Blue Jays Morning Brew: Waking up from a rainy night


The Toronto Blue Jays had us excited for the biggest series in two decades last night, but Mother Nature remains undefeated. Rain in New York pushed the opening game back into a double-header on Saturday (what a day in front of the television that will be!). To get back on the baseball track, enjoy a cup of the Blue Jays Morning Brew!

Sitting down with Cito  –  Brock Picken of The Blue Jays Dugout recently sat down for a great three-part interview with former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who was at the helm the last time a championship came to Toronto. Brock and Cito cover all the bases of the great season that has been, including some reminiscing over his World Series run.

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Cito offers an interesting look at the addition of David Cone two decades ago, and says that the current deals have brought back familiar memories. He’s also very complimentary of Troy Tulowitzki, David Price and Josh Donaldson, calling the offseason trade with Oakland the best deal that Anthopoulos has ever made. Hard to argue with that!

The highlight of these interviews for me was Cito’s recollection of rooming with Hank Aaron as a younger man, who was his childhood idol. “He taught me how to be a man, he taught me how to stand on my own, he also taught me how to tie a tie.” Aaron would eventually get Cito back into the game of baseball by offering him a job within the Cleveland Indians organization. Cito’s only regret? Not asking Hank Aaron more about hitting.

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In support of Shapiro  –  Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt brings us this definitive piece on Mark Shapiro, new president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. The move has sparked significant debate in Toronto, but as Brunt explains, the Blue Jays have properly matched a quality candidate with a high-potential situation. Shapiro was able to field competitive teams and renovate a stadium in Cleveland, so we should be optimistic of his abilities with a significantly larger budget.

The main point to take away from Brunt’s article is his belief in Shapiro to communicate with ownership in a way that benefits the on-field baseball product. “But someone who can explain the value of a popular, successful baseball team in their language might also be able to persuade them of the value of doing what it takes to win, not once in a while, but always.”

Pompey’s turnaround  – columnist Jonathan Mayo gave Dalton Pompey some love in his recent mailbag column when asked which product had the most remarkable mid-season turnaround. After falling flat at the MLB and AAA levels early in 2015, Pompey had a scorching “second half”.

“Pompey hit a combined .351/.405/.545 with New Hampshire to work his way back up to Triple-A. Back with Buffalo, he hit .327/.414/.414 until getting called up to Toronto when rosters expanded in September.” If he can contribute down the stretch, he may just have an outside shot at a spot on Toronto’s playoff roster.

Next: Should Blue Jays value experience over playoff potential?

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