We are now less than a week from the greatest day of the year, opening day, and our hearts are starting to beat a little faster. It is time to preview the rest of the Rays divisional rivals. Rather than have us rant about the inadequacies of the other teams and how jealous we are of their payrolls, we decided we would call in the experts. Each of these four days, a different guest writer will preview his/her team. We have turned to our favorite team blogs for writers that would provide an entertaining, passionate and completely biased view. (click “continue reading” at bottom for the complete post)
Up next: Toronto Blue Jays. Our guest author is Dave Carrol of Blue Bird Banter. Like the Devil Rays, The “Blue” Jays have moved away from the “Blue” and now refer to themselves as the Jays, although they don’t appear ready to make it official as the Rays will in 2008. The reason for the move is decidedly less satanic (depending on who you talk to). The Jays have been owned by Rogers, one of two major communications companies in Canada since 2000. The other company, Bell, uses blue as their primary color. The irony is that the original owners of the team was Labat’s who named the team “Blue Jays” in honor of their Blue beer. We have always had a soft-spot for the Jays having lived close to Dunedin as young tike and chasing George Bell home runs over the left field fence. Dave is one of our favorite writers and has a great site at Blue Bird Banter which is part of the Sports Nation community and is the place we hit up first whenever we need to get caught up on all things Jays. Enjoy…
Toronto Blue Jays: Coming attractions
Last year, the Jays really made up some ground and finished one game above the Boston Red Sox who could have used some Dr. Phil assistance by the end of the season. We were all DELIGHTED. It made the parade down Young Street extra special. This season, the Jays (armed with ace sharp shooters like Jason Smith, Royce Clayton, and Matt Stairs) are aiming high… 2 games above the Red Sox.
Around the horn
SS: Royce Clayton: I feel a great sense of loss that Royce shaved off the dreads. Maybe they were just a weave? Can’t say too many Clayton jerseys have sold on the mean streets of TO this winter.
2B: Aaron Hill:A disproportionate number of Jays fans LOVE this guy. Likely because he reminds us of us. Kind of a short, elf-like, white guys. Tries real hard. So did Rudy. You know what Rudy was? Some dude who played one down of college football. ODog come home!!!
C- Greg Zaun: Whatever. Did you Tampa Bay folks know that people at Rogers Center dress up as “Zaunbie’s”. Honestly. You should pass that on to the psychopath who heckles behind home plate in your empty stadium. I’m sure he’d like to know.
LF: Reed Johnson: Did you realize that Reed Johnson finished 10th in the AL in average last year? We had no idea! The word used most commonly to describe Reed Johnson… “sparkplug”. Kind of another backhand compliment methinks. BUT… the no doubt winner of the weirdest facial hair contest!
CF: Vernon Wells: I bow down in reverence to thou oh great and mighty Vernon. Your countenance shines upon as we approach your throne in the middle of the “tried unsuccessfully to look like real” grass. Vernon… it is only by your grace and mercy that are able to merely dwell in your presence. Seriously… he’s good.
RF: Alex Rios: A couple of years ago when Rios and Chris Bosh were both rookies, I proposed a reality show called… “Get me fat” when a team force-fed these two bean poles in a desperate effort to make sure they didn’t get blown away in a stiff breeze. If Rios can avoid the foot fungus this season, he’s going to be a true great white north beauty eh!
#1 Roy Halliday: Try and keep this down. But Roy is very good. If this secret gets out, I’m afraid he’ll bolt for the Rays… ha ha ha… oh wait, he’s under a long term deal now worth less that Vernon’s. I’m openly gloating to be able to watch Roy this much.
#2 AJ Burnett: Sure the guy’s is a head case. Sure the guy is tattooed like a circus freak. Sure the guy has nipple rings… but so did Ghandi. I think THIS is THE YEAR for juice Burnett. But I’ve been saying that for a long time… and will continue to think this way as long as I have to make in happen.
#3 Gus Chacin: Is it widespread public knowledge that last season, a male cologne called “Chacin” was actually manufactured? If everyone doesn’t know, you should discover more… it’s awesome. Isn’t this the face of a fragrance magnate?
#4 & #5 Tomo Ohka, John Thompson, Josh Towers, Victor Zambrano, Shawn Marcum, Casey Jansen, Dustin McGowen…Let’s decide this in the way that decisions were meant to be made… in a large scale, best 2 out of 3, paper-rock-scissors competition.
BJ Ryan: Hands down the largest head I’ve ever seen. It’s a watermelon covered in a shaggy blonde mullet. That alone should make him the closer… and the fact that people swing like a mental patient on roofies at his pitches… that too.
And the rest… I always felt terrible on Gilligan’s Island for The Professor and Mary-Ann, as they weren’t included in the 1st version of the theme song. They were called “and the rest”. Really? I would say that they were AT LEAST as important as Lovely Howell!
Well that’s what the rest of the Jays bullpen is… “and the rest”. It’s still a bit puzzling that they didn’t splurge to keep Justin Spier as a set up man, but so be it. Bullpens are unpredictable. They change from season to season… you know… like the size of Sammy Sosa.
1) I will go to the home opener and will complain about how ugly the dome is, while remembering what it was like watching April baseball in the snow
2) The Jays WILL be very active traders this season and the lineup listed above could change drastically by mid season.
3) The Jays WILL compete, even if from an arm’s length, with the Yanks and Sox. I do believe they have an honest shot at a Wild Card.
4) The pschopath sitting behind home plate at “The Trop” will use the word “Zaunbie” this season. When it happens, somebody email me OK?
Blue Bird Banter link to http://www.bludbirdbanter.com/
Big Ear Creations link to http://bigearcreations.blogspot.com/