Six days are all that separate us from a new Toronto Blue Jays season. Pitchers and catchers report on Sunday and the remaining team members are set to follow just four days later, marking the end to a long winter of waiting and wondering. What will the season hold for us? We’re not quite sure, but we’re along for the ride regardless.
If you are looking for a place to stay while taking in some Spring Training action, there is a home available in Tampa, Florida that may peak your interest, especially from a Blue Jays stand-point. Blue Jays Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar has listed his lavish Tampa estate for a cool $6.55 million, according to this article on Realtor.com (H/T Craig Calcaterra). You’ll never want for anything as you spend your days locked in the mansions eight bedrooms, ten bathrooms, movie theater, wine cellar, or even in the staff quarters. You can cook in one of the two kitchens and swim in the indoor pool. Maybe we can all start a Kickstarter to get the funding in place.
Speaking of Spring Training, Minor Leaguer at Bluebird Banter has a great look at Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan, who is going to attempt to make another run at being a starter this spring. The only caveat, he has to stretch himself out slowly and away from the other starters. McGowan is hoping that his work with the fabled weighted-ball program will help, not just with his velocity, but with his endurance as well. He’s got an uphill battle, and personally speaking I’d rather have him focus on staying healthy and pitching from the pen, but you can’t fault a guy for trying.
Also at the Banter, Tom Dakers checks in with the BBB 2014 Top 40 Prospects, this time numbers 31-35. This set is significant because this is where we run into Deck McGuire, the former big-name prospect that has plummeted off of the club’s radar. Deck made progress in 2013, but his overall performance has been lackluster at best. Still, the Blue Jays opted to protect him from the Rule 5 draft this winter, so there must still be some value there…right?
On another Spring Training note, Gregor Chisholm checks in and notes that while the club hasn’t added much to the roster this season, they still hope to drastically improve on last season’s letdown. Gone is the excitement of last winter, but there is still a significant portion of last season’s roster still intact, meaning whatever pundits saw as good a year ago could be capitalized on in 2014. However, we’re all clouded by the failures of last season, so we’ll be looking signs this spring that things are on the up and up.
It’s been well over a year since John Farrell and Omar Vizquel both wore a Blue Jays uniform, but according to The Toronto Sun, there is still no love lost between the two gentlemen. Apparently there was some bad blood caused by Farrell bumping Henderson Alvarez a day in the rotation, unbeknownst to Vizquel, who had paid to fly Alvarez family in for the start. That carried over to a point later in the season, when Vizquel called Farrell out for his handling the team and his leadership of young player. It’s all sour grapes to me, and complete irrelevant to the current Blue Jays squad, but it makes for an interesting read.