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Click through to this modern re-imagining of the classic Abbott & Costello baseball routine, "Who's on First?" Written by PeteyHendrix for the Red Reporter -- and discovered/re-published here thanks to Baseball Think Factory -- it's one of the cleverest, funniest damn things ever. I don't normally laugh out loud while reading Da Stuff on Da Interwebz, but in this case, I was guffawing so much that my wife in the room next door came over to find out what was wrong. It's brilliant.

Feel free to add suggestions, if you have any, on Hu -- um, that is, who -- else might be incorporated here.And seriously, don't just skim it. It's worth the time for a close, five-minute read! 

 

 

The first thing I look at when assessing the immediate prospects for a team in the coming season is the quality of its core. I define the core of a team as the players whose performance would be most difficult to replace. I settled on seven as the number of players in the core, even though stronger teams tend to have a larger core and weaker teams a smaller one.


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Yes, yes, birthdays are celebrated on the date of the arrival -- so your Blue Jays will turn 35 this coming April. But did you know that it was exactly 36 years ago today, 2/6/76, that the AL granted expansion franchises to Seattle (to replace the departed Pilots, ever since brewing in Milwaukee) and to the first-time NLB city, Toronto, future home of your Blue Jays?

It's a little bit like celebrating a child's birthday on the anniversary of his or her conception, so let's make this day an official holiday to Blue Jays Nation, the Feast of the Torontonian Conception, with our patron saints of the holy shortstops, the only two men to reach the big leagues named Concepcion, All-Star Red Davey and later Royal reserve Onix. Netiher ever played for the Blue Jays, but thanks to today's goings-on in 1976, they could have!

Anyone remember hearing the news? Tell your story!

In which three Box scribes discuss the bullpen, the AL Central, and the State of the Franchise. Listen here. (Note: iTunes subscribability in process!)
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We've been having a lot of discussions about 2012 and the starting rotation seems to be the biggest question (with honourable mention to LF and 1B). How bad was 2011's rotation and what would it take to improve it?
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There has been a lot of talk about how great the Jays minor league system is and how many top prospects there are. Naturally we are all getting excited but what have the top Jay prospects done in the past?
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We're so late to jump on the podcast bandwagon that it isn't even a bandwagon anymore. We're trendsetters!

The inaugural episode of the "Boxcast", Batter's Box's official podcast (as opposed to all those imitations running wild out there) features Box scribes Anders Whist, Thomas Ayers and myself talking Jays, ZiPS, and Prince Fielder. More details inside.
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For those of us with mlb.tv and a hankering to watch some baseball on a cold winter night Bill James has published his top 100 pitcher duels of last year at Grantland. No. 16 is Ricky Romero against James Shields on April 16 and there are three other Jays games featured including Henderson Alvarez beating Josh Beckett on Sept 5th - my favourite game of last year.
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Veteran Bauxite Mike Green, in the most recent Jason Returns thread, notes, finally, "This thread is a little long. Maybe a new one is in order for the new year. How about with a question: which NL team do you root for, and why?' And, he admits, "If Rogers continues on its current road, I need to find an NL team to root for. It was always the Expos, of course, but I just can't get excited about the Nats."

So a tri-level of questions:

  1. Which NL team do you root for, and why?
  2. Which (other) AL team do you root for, and why?
  3. How do you feel about the Washington Nationals?

As always, thanks Mike. Let's stir up the rabble!

(P.S. what else is going on? Anything else worth reporting or asking, let us know!)
New ... the conversation has taken an interesting turn and Bauxites are now sharing (and linking to) their first game ... join in!

As promised on Christmas Eve: don't worry, the annual New year's resolutions thread comes next week -- no need to commit early!

Okay, it's no longer "early" ... Today is New Year's Eve. So right here on Battter's Box it's time to comment and commit to a couple of different kinds of New year's Resolutions.

  • Start a post here by taking on the persona of an MLB player (Blue Jay or otherwise, your decision) and post a note about what they should be resolving. Rules here -- keep it on-the-baseball-field related (e.g. no drug or marriage jokes)  and keep them at least viable, RESolutions, not REVolutions. (e.g. don't post "I, Adam Dunn, resolve to stop striking out. Completely.") or post ridiculous projections (like "I, Ricky Romero, resolve to win thirty-five games and pitch eight no-hitters.") Keep it real!
  • The other kind of post -- now, if you want to engage in REVolution-making this new year, here's your chance. Tell us, share with all of Da Baux, what your own personal resolution for 2012 will be. No mocking or taunting -- sometimes a resolution can be embarrassing ("I will finally lose that forty pounds that drags me down") or even downright humilating ("Since I turn 30 this year, I resolve to finally get a girlfriend.") So again, NO taunting, NO mocking -- just an opportunity to share with the internets what your goals are for the coming year.

Ready? Go!!!

We ask this every year as Christmas comes (and if I read my watch right, in Toronto this year, that's in about 20 minutes!) so ...

What'djaget???

That's right, we want to know ... was Baseball Santa good to you this year? You can brag on other non-great-game-related givts, too, but we are most interested in the cards, tickets, regalia and memorabilia (or whatever else) you received that would make Bill James smile and little Robbie Neyer insanely jealous. This is also a place to, if you really want to, post your Christmas holiday wishes to others on this site (don't worry, the annual New year's resolutions thread comes next week -- no need to commit early!) .....

On Monday, we will present the first-ever award recognizing the best post to the Christmas thread (this one), as selected by a committee of one (me) -- the selection criteria are as yet undetermined and likely will be just north of random, so get your creativity bootstraps a-working! That's right, on Dec. 26, someone will be the proud owner of the inaugural Batter's Boxing Day Award.

[12/26: and the winner is ... melondough!!! Congratulations. Official announcement in comments within ...]

Ready? Go!

It's time, surely, to change the subject?
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For your consideration this morning, Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) has tweeted (in two parts):
 
If the Jays are, in fact, the winning bidders for Darvish -- as many execs believe -- they will continue to develop into a very dangerous team.The Jays would have a full season of Lawrie, plus Bautista, plus Santos, plus Romero. And they have nice core of prospects on the way.
 
Any thoughts on this, Bauxites?
I hate to be contrary... ah, who am I kidding? I love to be contrary! But I have to say it - I'm really looking forward to watching Jeff Mathis play.  There are things I'm keen to know...
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With Jamey Carroll signing with Minnesota, Mark Ellis signing with the Dodgers, Aaron Hill returning to Arizona and the Jays looking increasingly likely to let Kelly Johnson go elsewhere and gain picks in return, the options at second base are shrinking. Some of the biggest names still left in free agency include Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Miles, Ramon Santiago and Nick Punto. With that list of less inspiring names, the suggestion has been the Jays will try to acquire a second baseman through trade with Brandon Phillips being a rumoured target. However, there may be one option at second base that we arenít discussing.
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