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Halifax's own Vince Horsman is the pitching coach for the Lansing Lugnuts.  This year Horsman has had a lot of talent entrusted to him and he is expected to get them ready to pitch both in Dunedin and in the major leagues.  Horsman played parts of five seasons in the major leagues including four innings with the 1991 Blue Jays as a 24 year old.

I spoke with Horsman a week ago when I was in Lansing with the Lugnuts.  I have split the interview into two parts.  Today's deals mainly with the pitching philosophy of the Blue Jays minor leagues.  The second installment will be up as soon as I get it transcribed.

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Doug Davis is the Blue Jays minor league field coordinator.  He has joined us several times this year here on da Box, most recently in August.  Davis was in town on the weekend for the Webster Awards ceremony and dinner.  I had a few minutes with him before the on field presentation on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.   The ceremony crept up on us so it is a little bit of an abbreviated discussion compared to most.

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Darold Knowles is the pitchng coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays.  Last Friday Knowles spoke to me from Dunedin just before the Jays swept a doubleheader from Clearwater to make it to the playoffs.  Knowles last spoke to Da Box in June.
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I caught up with Sal Fasano over the phone on Friday last week as the Fisher Cats were on the vrge of qualifying for the playoffs.  I asked Fasano about some of his players before the season ends.  Fasano last joined us in Da Box in June.

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I caught up with Doug Davis, the Blue Jays minor league field coordinator, to talk about the short season teams and some of their players.

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Chad Jenkins had been promoted to New Hampshire just over a week before I talked with him in Erie last week.  He has now made three starts and has a 4.05 ERA in AA. 

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Mike McDade is part of the outstanding New Hampshire Fisher Cats squad.  McDade is playing very well for a 22 year old in AA, he has 36 extra base hits, including 11 home runs, and his defense is reportedly the best of any first baseman within the Jays system.  I spoke with McDade a week ago in Erie.

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Pete Walker is the pitching coach for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  Walker pitched for the Blue Jays from 2002 through 2006, primarily in relief.  The Jays had claimed Walker on waivers from the New York Mets.  A couple of years ago one of Walker's daughter's had a a form of bone cancer in her leg at a young age.  Walker told me that the doctors initially recommended amputation but they eventually found a doctor who removed part of the leg bone and inserted an artifical bone that can extend as the child grows.  Eventually, when she is fully grown, the girl will need another operation to remove this artificial bone and replace it with a permanent one.  Walker hopes to raise awareness of this soon through a website. 

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Sal Fasano is in his second year as a manager.  His first year, last season, was in Lansing, this year he has moved up to AA New Hampshire.  I talked with Fasano last week in Erie.
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Doug Davis, the Blue Jays minor league field coordinator, answered some questions for me over the weekend.  Davis was on his way to Florida to get the short season teams ready for the season.  In addition to the specific questions below I asked about where the young guys, drafted last year, would be heading.  Davis wouldn't specifically answer but he did say that the Jays added the extra team in Bluefield for the younger players.  Vancouver, like Auburn, is closer in level to Lansing and is a college heavy league.  In my opinion you might see one or two of the young pitchers headed for Vancouver but I would guess hitters like Sweeney and Hawkins will go to Bluefield.

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Darold Knowles played in sixteen major league seasons primarily as a relief pitcher.  He recorded 143 saves in 765 career games.  According to his wikipedia page "Knowles was known as a workhorse relief pitcher, particularly in his years with Oakland, and his pickoff rate of one runner every 24 innings is the highest in major league history. In the 1973 World Series, Knowles appeared in all seven games against the New York Mets. He was the first pitcher to appear in all seven games of a World Series."

Today Knowles is the pitching coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays.  I caught up with him last week to talk about his starting pitchers.

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I talked with the Lugnuts new first-year manager Mike Redmond at the start of this month when I was in Lansing.  Redmond played parts of thirteen years in the big leagues and retired with a lifetime .287 batting average.  Redmond was never a starter, his maximum at-bats in any one season was 272.  But he was on the Marlins team that won the world series in 2003.
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Vince Horsman is the pitching coach for the Lansing Lugnuts.  In 2010 Horsman was the pitching coach for the Auburn Doubledays and many Doubledays are now Lugnuts.  Horsman is one of few professional baseball players who hail from Nova Scotia.  Horsman was originally signed by the Jays in 1984 and played in the Jays system before being called up to the major leagues in 1991.  Horsman went on to pitch for Oakland and Minnesota in the major leagues as well.  I spoke with Horsman last week while I was in Lansing.

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Okay, first a challenge -- first Bauxite to correctly name the pop culture icon referenced in the above headline wins a coveted No-Prize!

Now, the actual story ... former Dodger Russell Martin, a Canadian, signed a one-year, $4 million dollar contract to move across the country and play in the Bronx recently. Even more recently, Martin joined the Fan 590 in Toronto with Greg Brady to discuss the excitement of signing with the Yankees, being signed as the everyday catcher for the Yankees while they still have Jorge Posada, how many teams actually pursued him this off-season, and much more. (And. oh by the way, the catching Canuck has some kind words for the Jays, his new divisional rivals ...)

Read a transcript of the audio -- or access the actual audio link -- here.

Batters Box recently caught up with Alex Anthopoulos as he returned from the general manager meetings in Orlando.  As Alex has mentioned in other interviews, and specifically around the Rajai Davis trade, he is still working on the roster for 2011 and he doesn't yet know how it will all come together and who will play where.  So given that, I did not ask Alex about things such as playing time for JP Arencibia, who plays third, who plays first, etc.  Alex either doesn't yet know the answer to these questions or, if he does, he doesn't want to share it with us yet. 

So given that Alex has just finished his first year on the job I asked him to answer more philosophical type questions so that we, as fans, know where the team is headed and what we should expect over the upcoming winter.

Alex last joined us in Da Box last February.  Prior to that Alex explained his background  and how he came to the Blue Jays in May 2009.

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