Posted tagged ‘2013’

Obligatory post about the 2017 World Baseball Classic

March 5, 2017

I quite enjoy the World Baseball Classic. I’ve never been a fan of when the tournament occurs; but to be fair, there really isn’t a perfect time to run it.

There are a few random moments that stick in my mind from the previous WBC tourneys.

2006: Watching Canada on their way to upsetting the USA from Carleton University’s Res Commons cafeteria.

2009: Canada and the USA, this time at Skydome. I was sitting on a stationary bike, in the middle of my cardio (yeah, I work out) as Russell Martin crushes a homerun.

2013: Canada and Mexico drop the gloves. Also…After the Dominican Republic captured the 2013 title, the runners up – Puerto Rico – embraced and shook hands with the victors. Forgive the cheesiness, but it was a beautiful sight. And if memory serves, Mike Aviles initiated the moment.

This year, I’m supporting two countries: Canada and Israel. Subjectively, I hope both nations go far. Objectively, moving on to the second round will be a monumental task for both squads. I’m also excited about the Dominican Republic and the States.

The Canadians are an eclectic bunch. There’s Freddie Freeman and his deep personal connection with our country. There’s Eric Gagne and Ryan Dempster, who couldn’t ignore the thrill of national pride and competition. Dalton Pompey has been presented with a great opportunity and it’ll be great to see Scott Richmond again.

A part of me is also worried about the well-being of the players. What if [insert Blue Jay participating in the WBC] gets hurt? Fortunately, I can take solace knowing every fan for every MLB team likely has the same fear…..right?

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts about Brett Cecil

November 21, 2016

I guess my earliest memory of Brett Cecil would have been around 2007-2008. All the bloggers were writing about two specific “prospects” in the Jays’ system: Cecil and Travis Snider.

He debuted in 2009 with a shaved head and wearing fancy sports goggles. There were some teachable moments.

There was a match against the Yankees where he threw a ball out of play, but forgot to call ‘time out.’ New York, being such savy veterans, took advantage.

Another time, he entered the dugout after a bad performance. It prompted Cito Gaston to walk over to the young hurler and have a heart-to-heart. Cito was calm and father-like with his message. It was critical, but also encouraging. It was something Cecil needed to hear.

Surley lost amongst the discussion of Cecil’s departure would be his strong 2010 performance. He started 28 games, posting a 15-7 record, with a 4.22 ERA and 1.326 WHIP. Had it not been for Jose Bautista’s incredible offensive outburst that season, Cecil would’ve been the best part of 2010.

However, things fell apart in 2011-2012. Cecil pitched poorly and it clearly affected him. Countless times he left a poor performance and threw a tantrum. Things were smashed and tossed, with plenty of profanity. I attended one of his starts in 2011 that didn’t go well. I followed him back to the dugout on the jumbotron. As soon as he started venting his frustrations, the screen quickly cut away to a video. It was as if the Skydome control room wasn’t familiar with Cecil’s tantrums, which had unfortunately became his calling card.

Ultimately, he was sent down to AA New Hampshire. It wasn’t as bad of a demotion as one would think. At the time, the Jays’ AAA affiliate was in the offence-friendly Pacific Coast League. It only made sense for Cecil to pitch with the Fishercats, where the results wouldn’t be skewed.

But things turned around in 2013 when Cecil successfully reinvented himself as a reliever. He had a sparkling 2.83 ERA and 1.104 WHIP. It was a performance that earned an appearance at the All-Star game. In a season that was ripe with unfulfilled promise and disappointment, Cecil and fellow reliever Steve Delabar were the lone bright stars.

While Delabar was unable to match his 2013 performance, Cecil has maintained his course. Yes, he had moments of imperfection. However, when things mattered the most, Cecil got the job done. Never forget the strong finishes he posted in 2015 and this past season.

Now he’s off to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. I’m sad and disappointed to see him leave, but I certainly wish him the very best. I’m grateful not only  for what he did wearing a Blue Jay uniform, but to also witness him go from a young man full of emotion and blossom into a mature and professional veteran. His development happened right in front of us.

My lasting memory of Brett Cecil was after game three of the 2016 ALDS. Amongst the incredible euphoria, Cecil was on the field with his three little children and wife, Jennifer. As the celebration went on, Cecil lined up his children for a family photo. It was a wonderful moment and he couldn’t have picked a better setting.

ER


Episode 29 [Season Finale]: It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way

October 3, 2013

Despite major off-season moves, the Blue Jays failed to make the playoffs. They also finished last in the AL East with a record of 74-88.

Brandon Smith of Back In Blue offers a postmortem of the 2013 Jays and looks ahead to 2014.

Episode 29 Direct MP3 Download

So much for that “Cleveland wins the World Series” prediction 😉

Episode 28: Farm Report

September 26, 2013

Just a few games left in the 2013 regular season. So it’s time to look ahead.

Doug Plourd of JaysProspects.com shares his thoughts on the Jays’ farm system and the big club.

Episode 28 Direct MP3 Download

Episode 27: Skydome vs. Rogers Centre

September 12, 2013

It’s been eight years since Skydome was re-branded as the Rogers Centre. Despite the change, some people still call the Jays’ home park by its original name.

Now an online campaign called BringBackTheDome.ca is trying to convince Rogers Communications to bring the Skydome name back.

Episode 27 Direct MP3 Download

Episode 26: Gibby, You Are Safe

August 29, 2013

There’s one month left in the regular season. Unfortunately, it won’t be the type of September Blue Jay fans had hoped for.

Regardless, there are lots of items to talk about.

Toronto radio personality Dan Deeley shares his thoughts on John Gibbons and what the future holds for certain players and coaches.

Episode 26 Direct MP3 Download

Episode 25: Getting Drafted Has a Price

August 15, 2013

A familiar Blue Jay blogger is vying to become Canada’s Next Sportscaster.

Reid Price of BackInBlue.ca will be competing on the upcoming season of Gillette Drafted.

Reid chats about Drafted and Emilio Bonifacio’s short tenure with the Jays.

Episode 25 Direct MP3 Download


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