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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 bluejays.com.

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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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A report from the New York Post says former Marlin, Red Sock and Oriole Kevin Millar is on the verge of signing a minor league deal with Toronto.  If this gets done, the Blue Jays clubhouse will never be the same again!

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Today, future Hall of Fame (class of 2034) mortal lock Travis Snider turns 21 years old. Happy Birthday, young man, now go resurrect this franchise, y'hear?

Now for the rest of you, today's only-tangentially-related-to-baseball Question of the Day ... how did you spend your 21st birthday? (For the youngsters out there on the Interwebs, then, how do you hope to spend it, kid?)

Keep it clean, folks. And if you can, do relate it to The Great Game somehow!

The Blue Jays signed a pair of players to minor-league contracts today, agreeing to terms with outfielder Jason Lane and infielder Brandon Fahey. Both will receive invites to spring training, but will probably spend the majority of the year in Las Vegas. However, Lane provides some cover if Snider demonstrates he isnít ready for the big leagues and Fahey is a better option than Jorge Velandia as the teamís top middle infielder at Triple-A.
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The Jays signed Brandon League for $640k (minimum is $400k), Jeremy Accardo for $900k, Jason Frasor for $1.45 million, Jose Bautista for $2.4 million.  Arbitration figures are being passed along, and a batch of Jays are going to the Classic along with a Canadian team.
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And the winners are... Rickey Henderson (94.8%) and Jim Rice (76.4%).
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So the hot stove league chatter of the winter meetings has dwindled to mere embers in the December fireplace, and what are you hearing now? (Or hey, what would you like to be hearing, anyway?)

The big news today, if you can call it that, is that the inimitable Chan Ho Park, who has 117 career wins, and last season got his ERA down below 4.81 for the first time since 2001 -- has signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the defending champion Phillies. Apparently the Jays were also in contention to sign The Ho ... speaking as a North Texas resident, let me tell you -- be glad that didn't happen.

What else?