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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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Dane Johnson is a regular visitor with us here at Batters Box.  We last talked with Dane in June and while Dane was in town recently for the end-of-season awards we sat down with him to talk about the 2010 season.

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Doug Davis, the Blue Jays Minor League Field Coordinator was in Toronto recently for the Webster Award presentation.  Batters Box managed to get some time from Doug to discuss the 2010 season.
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Michael Crouse, from beautiful British Columbia, was a 16th round draft choice of the Blue Jays in the 2008 draft.  Before being drafted Michael was a member of the Canadian Youth team.  Michael's father, Ray Crouse, was a professional football player who played in the CFL and the NFL.  Michael hit .337 this year for the GCL Jays before being promoted to Lansing in early August.

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I caught up with Sal Fasano ten days ago in Lansing.  I previously talked with Sal in May.  The Lugnuts are battling for a play-off spot and the team has turned over some players since May.  I talked with Sal mostly about the new guys.
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Drew Hutchison has had a very successful 2010 campaign.  Hutchison was selected by the Jays in the 15th round of the 2009 draft out of a Lakeland, Florida high school.  Hutchison did have a college scholarship offer and late in the summer the Jays paid him what he wanted to turn pro, $400,000 according to Baseball America.  Hutchison did not pitch for the Jays in 2009 and started 2010 with Auburn.  Hutchison put up good numbers in Auburn and was named to the NYPL all-star team, but before the all-star game the Jays promoted him to Lansing.

Drew turned 20 years old on Sunday so happy birthday from Batters Box.

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Jake Marisnick was a third round selection of the Blue Jays in 2009.  Marisnick didn't play in 2009 but started 2010 in extended spring training and then continued in the GCL.  In early August Marisnick was promoted to Lansing in the Midwest League.  Marisnick is a California kid and is 19 years old.  I spoke with Marisnick recently in Lansing.
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Sean Nolin was a 6th round pick of the Blue Jays in this years draft out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas.  Here is what Baseball America said about him:

At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Sean Nolin looks like a lefthanded version of Jason Jennings. Nolin's fastball will sit at 86-89 mph in some games and 88-92 in others, and he backs it up with a solid changeup and fringy curveball.

Nolin sounds like a more raw player, despite his college experience.  Nolin was born on Boxing Day and he will be 21 this year and entering next season.  Nolin has made three starts for Auburn with mixed results.  As the story notes, and as Vince Horsman and our own sam reported a week ago, Nolin is not in full playing shape yet.

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Vince Horsman and Kenny Graham are the pitching and hitting coaches respectively for the Auburn Doubledays in the New York-Penn league.  Kenny Graham is new to the organization and not well known here.  However Vince Horsman is a Canadian, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who played parts of five seasons in the major leagues including a whole four innings with the Blue Jays in 1991.  After bouncing around a little after his playing days Horsman hooked on with the Blue Jays and is now in his second season as the pitching coach with the Doubledays.

I spoke with both coaches last week in Auburn.

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Marcus Knecht is a Toronto native who was selected in the 2010 draft by the Blue Jays with the 113th overall pick.  Knecht was assigned to Auburn in the New York-Penn league and he has been playing well there.  I caught up with Knecht in Auburn this week to discuss his baseball life, so far.  Also, here is some of what Baseball America said about Knecht before this years draft:

Knecht's 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame generates plenty of bat speed and raw righthanded power. He ranked among the national juco leaders in hitting (.453) and homers (21), though he struggled at times to make consistent contact against good velocity. Knecht is more than just a slugger. He ran a 6.55-second 60-yard dash during Connors State's scout day in the fall, and he earns solid 55 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale for his speed and his accurate arm. He lacks the instincts for center field and played left for the Cowboys this spring, and it's possible he could play right field as a pro.

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Doug Davis is the Blue Jays Minor League Field Coordinator.  Previously Davis had been the manager of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2006 and the Syracuse Chiefs in 2007 and 2008.  Davis was in Binghamton on Monday when I caught up with him to talk about the minor leagues.
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Dane Johnson is the Blue Jays minor league pitching coordinator.  Dane has jined us several times in Da Box.  Most recently Dane talked with us last summer.  I caught up with Dane over the phone last Sunday.

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Brian Jerololoman is back with the Fisher Cats for a third season.  After a good start in 2008, Jeroloman had a disappointing 2009 season but has started strongly in 2010.  I spoke with Brian in Erie last week to discuss his history with the Fisher Cats.

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Tom Signore is the pitching coach for your New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  This is Signore's second season with New Hampshire having previously worked with the Lansing Lugnuts and the Auburn Doubledays.
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