Archive for March 2014

2014 Schedules and Rosters

March 30, 2014

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Episode 30 [Season Premiere]: A Team of Question Marks

March 27, 2014

As the Blue Jays prepare for their 38th regular season, there are many questions surrounding the team.

@Minor_Leaguer of Bluebirdbanter.com takes a shot at answering those questions and offers a preview of what’s to come.

Episode 30 Direct MP3 Download

Re. Ervin Santana

March 12, 2014

As you know, Ervin Santana signed with the Atlanta Braves today. Like many Blue Jay fans, I was disappointed.

Disappointed, but not surprised.

Atlanta was desperate to make up for the possible long-term loss of Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor. In addition – as pointed out by Shi Davidi – Santana will probably have better numbers in the NL East than the AL East. Better numbers mean better offers next year.

Not surprisingly, many are criticizing AA and the front office for failing to sign Santana. While respectful criticism is acceptable, there is one thing people appear to be forgetting.

At the end of the day, the ball was always in Ervin Santana’s court. He and agent Jay Alou had the final say and were in full control of everything. This is the purpose of free agency.

If Santana (and Alou) feels he’s better suited for the Braves, then it doesn’t matter how much money and incentives AA throws at him. It also doesn’t matter how many Blue Jays sent him encouraging texts to join the team. It was Santana’s choice. He didn’t choose the Jays. It sucks, but that’s how life is sometimes.

Look at the bright side: At least Santana didn’t sign with Baltimore. Small victories are still victories.

Eric aka @TheHek

Some Words on Jim Fregosi

March 9, 2014

When I learned of Jim Fregosi’s passing on February 14, an image immediately popped into my mind.

I believe it’s from the 2000 season; a mid-season game between the Jays and Rays. The Jays won the match on a walk-off homerun.

The next day, the Toronto Star ran a photo of Fregosi reacting to the game-winning blast. His arms were victoriously extended into the air as he was running out of the dugout. Mouth was wide open.

It was quite the sight.

Here was a grown man in his late 50s; a Major League Baseball manager no less. And yet, he looked like a child on Christmas Day receiving the gift he always wanted.

It was a beautiful image, capturing the essence of baseball.

For one brief moment, the roles disappeared and were replaced by pure emotion. Fregosi was supposed to be the manager and leader; the man who sets an example. But he dropped all that and chose to be full of jubilation and ecstasy.

The image filed itself in my memory bank because it was something a Blue Jay manager would never do.

Think of all the managers from Cito Gaston on. They usually sat/sit on the bench, slightly motionless. There’s a stoic look on their faces, maybe polite applause when things are going right. It’s not a bad thing, just a pattern. But in my mind, that wasn’t Jim Fregosi. He wasn’t a typical Blue Jay manager.

It’s a shame his tenure as Jays manager lasted just two seasons. Looking back, it feels like things could’ve been different. Of course, that’s just hindsight.

Jim Fregosi will be remembered for his extensive work. Though I never met the man, he struck me as the type of person that is remembered for many individual reasons.

For me, it’s the picture.

PS: I looked everywhere for that picture. Searched high and low. Couldn’t find it. I know it’s out there…

Reflections on a Unique Pitch

March 1, 2014

I wish I learned how to throw a knuckleball
Maybe I would’ve been a major leaguer
Like Brando, I could’ve been somebody

Never the fastest
Never the strongest
Athleticism was not part of my DNA
So the knuckleball was created for people like me
It ignores speed and laughs at radar guns
Fireballers need not apply
This pitch is only for magicians

It made long careers; saved some too
Less wear and tear; a blessing for training staff

I think of all the pitchers who spent hours throwing it
Artists in the out-door studio perfecting their craft
I think of all the roads R.A. Dickey traveled, while clutching a baseball with his finger nails
One specific pitch,
Becoming your friend
Defining your career
Leading you to bigger platforms

I find myself on a ball field
Throwing for hours at a rusted fence
Silly activity for a man my age
But I just have to know

Was this my ticket?

Eric aka @TheHek


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