What a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles the Blue Jays just had. If you’re a fan of hitting, you were treated to some in this set. If you’re more of a “pitcher’s duel” kind of person, well…sorry. Either way, it was a lot of fun. As was the Home Opener! It is always awesome to see and hear the Rogers Centre full of screaming fans. While most of the talk in Blue Jays land had to do with prepping everyone for the Home Opener, we’re going to look elsewhere. Frankly because I’m jealous. So, today, we’ve got a warm pile of other Blue Jay goodies to get you going. Here we go:
At Sportsnet.ca Shi Davidi breaks down the back and forth conflict between Jose Bautista and Orioles reliever, Darren O’Day. Shi does a good job of taking us back through the most recent ‘interactions’ between the two. The feud (if you can call it that) has been on and off again since June, 2013. All tolled, we can say that Bautista has had the upper hand here. As Shi points out Bautista is 5-15 with 4 HR and 8 RBI. O’Day has struck him out 5 times and plunked the Jays’ slugger twice.
Toronto Blue Jays
John Lott brings us an interesting look at Daniel Norris who, like some of us, is getting tired of the “He lives in a van” storyline. While he understands that this will be a story when he goes to new cities, Norris really just wants people to focus on his pitching. “If I can keep going out there and performing like I did tonight, hopefully I’ll put that stuff behind me.” Perhaps the intrigue that surrounds Norris says more about baseball than it does him. Yes, he prefers a simple life. But, the fact that baseball is enamoured with this concept speaks volumes about what the game has become. Pampered stars and spoiled personalities are the order of the day. Norris is refreshing. And he pitches pretty well too.
In the same piece, Lott tells us that Brett Cecil refers to 20 year old rookies Miguel Castro and roberto Osuna as little mice. Apparently, the two are always moving and “running around” the bullpen. Well, whatever works!
Also from John Lott, we hear about the secret behind how Mark Buehrle was able to get to 200 wins in his career. Quite simply, the answer is staying healthy. So, not much of a secret, really. But, in this day and age, that is no easy task. Buehrle thinks that the fact that he doesn’t throw very hard has a lot to do with it. Which is another aspect of his 200 wins. He has to rely on location and being exact with his tosses. That makes it a tad more impressive. For the record, Buehrle tells Lott that he will not think about retirement until the offseason when he can talk to his family about it. But, if he does retire there will be no big farewell.
Brendan Kennedy at the The Star, gives us a great voyage into the minds of Blue Jays fans. In his efforts to explain why Blue Jays fans stay loyal to a club that hasn’t made the playoffs in 21 years, he talks to some pretty die hard fans. In his piece, he tells us “A study by the University of Illinois found that “highly identified” sports fans had the same level of arousal — in terms of heart rate, brainwaves and perspiration — when they were shown pictures of their team succeeding as they did when they were shown erotic photos or pictures…” Hello!
Speaking of fandom, you HAVE TO check out Adam Jesin’s song (h/t Brendan Kennedy), a Blue Jays parody of ‘All About that Base”. This is called “All About Those Jays”. It is very good! I make no apologies if it gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day!
Over at CityNews.ca (via The Canadian Press News Staff) there is a neat little baseball card graphic. If you hover over each starting pitcher, it displays the back of the card which shows you a visual representation of each starters’ repertoire. Of note is how most of the staff live in the bottom part of the strike zone.
In sticking with the digital goodness, take a look at this GIF from Ian Hunter. It is from just after Jose Bautista’s home run in Baltimore on Sunday. As he notes, the Steve Tolleson/ Pedro Cerrano from Major League reference is funny!
And, don’t forget to tune in to our Google Hangout at its new time on Saturday morning at 9amET. You can watch live on YouTube and, if you like, you can interact with questions and comments via the Google Q&A feature. The audio will be available on iTunes and Stitcher after the LIVE version.