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B.J. Ryan, 5 years $47M. A.J. Burnett, 5 years, $55M. Lyle Overbay for Bush and Jackson and Gross. Troy Glaus for Hudson and Batista. How’s a longsuffering Blue Jay fan feel about all this?

This one feels culture shock.

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So what baseball related gifts did people get?
Everyone seems to think it's a done deal but the specifics are lacking. Troy Glaus appears to be headed for the great white north while Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista are headed south. There could be a prospect headed to Toronto; the cash side of the deal is unknown; and whether Glaus had to have his deal sweetened is also unknown.
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By Fawaz.

Every time I read a suggestion that Orlando Hudson is headed to Team X for John Q. Slugger, one name pops into my mind: John ‘Hot Rod’ Williams. I vividly recall my cursing out loud (to the chagrin of a 10-year-old Fawaz’ parents) and the ensuing swoon in my fandom following the announcement that the Phoenix Suns had finally acquired the big man that was going to put them over the top. I didn’t know much about the guy. He was 6’11” and I had his basketball card, though I never looked at it. I knew everything about the guy he was traded for. He was an all-star, went for 16-5-4 in 1994-95 and knocked down threes whenever Charles Barkley felt moved to pass the ball. (He was in town last season doing the colour commentary for the Suns broadcast and before the game he started knocking down long three-balls in his suit… one-handed.) He was Thunder Dan Majerle.

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Don't worry, that's not a prediction -- it's a challenge. It is, if you will, today's Question of the Day ...
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As the title might imply, this is a Spring Training thread. Not about the players, non-roster invites and positional battles, but about the actual activity itself. Readers with Florida experience are welcomed to join in with advice and anyone with questions about attending exhibition baseball is welcomed to pose them here -- odds are, someone can answer them!

So if you have questions about Spring Training in Dunedin (or other Florida locations), questions about the area or if you just want to know the best way to get there and simply enjoy baseball, read on.

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Two months into the baseball off-season and I am starting to get restless, itchy, looking for my baseball fix. I am not talking about baseball in the big sense of the word, I am talking the game, on the field, seeing a nasty change-up, a beautifully turned double play, a runner turning a double into a triple, an Ichiro gun to third, a Rolen laser to first, Mariano mowing them down, you get the picture.
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Be sure to go and vote for Tom Cheek today for the Ford C. Frick Award. It's your last chance.
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October 30, 2010

Following are works of fiction. These, or something like them, might appear in a newspaper in a little under five years.

TORONTO - B.J.'s not a Blue Jay anymore.

In a move that has shocked baseball fans around the majors, B.J. Ryan, the closer for the Toronto Blue Jays, announced on Friday his decision to retire from baseball.
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In the midst of the weekend's free-form discussion, Bauxite Grasshopper spoke out against trading future stars for instant help, following the principle that the Blue Jays aren't going to win the World Series in 2006.

I'm not picking on you, Grasshopper - I think it's probably a widespread assumption.

Should it be?

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Giving most major league teams millions of dollars to play with and a list of available free agents is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. (Thank you, P.J. O'Rourke.)

So the madness is beginning...

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Another off-season, another NFH Challenge!

Here's what Kingsley had to say in the Josh Towers signing thread:
This contract was a nothing more than a loyalty reward for what will undoubtably go down in the books as Towers' career year. His numbers were an abberration... counting on Josh to keep it together over another season, to count on 'it' not vanishing...well, friends, that's too many what-if's for me.
...
Josh will be nothing more than the long righty out of the 'pen come mid-season.
(Read the whole post here.)

Lots of things to challenge in there, aren't there?
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The Canadian baseball team had a good and bad Olympic experience in 2004. The bad part was losing in the semi-finals to a strong Cuba team, having led late in the game. The Canadians did not expect to be playing Cuba in the semis but Australia pulled out a round robin win that helped them avoid Canada and place Cuba in the way of the Canadians. On the good side the team did make it to the semi-finals and many players still talk of qualifying for the Olympics, and the bus ride back to the hotel singing Oh Canada, as the highlight of their season. Now the Canadians get to start down the Olympic road again, the road to China in 2008 starts today in Arizona as Canada faces Nicaragua. The top four teams, out of six in this tournament, advance to the Americas Olympic qualifier next August in Havana. Last week in Arizona I talked with three of the Canadian hopefuls about their seasons.
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The Olympic qualifying tournament begins November 15, and Canada and the US announced their rosters. The usual stalwarts on the Canadian club, Stubby Clapp, Lee Delfino and Ryan Radmanovich, are joined by prospects Adam Loewen, Scott Mathieson, Russ Martin and Joey Votto. Surprisingly, there are no Jay farmhands on the squad. The Americans will field their usual powerhouse with hot prospects Billy Butler and Lastings Milledge in the outfield, catchers Jarrod Saltamacchia and Jeff Mathis, and middle infielders Howie Kendrick and Brandon Wood.
So are the White Sox the team to imitate now?
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