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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 ...

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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.

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The American Cooperstown said no to Jays great Roberto Alomar but the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, like the Juice Man from Del Monte, said "Affirmative!"   Former Jays All-Star and Port Hope-raised Paul Quantrill will join Alomar in St. Marys, Ontario for the 2010 induction ceremony June 19th.  Elected posthumously were former Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith and Brooklyn Dodgers statistician Allan Roth, a key figure in Alan Schwartz's book, "The Numbers Game".

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The Toronto Blue Jays recently signed Mississauga native Shawn Hill to a minor league deal.  The right-handed pitcher will look to join fellow hurler Shawn Camp on the Jays staff and become king of the hill while Aaron Hill mans second base.
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State your case .... you have three choices.

1. Indianapolis
2. New Orleans
3. I don't care, shut up, when's Spring Training start?

I find it mildly interesting, for no particular reason at all, that the two Super Bowl towns are both AAA baseball cities ...

The Blue Jays have acquired pitcher Merkin Valdez in a deal with the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations.  Jordan Bastian of bluejays.com says Valdez will join the crowded competition for a spot in the Jays bullpen.
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The Toronto Blue Jays continue to build depth in the minor leagues by signing outfielder Jeremy Reed and right-handed pitcher Steven Register to minor league deals according to bluejays.com.
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Jordan Bastian of bluejays.com says a half-dozen pitchers want to super-size their value meals by filing for arbitration.  The "arbitration six" are right-handers Jeremy Accardo, Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen and Shaun Marcum as well as lefty Brian Tallet.  Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is imposing a Tuesday deadline for contract negotiations.

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The Cincinnati Reds have come from out of nowhere to win the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes.  They have reportedly signed the hard-throwing Cuban lefty to a deal that could be worth as much as worth $30-million dollars - besting the Blue Jays reported offer of $23-million.
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Lefty Zach Jackson is back in the Blue Jays fold thanks to a trade with Cleveland.  The Indians will be receiving a player to be named later in the deal.

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... should you choose to accept it, is really quite simple. Doc's gone. Sure, we don't know (at this writing) which of the six hundred seventy-seven versions of the trade we've heard about will (have) happen(ed) ... but we gotta do something about the banner that flies high above the Batter's Box masthead.

We need your suggestions ...

 

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Unless they re-sign free agent Rod Barajas, the Toronto Blue Jays will have a new catching tandem in 2010.    Jordan Bastian from bluejays.com says the team decided to non-tender Raul Chavez, making him a free agent.  He was the Blue Jays only arbitration-eligible player who was not offered a contract.

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Here's a thought experiment for Bauxites bored on a lazy December afternoon ...

You know how there are some players you can't think of without automatically thinking of another player at the same time? Maybe it's a double play combination (Trammell & Whitaker) ... Maybe it's a couple of middle-of-the-order guys (Bench & Perez) ... maybe it's a battery (hmmm ... nothing coming right to mind -- Ferrell & Sewell long ago, but who knows that combination these days?) ... Maybe it's a manager and a coach. And it doesn't have to be just two guys (Maddux, Glavine & Smoltz, anyone?). Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance doesn't technically qualify cuz there's no ampersand, but we'll let it slide.

So there's your conversation starter ... who are the opposite sides of baseball's most famous "&"s?

Okay, I should start by admitting that this piece has absolutely zero research support; everything here is strictly from memory. That's an invitation for you all to interject, disagree, expand -- whatever feels right.

Basically, I started wondering about a question and figured to myself, "Self, this would be a great arguing point for Da Box." So here we go. The question? What team has had the most consistent greatness at a single position in baseball history?

Some examples ...

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The Blue Jays have added right-handed pitcher Reidier Gonzalez to their 40-man roster.  That means the 24 year-old Cuban is protected from being selected by another club in the Rule 5 draft on December 10th.

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