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Brad Mills has a chance to nail down one of the final two spots in the rotation as the Jays battle the Braves this afternoon in Disney.

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Japan will be looking for a three-peat at the next World Baseball Classic in 2013.  They defeated Korea 5-3 in 10 innings Monday night at Dodger Stadium thanks to a certain Seattle Mariner.
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Casey Janssen's quest for freedom from the injury bug has hit a snag.  If Philip Gerard was a pain and Richard Kimble was a shoulder, Gerard forced Kimble to get Janssen to leave Thursday night's game against the Yankees.  Jordan Bastian of says Janssen left due to shoulder tightness caused by muscle fatigue.
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Pronounced EE-muss, I figured that's close enough to "enormous" prospect.  I did pull a side muscle reaching for that one, thanks for asking.

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Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic thanks to a disappointing, disheartening, and soul-crushing 6-2 setback to Frank Catalanotto and the Italians Monday night at Rogers Centre.   That means two things.  One, Italy will take on Venezuela at 5:00 p.m. EDT today to determine who will join the U.S. in advancing to Round 2 and two, Scott Richmond doesn't get to throw a pitch for Canada for the second straight tournament.

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No fancy headline today.  Italy must go down in baseball flames tonight when they play Canada at the Rogers Centre.  First pitch is 6:30 p.m. EDT.
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Are you watching the World Baseball Classic? There's actually quite a bit of earnest early competition.
  • Adam Dunn, not the most popular player in these parts, came to Toronto as a late addition to the U.S. team and homered to provide the American margin of victory in a 7-6 win over the hometown Team Canada.
  • It was (har!) a "Dutch treat" as The Netherlands -- The Netherlands! -- nipped the heavily-favored Dominican Republic, 3-2 as Sidney Ponson outdueled Edinson Volquez.
  • In a few somewhat less competitive games, Venezuela beat Italy 7-0; Puerto Rico knocked off Panama, also 7-0; China beat Chinese Taipei, 4-1; and Japan blew out Korea, 14-2.
Your thoughts, Bauxites?
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TranslationBrad Mills and Matt Clement pitched pretty well yesterday and Brian Dopirak supplied the shizzle with the swizzle stick as the Jays crushed the U.S. team with a 6-5 victory Wednesday in Dunedin.
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Canada might have a shot of beating the United States in the World Baseball Classic if the game is close in the late innings.  As John Northey pointed out in an earlier thread, the American bullpen will be without Jays closer B.J. Ryan and Twins relief ace Joe Nathan as they have pulled out of the World Baseball Classic.  Ryan says he needs to work on his mechanics while Nathan has a sore shoulder

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Jeff Blair from the Globe and Mail reports the Jays are showing interest in free-agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera.  He thinks the team may try to accomplish this by dealing a corner infielder or reliever to clear some salary off the books.

UPDATE March 2/09:  Cabrera's going to Oakland according to ESPN's Buster Olney.  He has signed a one-year deal for $4-million bucks.

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Travis Snider has belted the first home run of spring training for the Jays, an opposite field poke to tie today's proceedings at 1-1 against the Phillies in Clearwater.  He was robbed of extra bases in his first at-bat on a leaping catch at the wall by John Mayberry Jr., the offspring of former Jay John Mayberry.   Just remember, when Snider wins the rookie of the year, you heard it here first!!

Meantime, Jason Lane has just followed with another solo poke and J.P. Arencibia just missed making it back to back to back jacks.  You can listen to today's game on

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Real baseball is about to be played - well, it may not actually count but guys in Blue Jays uniforms will be going against guys in Yankee uniforms including a few actual major leaguers today at 1:05 PM. Woohoo!
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Many moves to note around the majors, some involving familiar big names, if not players of impact (any more) ... Any thoughts on these or other moves? What else is going on?
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Now that we got this Valentine's Day crap out of the way, let's get on with something that'll warm our hearts - Jays pitchers and catchers have reported to Dunedin!  Boo-yah!!  
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The Jays have avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Shawn Camp.  The 33 year-old will be paid three-quarters of a million bucks for 2009.

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