Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Jamey Newberg, a Baurxite since 2006, creates the best daily team-oriented MLB e-newsletter on the planet, the Texas Rangers Newberg Minor League Report. In today's edition, he goes all Toronto on us, as he has done a couple of times before. Enjoy ...
I’ve been a little under the weather the last couple days, so I’ve reached out to our pal north of the border to pinch-hit today. You might remember this guy from a couple entries he shared with us in 2006.

THE NOUVEAU-BERGERON REPORT
The tragic number for the Jays is now down to four. It would be a waste of time talking about tonight’s game in Baltimore or the weekend series in Boston. This isn’t a bad team – we’d be in second place in the AL West – but there’s plenty of work to be done if we’re gonna make any noise the next few years in the East. Let’s look at something two of the four teams who will be in the playoffs this year did in 2007 to help get them where they are now.

[More] (1,942 words)
Okay, it's that weird time of year, late-ish (but not overly late, almost--overish) in a season that's gone pretty well for the home team (.514 with 22 games left), not really in the race (12.5 out) but not yet eliminated (magic number is NYY+8) ... frankly, it's getting harder to pay attention, with football, basketball and hockey just around the bend(s).

So let's have a good old-fashioned bar brawl over a question basic to this site's existence: who is the single greatest all-time Blue Jay? Define that however you want -- players, managers, front office, mascots (!), single-season, career, one freaking amazing game, pitchers, everyday players, native Canadians only, serious candidates,  tongue-in-cheek eye-rollers or simply personal favourites -- you make your own rules and put up your dukes to defend your choice(s).

A winner will be declared only when the last drop of blood has fallen. Oh, and you get bizarrely random extra credit points if you phrase your argument in the form of a senryu/haiku (details and example within) ... but that is not required. (If this goes well, later slams will call for limericks or couplets or other forms of doggerel.)

State your preferred beverage, order up and stake your claim .. the greatest Blue Jay ever is/was ...

[More] (66 words)

So earlier today, Dave Rutt posted a really wonderful TDIB thread (check it out) that includes this sentence, looking back at this past weekend ... "First J.P. Arencibia has probably the best debut of any Blue Jay in history, and then the very next day Brandon Morrow pitches probably the best game in Blue Jays history."

And an all-new Box Question of the Day is called forth! Actually, in two parts ... (1) If not JPA, what Jay has had the best debut in team history? (Sidebar: What major league debut is the best ever?) and (2) If not Morrow's, what is the best game pitched in Blue Jay history?

Ready? Go!

Who doesn't live for the big hit? The Jays had plenty of them Saturday afternoon as they belted eight homers among their 20 hits in a 17-11 victory at the Rogers Centre.  Jonathan Paul Arencibia was living the dream in his major league debut by hitting two home runs, a double and a single in a 4-for-5 day at the plate.  Aaron Hill also went yard twice while Adam Lind, Lyle Overbay, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista (shocker!!) also put one over the fence.  However, I'll remember this game for another reason after encountering this "learned Jays fan" (not to be confused with this fellow down below because that would be an insult to crash test dummies and all dummies in general!).

[More] (857 words)

Let's kick off the weekend and clean up shop around here at the same time.

[More] (506 words)
... the season Alex Rios is having in Chicago? Hitting third for the White Sox, he's batting .317 and currently on pace to finish with 36 home runs and 52 steals. The OPS is .951 while the K/BB ratio is a respectable 1.37. Them's MVP-caliber numbers, folks!

The only downside is the lack of RBI production -- his pace is for "just" 85, which is currently third on team, but he is leading the squad in runs scored.

I had no idea. Anyone out there, you know, care?

Okay, this is probably more of a poll question, but I haven't been able to get the [expletive deleted] poll gadget to work for me since early in '09. So anyway  ...

Your Toronto Blue Jays are 16-13 and solidly in third place in the AL East and tied for second in the Wild Card "standings." No doubt about it, they're a real surprise. But in the big picture, now that we're a month into the season, what is THE most surprising ball club in the major leagues this season?

We have MANY options ...

[More] (193 words)

I admit my status as a fanboy -- I "follow" my childhood hero Tom Seaver on Facebook, where today "he" posted a link to this story by Matthew Futterman for The Wall Street Journal. It's a wonderful read, where statistical improbability meets the baseball diamond. Back-to-back cycles? Back-to-back-to-back no-hitters?

What's left to be done that reasonably can be done? What has Futterman missed? And who's gonna do what?

Bring it on, Bauxites!

So as we barrel forward into the 2010 season, the first decade of the 21st century, "the aughts" is now forever behind us. And I found myself musing on the drive home from work recently, was there a "Team of the Aughts" and if so, who was it?

I started wondering this because it occured to me that my first three full decades of baseball fandom all at least arguably had one team (for one season!) be the defining -- that's not necessarily the same as best -- team of that decade.

For instance, in the 1970's ...

[More] (590 words)

Kermit the frog once said "It ain't easy being green" but it's a lot easier today as we celebrate all things Irish on this St. Patrick's Day.  We certainly hope the Green Jays have the luck of the Irish not only today against the Orioles but against the rest of the American League in 2010. 

Today, let's look at things from a fantasy baseball perspective.  USA Today Sports Weekly recently released its Fantasy Baseball issue and came out with its Fantasy Extra update issue today.  Three Green Jays made the Top 200 list with Aaron Hill being ranked 51st while Adam Lind and Vernon Wells were rated 64th and 160th respectively.  

Which player - Green Jays or otherwise - will have the luck of the Irish and who won't have it this season?  If you like, you can throw in an "out of nowhere" prediction like Ryan Howard hitting 74 homers this season but try to make it somewhat realistic.

Erin Go Bragh!  By the way, it's not a coincidence that this post comes up at 3:17 today!  Always thinking!!  :D

[More] (550 words)

Shaun "Of The Dead" Marcum made a lot of Rays hitters look like zombies as he delivered three shutout innings in the Jays 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte Thursday afternoon.    Jordan Bastian of bluejays.com reports the Kansas City native could be the man on the mound for the Opening Day start April 5th in Texas.

[More] (349 words)

The Jays took another step towards Grapefruit League supremacy with a 9-1 pounding of the Yankees Saturday afternoon in Tampa.   Even better, the loss went to the starter who once pitched for Toronto.  Click here for the appropriate reaction.

[More] (615 words)

Bauxite dan gordon gets a tip of the Jays toothpaste cap for bringing to our attention the Jays signing of catcher Jose Molina to a one-year contractJordan Bastian of bluejays.com says the veteran backstop gets a guaranteed $400-thousand dollars but could earn $800-thousand if he makes the Opening Day roster.  The deal also includes a club option worth $1.2-million dollars for 2011.  Nice work if you can get it if you know what I'm saying!

[More] (953 words)

The headline above this story is a direct quote from a recent post in another thread by a long-time and well-spoken Bauxite. But its source is hardly the matter -- I could have found 50 or 60 similar sentiments and throwaway phrases posted to Batter's Box by dozens of different people in recent weeks.

"The Jays have no hope of contending this year."

Really? I don't write that to be sarcastic or ironic -- the thought just raises a whole series of pertinent questions, especially here on what is generally a pro-Jays fan site, and I'd genuinely like to hear your answers to each and every one. Like these ...

[More] (234 words)

Former Marlins and Cubs closer Kevin Gregg has agreed to a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays according to SI.com's Jon Heyman.  The $2.75-million dollar deal includes two option years that could pay as much as $12-million dollars total.  Gregg is expected to compete with Jason Frasor and lefty Scott Downs for the closer's role but the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott speculates Downs could be on his way out.  A tip of the Jays 1989 road cap to Bauxite "The Original Ryan" for letting us know.

[More] (864 words)