Monday, June 29, 2015

VIDEO: Daniel Norris Talks About Life on the Road


By now, most are quite familiar with Daniel Norris' unorthodox offseason living arrangements - his Volkswagen van he affectionately refers to as "Shaggy".

But have you ever wondered how he lives during the regular season? Hint - it's not a van! Oddly enough, shacking up inside his vehicle may have actually prepared him for the rigorous road schedule of a Major League ball player.

All is answered in Coldwell Banker's newest "Home Field Advantage" video. Yes, the very same folks behind Colby Rasmus' famous "chicken dog" feature (the inspiration behind "Perfect Rasmus") and Jose Reyes' segment featured earlier this year.

Not only does Norris give us a little insight as to what it's like living on the road, but he also shares his affinity for the city of Toronto, his love of traveling, art, and one of his other passions - photography.

If you haven't checked it out already, I highly suggest checking out his Instagram feed which usually features a great deal of stunning photography (accompanied by a great story).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Josh Donaldson on MLB Network Talks "The Play", Playing in the AL East and More


It's several days after the fact, but folks are still talking about Josh Donaldson's jaw-dropping play at Tropicana Field from earlier in the week.

He spoke with MLB Network's "The Rundown" just a few days ago about the play itself and where he thinks it ranks in his own personal highlight reel.

You can tell Donaldson was trying to be modest, but when asked about whose play was better; his or Joc Pederson's from earlier in the week, he responded with this very salient point:
"I would compare it as one person was on the field and one person was off the field."
They also discussed a number of other topics, and Donaldson wisely sidestepped a question by Carlos Pena when asked what he would do to improve the Blue Jays right now. The full interview is in its entirety below.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flashback Friday: Jesse Litsch's Big League Debut


It was the kind of Major League debut that most pitchers can only dream of. But for one, Jesse Allen Litsch, it was reality.

For this week's Flashback Friday at BJH, we take a look at Jesse Litsch's historical big league debut from the 2007.

It seems like it was only yesterday when he was a mainstay in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation. Due to a series of injuries and unfortunate circumstances, Litsch was forced to retire from the game prematurely.

Nonetheless, Jesse Litsch still has one of the best debuts ever by a Blue Jays starting pitcher. It still stands to this day as the most innings pitched by a Blue Jays starter in their MLB debut. That's one record that may never be broken.

It was May 15th, 2007. Jesse Litsch had been called up and made a start in place of Roy Halladay, who hit the disabled list after having an impromptu appendectomy. Litsch made the leap from Double A New Hampshire

Litsch faced the Baltimore Orioles in his debut, and here's his impressive pitching line from the game.

Jesse Litsch8.24113101.0430996651821570

Incredibly, Litsch came just strike away from throwing a complete game in his very first start in the Major Leagues; something that's almost unheard of today in an era of pitch counts and inning caps.

Jesse Litsch didn't even crack 100 pitches in his debut as his manager John Gibbons gave him the hook with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. He predominately pitched to contact as 21 of the 26 outs that Litsch recorded were on ground balls.

It was kind of fitting that Jesse Litsch was filling in for Roy Halladay because it was a very Halladay-esque start; lots of ground ball outs, not many walks, and lots of broken bats.

Prior to the game, the Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk spoke to Jesse Litsch about getting called up to the big leagues. Can you tell he might have been a little nervous?
"I'm just taking it all in stride, whatever comes, comes. This is definitely the biggest stride I've taken, best stride I've taken. It's a big ordeal for me. I mean deal, not ordeal. And, I mean, I'm ready to go."
Not only was this start a momentous occasion for Jesse himself, but also for his father Rick Litsch. He was watching from the stands as his son pitched a sparkling debut (on his birthday, too!).

Needless to say, that incredible performance by his son was all the birthday gift that Rick Litsch needed.

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