Posted tagged ‘jpa’

Retro Blue Jays – Dunedin of the 80s (and 2012)

March 8, 2018

Posted by PeterGross144, Pat French and AllBlueJays (via MLB).

I’ve never attended spring training in Dunedin and I’m jealous of anyone who has. Sure, I’ve watched spring training games in person – 2000; a double header between the Jays and Cleveland at Skydome. But despite the installed palm tree behind the outfield wall and a few players jogging on the warning track, it just wasn’t the same.

Spring training in Dunedin is one of the few things that hasn’t changed since 1977. The Jays have reinvented their identity multiple times, there have been thousands of players who have worn the uniform and the front office has undergone a few transformations. But every spring, despite the state of the team, our focus has always turned towards Dunedin.

Even the word “Dunedin” conjures up all those fuzzy, cliched feelings associated with spring training: The near-arrival of warm weather, optimism and a fresh start.

So in that spirit, here are a few videos where Dunedin and spring training are featured prominently.

The first two are from long-time broadcaster Peter Gross from his days with City TV.

I first saw this years ago on Big League Stew. Gross uses a Michael Jackson classic to preview the 1984 Blue Jays. Can you spot Buck Martinez?

Then Gross does a feature on Dave Stieb. The ladies in this video might’ve been impressed, but Tony Kubek and Joey McLaughlin definitely weren’t.

Had to include this TSN promo. Where else can you find Kelly Gruber admiring a pre-season dinger?

Finally, one of my favourites: J.P. Arencibia and Ricky Romero take us on a tour of the Jays’ spring training complex in 2012. I bet you’ll smile seeing young Eric Thames; maybe John Farrell too(?).

[Just a link for the last one. The ability to embed the video was disabled.]


JPA’s First Game

July 22, 2014

Got behind the wheel to clear my mind.
Turned on the radio, so Jerry and Alan could paint the picture.
Buck broke his hand, so you got the call.
What a debut it was.

Eric aka @TheHek

Making J.P. Arencibia the “Bad Guy”

December 3, 2013

I’m not upset the Blue Jays decided to part ways with J.P. Arencibia.

At the end of the season, it was abundantly clear there needed to be an upgrade behind the plate. JPA’s performance in 2013 was awful. In sports, there comes a point where a player has to be removed for the sake of the team. It’s like that famous quote from Star Trek: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” That’s the best way to explain JPA’s departure.

What does upset me was how some people vilified JPA this past summer.

I saw many harsh and unnessesary comments about him throughout the season. Since the home opener when he allowed several passed balls, it felt like some fans were hoping to see him fail. They loved seeing him struggle and since Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista quieted the haters down with their play, it was open season on JPA. With every strikeout, the haters salivated.

People talked about him like he was a criminal. They made it seem like he was the scum of the Earth. They treated him like he ran over the family pet and didn’t care.  All this hate because he played poorly.

Was he atrocious on the field? Yes. Was it foolish to go after Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst? Absolutely! Does that mean we should say awful things about him? No.

If a player deserves to be criticized for his play, then we should criticize him; and we should be upset and angry within reason. However, criticism should be done constructively and respectfully. I realize this opinion falls into the category of “butterflies, unicorns, rainbows and lollipops,” but it would be nice if we remembered that beneath the big league celebrity and million-dollar salary is a human being.

J.P. Arencibia is not a bad person. He just wasn’t a good big league catcher.


As for Dioner Navarro…

Concern #1: He hasn’t played 100+games since 2009. He appeared in 89 games in 2013. Unless the Jays plan on platooning him with Thole, I find his amount of playing time worrisome.

Concern #2: His 2013 CS% wasn’t that much better than JPA’s; just one percentage point better.

Overall, I’m lukewarm about this move. Navarro’s 2013 stats were better than JPA’s, but that’s not saying much. The amount of games played is a problem, especially since JPA appeared in 138 games this year.

The Hek

Episode 21: Adam Lind’s Renaissance

June 20, 2013

Adam Lind is looking spectacular at the plate and the Blue Jays are on fire. Things are looking good in Toronto!

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – shares his thoughts on Lind, J.P. Arencibia and what the Jays need to do as the All-Star break approaches.

Episode 21 Direct MP3 Download

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