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No pepper games.
Use only as directed.
Mediate, alleviate, try not to hate!
Hash out!
Debate!
Talk!

Converse!

Buehrle vs Myers

  Of note:

  The Jays do not have a hit with a runner in scoring position...but

  The Jays have had few runners in scoring position

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Discuss!
Watching Spring Training baseball is a little silly: we're rarely aware of team or player goals, so we can't evaluate their success. But when a team has had such a radical remodelling as the Jays' this offseason, as fans we can't help but be desperate to see them in action.

Today at 1:05, the Jays face off against the Phillies. It's a great game for new-Jay spotting: R.A. Dickey will start, followed by Josh Johnson a handful of innings later. The game will be televised, radioized and internetized, so tune in whatever way floats your boat. I'll see if I can convince my kids to watch with me. Maybe I'll bribe them with chips or popcorn.

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The first place Texas Rangers come into town for a three game series.  Given the current state of the Jays, one win would be nice and two would be surprising.  The Jays throw JA Happ, Carlos Villanueva and Henderson Alvarez.  Texas answers with Yu Darvish, Roy Oswalt and Matt Harrison.  None of those Texas pitchers have been lights-out so the Jays are not outmatched on the mound but offensively the Jays have problems.
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The Blue Jays go into Boston to start a very important two week period. The Jays play 14 straight games leading into the all-star break. They face Boston, LA Angels, Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox. As the rotation stands currently Henderson Alvarez and Aaron Laffey will make three of those starts and Jesse Chavez two.
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Ugh. The Hamilton home run would have been TOO storybook of a finish, huh?

It's no surprise that #1 Ranger fan/addict (and valued Bauxite) Jamey Newberg summed it up best on behalf of all us North Texas baseball watchers  in his e-mail newsletter this morning ...

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Sorry about the lack of a daily thread today - I was busy last night drinking my election sorrows away. How about a game thread instead?
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Okay, we here at Da Box -- for good reason -- have not posted a "Game Thread" since the Canada/South Africa World Cup game in March 2006. The last major league game thread was in May 2005. So let's see how this goes.

The Yankees are in the ALCS, and I take it as a given that every Bauxite here (except me) wants them to lose horribly and tragically. They're playing the (holy crap!) Rangers, my hometown team. For the record -- no, I haven't actually decided to root for one or the other, but rather will be in the awkward fan position of wanting both teams to do well. Hometown vs. long-time favorite? That's a no-lose, and I will definitely have a dog in this year's World Series hunt.

Most of the expert projections I have heard and read so far lean to the Yankees, giving them a position-by-position edge pretty much everywhere except CF (Hamilton over Granderson), RF (Cruz over Swisher) abd DH (Vlad over anyone the Yankees toss out there). Everyone gives bullpen and bench to the Yankees, and most give rotation that direction, too. I might disagree at shortstop, catcher (Posada has really fallen off a cliff, and I don't mean Lee, but speaking of Lee), maybe about the rotation too.

A final question -- and I don't know the answer or have any idea how to look it up. Tonight's starting pitching matchup, initially speaking, pits C.C. Sabathia against C. J. Wilson. Is this the first time in baseball history that a post-season game has posted two double-initial monikered guys against each other? Magpie, any thoughts?

Personal projection: the Rangers run wild on Posada, get two wins from Lee and one each from WIlson and Colby Lewis, and the Rangers advance to sure annihilation by the Phillies. (Can't quite break the long North Texas haseball habit of gloom and doom ...)

Canada versus Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids. Feel free to follow along here!