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Even though the Jays are just plodding along, there are some reasons to tune in this weekend. On the Blue Jay side Cavan Biggio will make his debut and will play second base on Friday night. We will see if his patient approach works or if the Padre pitchers challenge him. His father Craig should be in town for the big day. Lourdes Gurriel is back too, although he won't be at second base tonight. He played more second base than outfield in Buffalo so any outfield exposure would still be classified as experimental. Zac Rosscup will make his Blue Jay debut as a Mayza alternative for lefty hitters and another lefty, Thomas Pannone, is back to provide some long relief.
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It's rematch time. As is usual in MLB these days, the Jays and White Sox face off one week after their previous get together. It will be a different Jays team tonight as Richard Urena is back and Teoscar Hernandez is down in Buffalo. There could be another move before Saturday. The Jays are in a part of the schedule where they need five starters. Daniel Hudson is listed as Saturdays starter, we will see if that comes to happen. Clayton Richard is in Chicago and speculation is that he will start on Saturday.
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The Blue Jays are in San Francisco for a pair for round two of the Bergen Bowl. #LetsGoBlueJays

Image from CBC.ca
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The Blue Jays had a welcome and necessary day off yesterday and now it is time to see if they can end their recent slump and get back to winning some games. Although its not just winning games, its playing better baseball. The weak offense can be easily observed, itís the poor defense thatís a capper on the disappointment with losing. The fans know itís a rebuilding year so seeing the team lose more than win is expected. But the players and the team need to start showing sings of improvement. The defense needs to be tighter, the base running better and then let the offense and pitching fall where they may.
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The Bautista-less Jays venture into Arlington for a resumption of hostilities. The Rangers are one game under 500 while the Jays are now three games under. With the Alen Hansen era over, the Jays will look to bounce back from a bad series in Anaheim.
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The second place Baltimore Orioles trundle into town having taken two out of three games off the Yankees. With the Red Sox and the Yankees holding up the standings it is opposite day, or week, in the AL East.
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Whoa. More than 300 comments? Strike another match, go start anew...
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It's time for a fresh thread, and I want to alert one and all to Nate Silver's modest proposal to fix that which is broken. That thing being baseball, of course, which has been broken by an endless procession of ordinary pitchers wandering out of the bullpen to throw as hard as they can for no more than one inning. The result has been tedium, historic numbers of strikeouts (seldom the most exciting thing that can happen on a baseball diamond), and a game awash in mediocrity. Your modern dugout manager has found a way to actually weaponize mediocrity, and roughly a third of each team's active roster consists of these... mediocrities.

Yes, I'm an Old Fogey. And this isn't what I signed up for. You?
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It has been a long, tough, ornery winter. But baseball is back, the Blue Jays play their first game of the year today.
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So here it is.

In other news, Frank Robinson died today. Despite 40 years of free agency, F.Robby is still the only man to win the MVP award in both leagues. He will always be the first African-American manager in the majors. He will always be one of the greatest baseball players who ever set foot on a diamond, and one of the fiercest competitors.
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The winningest manager in Toronto Blue Jays history was one of the special guests of honour at the 9th annual Vancouver Canadians Hot Stove Luncheon.

Cito Gaston at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver prior to the Vancouver Canadians Hot Stove Luncheon. Blue Jays president emeritus Paul Beeston is in the background (bottom right)  chatting with the radio crew at Sportsnet 650.
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It is less than three weeks until pitchers and catchers report to the Jays spring training facility. With the last thread having over 300 responses, a new thread is warranted.
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We need a new thread and Fangraphs published their ZiPS projections for the Jays today. It does not make for easy reading. There are no standouts on the team, before Vlad, and the projection for Lourdes Gurriel is very low.
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It's winter, and they're not playing any games, so I don't pay much attention. (Raptors, folks! And, dare we say it... Leafs?) But stuff is happening, at the usual glacial place, and 300 plus comments is way too much to scroll through. Am I right?
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The winter meetings have begun in Las Vegas. Many GM's will be gambling with their moves. Will it be a good gamble or a bad gamble. The Jays are looking to take a flutter on a free agent pitcher or two. Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman are the latest two names to be forwarded to Ross Atkins phone.
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