Sunday, February 24, 2008

What are the odds? … Pretty good, actually!


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In my biased world, I always pick the Toronto Blue Jays to be the champions of the world every year. But unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case since 1993. So we’ll go to a more credible source, for the Jays odds of winning this year.

World Champion MLB Handicapper (whatever that means) Jimmy Boyd from Point-Spead.com basically mirrors what most folks have been saying; the Jays are stacked in pitching, and lacking in hitting. He says the Jays have to get their bats going this year, if they want any chance of surpassing the Yankees and Red Sox. One of the biggest points that Boyd makes is that it’s crucial that A.J. Burnett has a good year. If he can stay off the DL, I think he’ll have no problem.

The Jays need a Fausto Carmona-esuqe year out of A.J. Burnett to remain competitive in the AL East in 2008.

So are you wondering just exactly the odds are the Jays have a hope in hell of winning it all? In fact, Sportbetting.com has the Blue Jays at 30 to 1 odds to win the World Series this year, with 5 to 1 odds of winning the AL East. Not too shabby!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Frank the Tank Blasts the Players Associaton - and your mom


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Training camps finally got underway last week, with pitchers & catchers reporting to camp ahead of the rest of the teams. I caught an interview with Frank Thomas on Monday, with him speaking out against the Mitchell report.

“I'm glad I did speak out because if I didn't, I would've been on that list of 'Wouldn't talk to George Mitchell”. To me, it's just one of those things where I'm more disappointed with the players association because I know the way they didn't want guys participating. I feel that this is over with now and we've got to move forward”.

Wow - that’s a pretty big swing at the player’s association, but I’d say it’s pretty warranted. If more players were co-operative with Mitchell, then maybe we wouldn’t have a big as a problem. Though, it’s good to see that one of the good guys (Thomas) is clean, and that his career is untarnished. There would be nothing worse to have his name revealed on the Mitchell report.

For the mostpart, Frank the Tank has the same perspective as most - the past is the past, so let’s work towards the future. He suggests that there should be tests for everything; which really wouldn’t be so bad. Though I’m sure there are some players who wouldn’t be thrilled that the world knows they caught crabs from Alyssa Milano. Eeeeew!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blank Cheques: by Gregg Zaun


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After remaining silent for over 2 months, Gregg Zaun finally answered questions to why his name was attached to the Mitchell report. His simple explanation was that a $500 cheque he wrote to former teammate Jason Grimsley, wound up in the hands of drug dealer Kirk Radomski. Zaun apparently forgot to write the recipient name on the cheque, so Grimsley used that cheque to pay Radomski. That would explain why Zauny’s name is connected to this whole thing.

So what was the cheque for? Zaun says it was probably for a bet on a basketball game, and that’s why he probably didn’t put the name on the cheque. I can buy that explanation; but the part where it gets suspicious, is why did Gregg wait until now to explain himself if he was innocent all along? He made a brief statement on December 13th, but other than that, has refused to make any comments on his involvement in the Mitchell report.

I believe what Zauny says; it’s not like he’s a huge guy, and he’s never really been a power hitter. When I saw that his name was on the Mitchell report, much like any Jays fan I was very confused. The only logical explanation to why Zaun would be on there, would be so his old man bones didn’t shatter, and so he can use HGH to grow his homeless-man beard.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Clemens vs. McNamee: The Thrill on Capital Hill


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Today it all goes down; Roger Clemens hopes to clear his name, and Brian McNamee looks to validate his stories as the two tangle on Capital Hill. A “he said, he said” battle will finally be settled in front of the U.S. Courts.

Really, it’s all hearsay as to who’s lying here. In my opinion, I think it’s Clemens that’s lying. For some reason, his face just looks guilty. Clemens has never really had a squeaky clean image as a ball player. His numerous run-ins with fellow players, and blow-ups with coaches have already tainted his stance as an all-star player in my book.

These guys can argue back and forth all they want; but if McNamee has needles with Clemens’ DNA on it - it’s over. The evidence speaks for itself. If you think about it, McNamee really has nothing to lose here; and Clemens has everything to lose.

Why would McNamee lie? What does he have to gain? It really makes no sense. But for Clemens to deny all reports, he is simply protecting his career. And Roger Clemens definitely seems like a man who would go to any lengths to protect himself.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Get out your flip flips & sunscreen …


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That’s right, we’re less than 24 hours away from the opening of 2008 Spring Training for the Toronto Blue Jays. There are some new faces (Barajas, Eckstein, Rolen, Scutaro), but all in all, it seems like a positive attitude down in Dunedin, Florida.

Gibby said “This is the strongest club - and we’ve put together some strong clubs here - with less question marks then we’ve had”. It is promising; because for God’s sake, it can’t be much more injury-prone than last season.

Two big questions remain to be answered before we hit opening day; Will BJ be ready, and who will get the 5th starting rotation spot? Well, the answer to both questions hinges on the readiness of BJ Ryan. If in fact he is ready to go for Opening Day, we might see Casey Janssen step into the 5th spot. If not, it’s more likely that Jesse Litsch will regain his starting role from last year. So it all depends on BJ.

To a lesser extent, another conundrum is the new starting lineup. It’s likely that Eckstein will lead off, but from there, it’s anyone’s guess. Look for either Johnson or Hill to go second, then Rios or Wells to bat third. Followed cleanup by Frank T.

Catchers and pitchers start their workout on Saturday, and the entire team suits up for a full workout on February 21st. The Jays’ first spring training game is February 28th against the Tigers. And it can’t come soon enough. That’s what she said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

J.P. finally settles on Cheer-Rios for breakfast


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Thank goodness J.P. Ricciardi finally came to his senses, and finally settled with signing Alex Rios for a 1-year, $4.8 million contract yesterday. Rios was asking for $5.65 million, and the Jays were offering only $4.5 million. That just goes to show you how messed up the Jays math is; that’s not even close to meeting halfway - but I guess that’s why their lawyers and negotiators make the big bucks.

Ricciardi’s next goal is to sign Rios to a long term deal, which looks more and more difficult as Alex boosts his All-Star qualities. By only signing him to a one year deal, this opens the door for other teams in the near future to snag Rios for their outfield. And if the Jays are to sign Rios long-term, now it will cost them even more due to inflation.

It’s my belief that Alex Rios is a franchise player, along the lines of Carlos Delgado, Tony Fernandez and Roberto Alomar. He appears to have just as much talent as Vernon Wells, maybe even more. But without a long-term deal, there is the possibility he could fly to another team in just a few years. I’d hate to see that happen, because then how am I going to say “Alex RRRRRRRRRRRRRRios” at Jays games?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Opening Day BJ could bring happy faces all around


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No, I’m not talking about trying to convince your g/f to give you an opening day BJ in the 500’s, I’m talking about BJ Ryan. It sounds like he could possibly be ready for Opening Day, if all goes according to schedule.

J.P. apparently told papers that BJ will join the team roster for spring training in Dunedin the next week or so. He’s thrown a few bullpen sessions so far, and looks pretty good - considering he had his friggin elbow ripped out about 9 months ago.

I don’t expect BJ to close on Opening Day - rather it will probably be Accardo. But this is good news, considering most fans didn’t expect BJ to come back until possibly May or June of this year anyway. Also, it looks like Janssen’s starting spot may depend on whether or not BJ is the closer for opening day. If BJ isn’t ready to be closer, then Janssen will likely begin the season as the Jays’ setup man.

This means that Jesse Litsch’s chances of locking up the 5th position in the starting rotation just got better. Cha-ching! Yes, it’s all falling into place, isn’t it?

Bedard flying the Nest, Santana leaves Chad Kroeger


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Two of the biggest offseason questions were finally answered this week; where will Johan Santana be traded to, and which MLB Player is going to bang Alyssa Milano next? I mean, where is Erik Bedard going to be shipped?

It’s not official yet, but word is that good old Canadian boy Erik Bedard will be traded to the Seattle Mariners for a plaid shirt that Kurt Cobain wore sometime in the 90’s, and a hell of a lot of Starbucks. This trade leaves the Orioles staff with NO ace, and pretty much subtracts 15 wins from their win total this coming season. This is good news for the Jays, which means they will have to face Bedard less, and more shitty Orioles pitching more (bonus!).

In other pitching news, Johan Santana has agreed in principal to a deal that will send him to the Mets, in exchange for four players. The final details are supposed to be hammered out by 3pm today. This definitely shakes up the picture of the AL Central. With Santana gone, the best pitcher in the Central is now C.C. Sebathia. Not to be confused with C & C Music Factory.

Everybody dance now!

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