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Here's a Pinch Hit from intrepid correspondent Ron.
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KLaw has released his organisational rankings behind the insider wall at ESPN and has the Jays system ranked an impressive fourth behind Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
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          So many questions
          Still left unanswered
          So much I've never broken through......

I don't know much
But I know I love you
That may be
All there is to know

Over the weekend, with the freezing weather in Ontario, I took the opportunity to clean out some old files while finding time to look at my newly arrived Baseball Forecaster.  Some of the stories and clippings I looked at reminded me of how little we know about baseball performance, one of the reasons the game appeals to us.

At this time last year there were people calling for Jose Bautista to be traded, and expecting that Randy Ruiz would  be on the bright spots for the 2010 Jays.  Aaron Hill and Adam Lind were going to carry the Blue Jay offense and Brett Wallace was waiting in the wings.

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A quick look at the rosters as they stand for the AL East teams.
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In yesterday's thread about the greatest Jay of all time, greenfrog described Roy Halladay as the most "all-around enjoyable Blue Jay to watch."

Magpie suggested Tony Castillo (as well as Jesse Barfield, Tom Henke, and Paul Molitor). He also thought this might be a worthy thread.

I agree.
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The Star today has a feature on the greatest Blue Jay in light of Roberto Alomar's election to the Hall of Fame.  Dave Perkins and Richard Griffin, as well as four nameless fans, pick their greatest Blue Jay.  The six Jays mentioned in the story are Dave Steib; Carlos Delgado; Roberto Alomar; Roy Halladay; John Olerud and Cito Gaston.

Not mentioned are Tony Fernandez; George Bell; Jesse Barfield or Jimmy Key.

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Did you know there are still 91 free agents available on the MLB winter market? Sure, some of these guys are going to  either retire by choice (Andy Pettitte?) or "retire"  through lack of interest.

ABut amost 100? Really? Yes, it's true. And while it's also true that most of the big names and stars (not always the same thing!) have been snapped up, we could build two pretty decent 25-man rosters (divided by league, of course) with careful attention to that list. Let's take a look at one version of what's possible, then we'll have a few quick questions for you to consider and answer.

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A good question was asked in the Roberto Alomar HOF thread about what the Jays got for their stars back in the 1992-1995 period when the super team was taken apart. Good ol' Baseball Reference has a full list of transactions and draft picks so we can check and feel sad about how little was gained for so much.
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Question of the Day ...
What baseball-related "New Year's resolutions" should various members -- players, management, front office -- of Team Blue Jay carry into 2011? Be as creative and inventive as you like (but let's stay away from the snarky and rude, hey?)

Sidebar question of the day ...
What baseball-related resolutions do YOU have in 2011? (Note, as long as you're writing about yourself, snarky and rude are just fine!)

Every year, we commit a thread dedicated to inviting all Bauxites to share with us the best of your (not Josh) booty -- especially the baseball-related items from your stockings or under your tree. So, what diamond-related packages glittered under  your own morning star this Christmas?

And a quick shout-out to the greatest off-season prospect of all time, delivering for the 2,010th consectuvie year ..

Nickname: Sandy Claws
UTIL, veteran all-star
Aging vet is a bit portly, but can still fly .... Astonishingly productive and versatile, though top deliveries limited to once a year ... Can handle all kinds of weather but is noted for toying around a bit with intended targets ...  Very thorough, always checking twice before proceeding ... Stunningly, still  a free agent, making fans all over hope he's coming to their town ...
Relatives: "Father Christmas" of  Steve Christmas, Al Clauss, Johan Santana

And for your holiday enjoyment, here's reason number 2,378,512 that baseball is the greatest game of them all....
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I recently discovered a truly wonderful baseball website called I haven't spent a lot of time there yet, but suspect that I will -- there's even a whole area of the site dedicated to calculating the baseball stats of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Joe Shlabotnik and the whole Peanuts gang.

what led me there was a link from one of the fabulous blog posts Sean Forman leaves on the greatness of -- the story linked to was a 2009 feature by Larry Granillo called "The History of the Highest-Paid Player in Baseball." Seriously, go read it. Like, now!

Okay, you back now? Settlle in ...w hat follows are a few thoughts about those men who have been, at least for a short time, the highest-paid players in the history of the game -- at least since Nolan Ryan became the sport's first milllion-bucks-a-season man back in 1980 ...

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I know,  I know, we here at Batter's Box have a hard time letting go of Roy "Doc" Halladay; more than a year after arguably The Greatest Jay Ever left for the City of Brotherly Love, his piture still graces the banner logo of this site.

Speaking of banners, the draped headline on the latest print edition of The Sporting News jumped out at me as I recovered from the mailbox this afternoon  ...  2010 PRO ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: ROY HALLADAY.Well ... okay, I guess.  Perfect game? (Check.)  20+ wins? (Check.) Playoff no-hitter? (Check.) Cy Young Award? (Check.) Yeah ... I guess he deserves it!

Brad Emaus was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the New York Mets a few minutes ago. The 24 year old (turns 25 in March) hit .298/.395/.495 in AAA this past year in 364 plate appearances, and .257/.351/.388 in 751 AA plate appearances. Emaus was Batter's Box's number 20 prospect in 2010, number 24 in 2009, and number 18 in 2008, but the team evidently never thought as highly of him, as despite playing second and third base (a current position of need for the club) he was not put on the 40 Man Roster despite the team having space. Hopefully Brad will catch on with the Mets, but if not he could still be returned to the Jays. Full list of draftees here.

Update: Anthopoulos explains his reasoning here.

Update: Miguel Olivo signs with the Mariners. Hello compensatory pick!

Read on for more news, including Carl H. Crawford signing with the Sawx.

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