unpublished compensation suggestions put forward by Jeff Frye on behalf of Darren Oliver:
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After unveiling its new logo nearly two months ago, the Buffalo Bisons completed its makeover today with a brand new home, road and alternate uniform during its annual Hot Stove luncheon.

The Buffalo Bisons new uniforms for 2013, commemorating the career of former Bison Ollie Carnegie the International League's all-time leader in home runs with 258 and runs batted in with 1,044.
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Darren Oliver is coming back.  Here is the Blue Jays announcement:

LHP DARREN OLIVER will return to the TORONTO BLUE JAYS for a 20th Major League season and second in a Blue Jays uniform after his US $3.0 million was exercised for the 2013 season.

OLIVER, 42, posted the lowest ERA of his career in 2012 with a 2.06 mark, which was the 3rd lowest mark in the AL with a minimum of 50 innings pitched. The Kansas City, Missouri native has now held opponents to a .237 average over his past seven seasons to go with a 2.86 ERA over that span. The left-hander has not posted a single season ERA above 3.00 since the 2007 season. The former 3rd round pick of the Texas Rangers in 1988, Oliver has played for nine teams in his career, including Texas on three separate occasions. In 716 career games, including 229 starts, the 19-year veteran has posted a 115-94 record with a 4.53 ERA

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