Friday, 1 April 2016

5 Thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays - 2016 Blue Jays Season Predictions......YAY!!!! PREDICTIONS!!!!

With only a few days now until the season is set to begin so that mean it's time for the  "ANNUAL GUY WHO LIKES BASEBALL FIVE PREDICTIONS EDITION..... FEATURING GUEST PREDICTIONS FROM MY WIFE" .....It really sounds a lot better in my head then when you read it on a screen....Anyway...So here are 5 predictions that I will make for the upcoming season, however back by popular her wife will also provide you with her 2 cents on the upcoming season!

Here we go!

1. How many games will the Blue Jays win during the 2016 MLB season?

GWL Baseball Prediction:

I'm calling that the Blue Jays will win the AL East again in 2016 and finish with a win total of 94 games.  They definitely have a team that can win more games than 94, but I  think that we are going to see the AL East teams really beat up on each other again this year and that will cut down on their overall win total. You can say what you want about some of the teams in the AL East, but Top to Bottom it's still the most competitive division in major league baseball!

GWL Wife Prediction:

102 Games! All I figured out what was half of 162 was and then added a bunch more on top of that!  It's Science really....

2. Who will be the Blue Jays MVP?

GWL Baseball Prediction:

TROY TULOWITZKI is going to CRUSH baseballs and play Gold Glove Defense and it's going to be Glorious! I think Tulo is going to be on a mission this year and given that he's seems to be a lot more comfortable in his surroundings and with his teammates he is going to dominate.

GWL Wife Prediction:

I'm thinking Bautista because he's a free agent at the end of the year and he's due to be an MVP of the team!

3. Who will be the most important pitcher for the Blue Jays?

GWL Baseball Prediction:

Roberto Osuna!  I say this with a bit of hesitation as I really do think that how both Marco Estrada and JA Happ perform will ultimately go a long way as to how the team preforms, but what is making me go with the Blue Jays closer is how volatile the Bullpen was at the start of the 2015 season and how many games were actually lost due to late inning collapses over the first few months. I can't help but think that with a reliable bullpen culminating with a great closer can help  the team meet it's full potential.

GWL Wife Prediction:

Marcus Stroman - Everything I read on the Internet is telling me that Marcus Stroman will be the most valuable pitcher for the Blue Jays.  HDMH 4 Life Bitches

4. Who will have a breakout season for the Blue Jays?

GWL Baseball Prediction

Ryan Goins is going to turn heads in Major League Baseball by evolving into a + hitter all the while still playing Elite level defence at 2nd base.  I'm gonna say it now, but I think that when Devon Travis is able to come back the job at 2nd base will no longer be his....

GWL Wife Prediction:

Michael Saunders and his sprinkler loving knee are gonna be HUGE.....

5. Will John Gibbons end the season at the Toronto Blue Jays Manager?

GWL Baseball Prediction:

Yes!  You don't  predict the team to win 94 games and then predict that the Manager get's fired during the year.  I still love Gibby and I  don't think he actually gets the credit that he deserves in Toronto. Dudes a Boss!

GWL Wife Prediction:

He will not be fired!  I don't think it would solve any of their problems and the team seems to support him still.


GWL Baseball Prediction:

Even though the Blue Jays emptied the farm system last year at the Trade Deadline, The Blue Jays will manage to pull off one more big deal at the July 31st trade deadline that will help propel them to the playoffs!

This deal will be more as a salary dump than a prospect pick up by their trading partner as The Blue Jays ownership group will be more than satisfied with attendance numbers and will approve the additional salary into the Blue Jays budget going forward!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

5 Thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays - Less than a week to Opening Day! Roster is taking shape

We are now only a handful of sleeps until the start of the MLB season where our very own Toronto Blue Jays will kick off their season against the forever hated Tampa Bay Rays!  I really hate the Rays.....I know a lot of people hate the Red Sox and the Yankees, dont get me wrong I hate them too, but I hate the Rays just as much....Well I also hate the Orioles too............ Ok, I pretty much just hate every other team in the AL East!

5 thoughts on the Blue Jays

1.  Well today saw John Gibbons come out and proclaim Aaron Sanchez as a part of the Toronto Blue Jays 5 Man starting rotation.  I will say this....I was positive that they were going to put him in the Bullpen....Yes I want him in the the starting rotation....The best thing for the Toronto Blue Jays as a whole is for him to be in the starting rotation long term given the package the Sanchez brings to the table, but I really thought the team was going to look at the situation the team is in right now and put him into the Bullpen and create probably the best bullpen in the AL East.  With that said looks like there will be an innings limit on him with the intent of Sanchez moving to the bullpen when he hits his magical number, which could still give the Jays that killer Bullpen down the stretch (and fingers crossed) into the playoffs!

2.  Edwin was back at it in a minor league game today!  This is nice.  He went 1-3 with a BB and his one hit was a HR... Didn't walk the parrot however.. I think the saying is "If Edwin hits a Home Run and know one is there to see it does the Parrot walk?"  I'll see myself out.......

I'm all seriousness...I can't see him being ready for opening day on Sunday given he'l have only had about 25 AB prior to the season and none of them against Major League pitchers.  If he is in the MLB line-up on Sunday I see it about 7 - 10 games before we see the EE we expect.

3.  Word is out via the the final few decisions on the Blue Jays roster will be coming down on Tuesday.  Here is what I'm thinking.... 4th outfielder will be Ezequiel Carrera (Can plan all OF positions, Gibby likes him and he has no options left), Last reliever will be Pat Venditte (think Loup will end up on the DL and they need another LHP) and the Closer will go to Drew Storen (Osuna being able to pitch more than 1 inning makes him a better set-up guy to me).

4.  The Blue Jays picked up Jesus Montero off of waivers today!  Yeah that Jesus Montero.....The former Yankees overrate top prospect who was traded for Michael Pineda.  So....I guess they'll put him back through waivers with the hope that he gets passed through and he can play in Buffalo? I don't even know where he plays...Does he play 1st, DH or God forbid catch?  I don't know... he's not very good....that I do know.

5.  The Toronto Blue Jays will be making their 3rd trip up north to Montreal this Friday and Saturday for their 2 final pre-season games.  I'm a little disappointed in myself for not going again this year.  From everything I've seen/heard/read it seems like an awesome time and something that baseball fans in Canada who haven't got the chance to see a game in MTL should do.....Maybe next year..

Sunday, 20 March 2016

5 Thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays - God Damn Spring Training Really Drags On Edition

After another lengthy stretch since i've been able to find some more time to talk about a whole bunch of nonsense that i've talked through  in my own head that I now believe that it deserves to be written down so others can read them.....

Anyways...5 Thoughts on The Blue Jays...

1. Much of the talk all spring training has obviously surrounded the contract situations of both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.  Numbers have been flying around and it looks like to me that neither one of these two will end up back with the Blue Jays next year and to be honest I think i've already come to grips with it.....I look at it this way...Most talks on the Jays front seem to want to keep the contracts for both these guys around the 2 -3 year mark, which would fall in line as to when JD would be set to become a FA again....Would you rather have a 33 year old Josh Donaldson or a 38 year old Jose Bautista or a 36 year old Edwin Encarnacion?  or.....Would you rather have $$$ around to keep guys like say a Marcus Stroman in a Blue Jays Uniform?  Let's face it with Big contracts for Russell Martin and Tulo for the next number of years this team is going to have to manage their budgetary dollars wisely and if you were to add two more big dollar contracts to that mix you really limit your opptions going forward.

I see this as a watershed moment for this organization however.  Let's face it the Toronto Blue Jays are going to turn into a developmental organization.  This organization is going to focus on drafting and developing it's own players which isn't a bad thing....It's actually a good thing.  That is how sustainable franchises are built and the great thing about this is that The Toronto Blue Jays are going to  be one of those franchises that will actually have the money to keep it's only talent after they have been developed properly. This won't be the Rays Folks, no need to worry on that front.

All the workings of Shapiro changing this organization for the better!

2. Not since Ricky Romero was destined for the 5th man rotation spot out of the 2013 Blue Jays spring training season as the 5th man in the rotation been such a hot topic!   So I think it's fair to say that if you can't remotely pick up a subtle hints that have been dropped lately you should expect the rotation to be as follows (baring injury) Stroman, Dickey, Happ, Estrada, Floyd.  With both Chavez and Sanchez in the Bullpen and Huntchison in AAA.  Now I will say this....I really think Sanchez should be starting (I even picked him up in one of my fantasy leagues with the hopes he would be a late round sleeper), but with the way both Floyd has shown what he could potentially be and how important a shut down bullpen is I think It just makes too much sense to have Sanchez in the Bullpen to complement probably the deepest pen in the AL East if he in fact ends up there....Cecil, Storen, Sanchez & Osuna is scary...FU Yankee's

3. Looks like Kevin Pillar is going to be leading off for the Blue Jays  to start the year!  I guess I can say i'm a little indifferent to it all.  I like Pillar and everything, but for me I would rather have seen Saunders hit in the leadoff spot.  I will say this about Pillar, what makes me think he could succeed in the role is that we've all been witness to what he is able to accomplish if he puts his efforts towards something.  If he puts half the effort he does to becoming a more disciplined hitter as he did for becoming an elite Major League Centre fielders he should become extremely serviceable in that leadoff position.

4. Am I the only one who is actually seeing quite the interesting Bullpen upon us?  For real....About midway through the off season I was looking at the bullpen and thinking EWWWW, but if you look at it now...It's utterly stellar and there is actually going to be a number of quality arms left off.

Here is how I see it looking on April 3rd.


Not ideal to carry the 8 guys, but I imagine there may be a sneaky sneak waiver play with someone in the 1st part of the year.

5. Pat Hentgen may be my favorite Ex-Blue Jay right now.  This guy is one of the most interesting guys to listen to talk about the Jays.  He really seems to have a great handle to the pitchers in the organization and really does a great job of explaining things to the every man listening on the other end.

Take a listen to the link below of a recent interview with Hentgen about the pitchers in the org and his role with the club!

I really hope this new organization sees the true value in him and make sure that he is a part of the Blue Jays for a long time!

Image result for pat hentgen

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

5 Thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays - Pitchers and Catchers Report.......finally

Blue Jays pitchers and Catchers took part in their 1st official workout today and after a a long couple months Baseballs back.....and holy shit the Blue Jays had quite an interesting 1st day back at the ballpark....or complex in Dunedin.

1.  So....It's the 1st day or work outs and I can't start off by saying anything other than that it's great for Baseball to be back....After 4 months of off season signings, trades, front office hiring, press conferences, online lynch mobs, and an never ending discussion around a former GM..... it's  nice to have have a semblance of the actual game started again!

2.  So yeah....The Big Rumor out of the night is that the Blue Jays are on the verge of trading for Jay Bruce.  Rumblings seem to suggest that the teams are waiting on the Physicals to be completed with all the players involved in order to announce anything...So I guess this makes the Jays a little more scary as a Home Run threat...Listen I don't think this trade is horrible if the Jays get some money back and they don't send out any prospects, but to be honest for this 2016 team I'm not sure Jay Bruce is the type of player that they need to win.  Sure they are still going to score a bunch of runs, but I've always thought that they need some type of professional hitter in the line-up and Jay Bruce doesn't fit that mold.  It's not like Saunders is that either and let's face it he's not exactly the model of health, but I don't see how this trade makes the Jays any better than they would be with Saunders playing LF.  Who knows...This could all killed if Saunders medicals come back wonky....which it probably will

3. The other big news maker from the day was from Joey Bays himself who in not so many words said that he's going to be getting paid in 2017 in some way or another.  If you haven't seen what Jose said check it out and do yourself a favor and look into what he said about Rogers and their position in all of this.  It's pretty interesting and really shows that Jose has done his homework and has a great understanding of how the unique ownership situation of the Blue Jays works.   I'm thinking that Jose has asked for somewhere in the 150M over 6 years range.  To be honest I think he would sign for 125M over 5 years, but something tells me that he is really interested in hitting the Free Agent market and if the Blue Jays want to keep him from doing that then they are going to have to provide a considerable benefit to him in order to do so.....

4. So let's play the who'e the 5th starter for the Blue Jays game....  Who you got?  Me i'm saying that it's Aaron Sanchez's to loose.   I wouldn't say it's an open and shut case, but with the acquisition of Drew Storen it became a hell of a lot clearer to me that the Jays would rather have Sanchez make that transition back to Starter with the opportunity to finally reach his maximum potential....+ he put on 20lbs of muscle.....cause I guess that means something.

5.  I think one of my favorite things this spring training is going to be the complete over the top Blue Jays coverage that we are going to get from the Canadian Sports Media Companies....I've entered into a slow decent into not enjoying watching the current NHL/Hockey as I find it the most over analyzed, boring, complacent sport out there and given that thirst for Baseball is so great right now i'm just excited that Baseball talk is going to take over for at least some of the mundane hockey talk that exists in the Toronto Sport market currently.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

5 Thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays - The Leadoff and other stuff!

So this evening Blue Jays season ticket holders were treated the a new take on the annual Season Ticket holder event in the new form of  "The Leadoff"  and even though I was not in attendance by the magic if technology I was able to watch the whole thing go down on the Magical device known as "The Internet".

Overall seemed like a lot of fun and it seemed like the duo of Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins won over some fans!  The whole production of the event looked great, but it's hard not to like an event that had one Mr. Dan Shulman taking part as a Co-MC.  Love me some Dan Shulman.....

Some of the other highlights from my POV (beside Shulman) were Kevin Pillar, Gibby being Gibby and listening to Buck try to ad-lib fan questions and totally butchering them beyond belief.

Lots of stuff in the last little while to talk about!  5 Thoughts and here they are....

1.  So I think its fair to say that one of the reason that most Blue Jays fans figured that Mark Shapiro wanted to come to Toronto was that he was going to have a much larger pool of money at his disposal to build his team. Well I do think that is the case but I think it's safe to say that over the past 2 months with all the new hires and changes that we are seeing to the Blue Jays organization that it's more than simply an increase in player payroll that attracted him to our team.

It's well known that the Indians were a club that was always hampered by payroll restrictions and had to find creative ways to be competitive, which more than likely means you have to make some concessions when it comes to spending the money that you do have.  What I really think Shapiro saw in Toronto was the opportunity to not have to make those concessions anymore and finally build an organization how he thinks it should be!  For one reason or another that was the underlying feeling that I got from the whole "Leadoff" event..

2.  Just prior to "The Leadoff" an interview came out where Jose Bautista said that "It would be an honor to finish his career as a Blue Jay"!  That's awesome.  I love it.  I want Jose Bautista to be a Blue Jay forever...just like everyone else.  That being said if anyone out there thinks this is anything but a PR play please don't be fooled. This kind of statement (While i'm not saying that it ins't genuine) is the norm now for Jays players to make (Melky, Price, Lowe etc).  When a player does this it puts all the blame/pressure back on the Team if something doesn't get done and the player is still in the hearts of all the fans! PR play...that's it so please don't go overboard with the whole "He said he wants to be here " talk..

3.  So much good news lately.....The Blue Jays are going to put in an all dirt infield for the start of the 2016 season!  Sounds like it's going to be a lot of work to get this done before the home opener on April 8th vs the Red Sox, but let's face it these changes were a long time coming and it's only a good thing for the players....SO LONG ARGOS!

The Blue Jays will begin work Feb. 8 to install a dirt infield at Rogers Centre that will be
ready for the 2016 regular season. The work will involve excavation of the cement floor at the stadium in the base path and infield areas to a depth of 30.48 centimetres and will impact an area of approximately 1,115 square metres.

4.  The Winter Tour visited the Upper Canada Mall few weeks ago and the #REALMVP of our family went all Mom of the year and was the 1st in line for the autograph signing. Like no joke 1st in line.....  Props again to my wife for spending her entire day in line to make sure her kids got to meet Sanchez, Stroman, Pompey, Goins and Pillar!

5. Looks like the Blue Jays are signing Gavin Floyd!  Yeah the same guy that the Blue Jays were linked to a bunch of years ago when he was kinda word yet really if it's a minor league deal or what, but I'm sure it's not for much money and who knows it could turn out pretty good.. Dude looks like he had some decent numbers the past few years outside of being hurt all the time...

Monday, 25 January 2016

Thoughts from a guy who likes Baseball.....Field Trip to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame!

Back on January 16th I was lucky enough to get guided tour of the Canadian Baseball hall of Fame in St. Marys with it's Director Scott Crawford.  For a guy who loves baseball like I do, I felt like a kid in a candy store with sauce pan eyes on Christmas morning for those few hours on that cold Saturday morning.

I can't really explain why I enjoy baseball as much as I do, but I do know that one of the things that I cherish is the history that is ever entangled within it.   It's easy to go through the History of baseball and understand why it's considered "America's Past Time", but for Canadians who love the game it's important to realize that within our boarders the game has had it's own rich history. If you ever have the chance to visit the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys you need to!

Here are my top 5 (no particular order) favorite things I saw at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame!

  • Home Plate from the 93 World Series -   So cool.  I can't imagine that I was the 1st person to put their foot on the plate, but I felt like a bad ass doing so!

  • Tom Henke's Plaque -  Tom Henke was my idol when I was 7 years old.  When I started playing baseball I was a pitcher and I threw harder than all the other kids so for some reason my 1st coach always called me "The Terminator".   I guess this really just brought me back to being a kid! 

  • Lucky Toonie Under the Mound -  I guess the guy who is in charge of Marketing for the Blue Jays and the Grounds Crew from this past year were intuitive enough to place a lucky Toonie under the mound at the start of the season in 2015 and then it was donated to the HOF.  It was pretty neat to see how beat up it got over the course of the year.
  • Babe Ruth Corner -  Most people don't realize that "The Babe" had a connection to baseball in Canada so it was awesome to see a little area in the hall dedicated to Ruth.  Best thing was they actually had a replica of a Ruth Bat just to feel what it was like.  Let me tell you...I have no clue how he didn't throw a shoulder out by swinging a 54 ounce bat around. 

  • Picture of Toronto Maple Leaf Stadium -  I love old stadiums and even seeing a picture of what it would have been like to watch baseball in a place like it gives me chills.  

There is so much history in the Hall that I couldn't possibly talk about all the cool things that pack the walls!  The 5 things above are simply the things that stood out to me the most. One of the most incredible aspects of this museum is that no matter who goes to visit, no matter how old/young, no matter their baseball knowledge, they will find something to connect with.  This is truly an inspiring place to visit. 

Here are a few more picture from the trip!


I need to say Thank you to Scott at the HOF for taking the time out of your weekend to let us wander around and ask many questions that i'm sure you've been asked before! Your hospitality was greatly appreciated. 

The trip actually wouldn't have been possible without my extremely thoughtful and loving Wife who once again went above and beyond to get me the perfect Christmas present.  Amy you never cease to amaze!  ##1WIFEEVER #REALMVP

Sunday, 10 January 2016

5 Thoughts on Toronto Blue Jays Baseball! - Off-seasonTrades - They've been Storen these up!

So The Toronto Blue Jays made a Trade!  I almost forgot what it was like to have Blue Jays news that was worthwhile talking about! :)  So yes!  The Blue Jays Acquired Arnold Leon from the Oakland Athletics for Cash or a PTBNL.  Oh yes the good old PTBNL.  It's probably gonna be Drew Storen going back to the A's for this one!........Cause Drew Storen is now a Blue Jay!  Awesomeness...

5 Thoughts on the recent commotion in Blue Jays land...Here we go...

1.  So with the Blue Jays pulling the trigger on the Trade that sent good old Benny Fresh Revere to the Former Montreal Expos for Drew Storen. The Blue Jays look to have themselves quite the Bullpen!  Let's just say for fun that Aaron Sanchez is still in the bullpen come April.  Having a back end that consists of Cecil, Sanchez, Storen and Osuna we are looking at a pretty well rounded pen that could (I would like to stress the "could" part there) be among the best in the AL.

2.  Like many others I am a little sad that Ben Revere had to go in the trade, but you have to give to get and I don't think I could really see the Jays be willing to part with any of their younger talent in order to try to shore up the bullpen so unfortunately a very nice piece in Revere had to move.  Truth is I don't think we ever really got to see Revere's best asset used.  Given the construct of the Jays Lineup Revere's speed was something that never really shined...too bad..Not many more exciting plays then seeing guys steal bases IMO.

3. With Revere leaving the Band (Just actually looked it up and a group of Blue Jays are referred to as a band)  the talk among many Blue Jay Fan circles has been around who is going to take over the lead off spot in the lineup.  1st off i'm of the mind that the lead off guy only really matters in the 1st inning of a game and after that it's pretty much anybody's game.  That being said the guy who bats 1st in your line up will always get up more than anyone else on your team and I would like that guy who gets more at bats than anyone else to be one of the better hitters on team.   TULO for Leadoff!  Say what you want that he didn't like hitting there, but go back and look at their record with him hitting leadoff...Just saying

4.  With this departure there is also an opening in Left Field, but because the Jays were dealing from a somewhat position of depth the Blue Jays will look to probably have one of Michael Saunders or Dalton Pompey paroling LF in April.  I'm of two minds on this...One I think Michael Saunders is the better baseball player at this given moment and would provide the 2016 Blue Jays will a more reliable option for a season where they are "Going for it" again, however With the trade of Ben Revere, and both Joey Bats and Michael Saunders being FA's in 2017 the Blue Jays OF after 2016 is looking scary and not in a good way!  So...with that said I could also be convinced that given Dalton Pompey the year to acquaint himself again to the Major League game in 2016 could ultimately lead to a better Blue Jays team going forward.

5. There's a rumor that also birthed into the world on Friday night that the Jays could be looking to trade RA Dickey!  Come on....I really can't see the Jays trading RAD.  Looking at their SP depth I can't see them counting on any of them to be able to give them what RAD has in regards to innings over the past 3 years!  Yes he's not the guy we all wanted him to be when the Blue Jays acquired him, but we needs guys who can pitch innings and given how the front office has handled themselves this off season so far I can't see how they would acquire someone to fill the role that RAD provides them...But hey I'm wrong a lot.

....Let's all agree that we are all Happy that the Blue Jays acquired Storen and not the other closer in Washington!