Acid Flashback Friday: Domer the Turtle

Friday, April 30, 2010  |  by 

Image courtesy of Infield Fly

When it comes to Major League Baseball mascots, sometimes it doesn't take much for those crazy characters to make an impression on the city.

Reflecting back on simpler times, occcasionally they might come up in conversations like "where are they now?" and "remember that mascot?" Often, I find myself saying that very same thing about one of the Blue Jays often overlooked mascots.

For this week's Acid Flashback Friday, we take a look back at one of the Skydome's forgotten mascots, Domer the Turtle.

Not much is known of Domer's tenure as mascot for the Toronto Blue Jays, but I think he came in as one of the Skydome's mascot some time in the early 90's and exited in the late 90's.

If B.J. Birdy was Batman, Domer was his Robin. As the secondary mascot of the Skydome, maybe Domer grew tired of playing second fiddle to B.J. and tried to make it on his own, only to fall victim to a slot machine addiction.

Enjoy this commercial for the Skydome's "Spring Fling" carnival, featuring none other than Domer himself. 

If you have any suggestions you'd like to see on "Acid Flashback Friday", feel free to send them to

For Buck's Sake

Image courtesy of Daylife
What a night for John Buck: three home runs, five RBI's, and a temporary reprieval from Cito's imaginary doghouse.

Buck couldn't have picked a better time to bust out of his slump - going into last night's game, Buck was 2 for 29 in the past four series which translated a .074 batting average.

Not that a 30 at-bat slump warrants being benched, but maybe John Buck needed that game off on Wednesday to clear his thoughts and focus on one thing: the long ball.

Buck jumped all over the Oakland A's pitching as seen below, with a breakdown of the Pitch F/X from all three home runs courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Home Run vs. Justin Duchscherer
-68 MPH Curveball

Home Run vs. Blevins
-85 MPH Changeup

Home Run vs. Bresler (6th inning)
-90 MPH Fastball

Not to take anything away from John Buck's incredible game at the plate, but those pitches were directly in his wheelhouse. Toss a couple of off-speed pitches directly into the wheelhouse of Vernon Wells, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, or even Jose Bautista and they will destroy them as well.

While Buck normally hacks away at pitches inside and down in the zone, he connected on two breaking balls and one fastball right in his sweet spot.

Ordinarily, we would've seen Buck sent packing taking big cuts at pitches low in the zone, but he had the timing down perfectly on Duchscherer's curveball and Blevins' changeup.

So just a quick scouting report for opponents facing him in the future: just like Randy Ruiz can't pass up a McRib sandwich, John Buck can't resist anything low and off the left side of the plate.

Halladay to tentatively start June 26th 25th in Toronto

Thursday, April 29, 2010  |  by 

Mark your calendars for June 26th 2010, because on that day ... Roy Halladay comes home to Toronto.

With the recent shuffling up of the Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation, the stars could be aligned for one special night at the Rogers Centre this June.

The only other hurdle is the G20 Summit which is taking place June 26th and 27th just across the street from the Rogers Centre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This event throws a wrench into the schedule, which means there could potentially be a double-header at some point that weekend.

After speaking with a Blue Jays ticket agent a few weeks ago, he said things are still up in the air at this point. The Blue Jays will let us know once a decision has been made as to whether or not we can expect a double-dip at some point that weekend, or if things will carry on as scheduled.

If for some reason Roy Halladay works on short rest or is given an extra day's rest between now and then, one would think that MLB would try to coerce the Phillies into makings sure Doc does get a start in Toronto. After the incredible turnout last year for Halladay vs. Burnett, expect the Blue Jays to try and recapture some of that magic.

Nothing's guaranteed at this point, but all indications point to a Roy Halladay start on Saturday June 26th. Avoid the lineups and get your tickets now! And if Doc doesn't end up starting that day, you didn't hear it from me!

Correction: Now that the Phillies started Halladay on short rest this past Saturday, Doc has been bumped up a day which means he would potentially start the Friday June 26th game in Toronto. Stay posted for further updates.

Lester bests the Blue Jays

17 innings - that's how long it's been since the Toronto Blue Jays have scored a run.

Of course, when you can't put runs on the board, you can win the game ... as was well-illustrated in last night's 2-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Just like Clay Buchholz did on Tuesday night, Jon Lester stifled the Blue Jays bats, holding them to one hit through seven spectacular innings.

The Jays racked up another 15 strikeouts against the Red Sox which brings their grand total as a team to a Major League leading 179. That's 31 more than the next highest team in the American League.

The Blue Jays also lead baseball in total home runs, so it's evident that their hitters are swinging for the fences more than any other team. Unfortunately, they're coming up short with the runs when they need them the most.

It's difficult to pin the loss on one or two individuals because aside from the pitchers, it was an overall poor effort from the entire lineup. Guys were hacking left right and centre, and couldn't catch up to Jon Lester and especially Daniel Bard.

Now it's time to reload and regroup before the Oakland A's roll into town. First order of business - score a run!

It's no fun without runs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010  |  by 

The night after a 25-run barnburner slugfest between the Red Sox and the Blue Jays, the home team couldn't even muster two runs ... when the night before they posted 12.

Shaun Marcum was probably hoping that some sort of carry-over rule could apply to these games. I found last night's contest very similar to a day/night double header. Usually in the first game, there is some sort of crazy score like 20-5 ... then in the second game of the double header, it's very low-scoring game.

Once again, Marcum pitched well enough to win the game but his teammates could not pick him up. Clay Buchholz held the Blue Jays to seven hits, only one if which was for extra bases (Vernon's RBI double in the 1st inning). After that, it was smooth sailing for both starters.

Kevin Gregg walking in the winning run wasn't the ideal way for the game to end, but I wouldn't pin the loss on Gregg. Scott Downs loaded the bases and with nowhere left to go but home, Kevin Gregg let Mike Lowell get away on four straight pitches.

The Blue Jays will try to salvage the series tonight when lefty Ricky Romero Brett Cecil goes up against Jon Lester. Join me tonight starting at 7pm over at The Score for tonight's live blog.

My View of the 25-Run 4-Hour Marathon

Tuesday, April 27, 2010  |  by 

Image courtesy of LJ's Twitpic
There's nothing quite like a slugfest, but sometimes it's the game within the game which really takes on a life of its own.

I won't comment too much about what happened on the field because most of you saw it unravel on television. If you thought it seemed like forever to watch from home, then you should have been there at the Rogers Centre.

I'm all for an exciting back and forth game, but that game made me feel like I aged ten years. I wish I had a stopwatch because at one point, it seemed like Josh Beckett was taking 15 seconds to come set between each pitch. 

Aside from what happened on the field, what I do want to touch on, is my experience at the ballpark.

To begin, I sat down in my seat only to find I was surrounded by Red Sox fans. I mean I was literally surrounded ... they were to the left, the right, behind and in front of me. I was convinced there were more Red Sox fans than Blue Jays Fans in my section.

Immediately I noticed the Jays fans were outnumbered, but the hometown crowd was much much louder than the visitors. Kudos to the hecklers sitting in section 114; I tip my cap to you. Not only were you consistent with your heckles, but you made it interactive and fun for everyone.

Since the dome was so quiet, I'm sure you probably heard them loud and clear on the radio or television broadcast. Some of my personal favourites were:
  • "Nice turtleneck, Beckett!"
  • "March 15th was a horrible day!" (alluding to Youkilis' birthday)
  • "Scutaro, did they give you a booster seat for the dugout?"
  • "It's 9:30!"(You probably heard about that on Jays Talk)
Even more impressive was that there was a female heckler, the first I've ever encountered. She was the loudest of them all, and proceeded to lay into Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis all game long.

Another funny thing was back to back instances where a man sitting about 15 rows up in section 113A failed to catch a foul ball because he was too busy enjoying his nachos. To add insult to injury, of all sports paraphernalia to wear to the Rogers Centre, he was sporting a Phoenix Suns jersey. After being ridiculed for missing two foul balls, he proceeded to stand for the final three innings of the game, probably in fear that he'd miss another chance to snag a ball.

Another interesting fan I noticed in the section next to us was a gentlemen who took it upon himself to wear a paper bag over his head which said "Go Leafs Go". It must be bad when Leafs fans can't even go to another sporting event without concealing their identity.

All in all, it was a great game. It would have been a hell of a lot better if the Jays had won, but unfortunately that's the way they go sometimes. I'm inclined to say that last night's 13-12 loss was actually more fun to watch and be at than the Home Opener.

There may have been only 13,000 fans there last night, however most of them were there to take in a great ballgame and not to merely join in the drunken fraternizing.

Prepare for the Mass Invasion

Monday, April 26, 2010  |  by 

The Boson Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays are two clubs in the midst of an early season tailspin. With 4-6 records in the past ten games, both teams will be looking to get back on track tonight with the kickoff of a three game set at the Rogers Centre.

Send a mass-ege?

We could potentially see fireworks at some point this series since the last match-up between Boston and Toronto didn't exactly end on the best of terms. Jonathan Papelbon hit Adam Lind, then Roy Halladay countered by plunking David Ortiz the very next game with a well-placed pitch square on his right elbow.

Since Josh Beckett is starting for the Bosox, that's exactly the dick move I would expect him to do. Yet, with Dana Eveland on the mound, he would be the perfect candidate for a counter-strike. After all, what does Eveland have to lose?

JC in the House

Tonight, none other than Joe Carter will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Although there is no autograph session or fan event planned, this will be the third year in a row I will attempt to get a glimpse of my childhood hero. Wish me luck!

Jays Care Broadcast Auction

This evening is also the Jays Care Foundation Annual Charity Broadcast Auction. Most of the items up for auction are pretty pricey, but the Fans Care Gift Pack is going for just $100. Not all that bad especially if you get a couple of friends to help out.

By donating $100 dollars to the Jays Care Foundation you receive a Cito Gaston and John McDonald bobblehead, a game used baseball, an autographed player photo, a World Series replica ring, and a few other collectibles.

Cecil and Hill Suit Up

Friday, April 23, 2010  |  by 

Aren't these two fellas a sight for sore eyes?

Both Aaron Hill and Brett Cecil make their triumphant return to the Blue Jays roster tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. Hill, after missing the past 14 games due to a hamstring injury, and Cecil after missing the Opening Day roster cut.

With Hill's return, that hopefully means the Alex Gonzalez experiment is over and some stability will return to the top of the lineup. Cecil is a welcome addition to the starting rotation after we were subjected to three unspectacular Brian Tallet starts.

The Blue Jays will get their second taste division play against the 12-4 Tampa Bay Rays, but with Cecil's return tonight one can argue that momentum might be in favour of the Jays.

There's only one problem ... Matt Garza.

Over the past three seasons, Garza has owned the Jays with a 6-2 record and  a minuscule 0.84 ERA against.In nine starts against the Jays, Garza has given up a grand total of six earned runs. SIX! Not only that, but the past three seasons Garza has not surrendered a single home run versus the bluebirds.

That will hopefully change tonight because the Blue Jays lead the league in home runs with 23 total. So let's pray for some long balls and hits against Matt Garza, because they come at a premium.

Acid Flashback Friday: Cito Sucks

Before there were ever clubhouse mutinies, Cito Gaston was stirring up controversy long before most of us can remember.

It's hard to believe that there was ever a time that Cito Gaston was disliked by folks other than Blue Jays fans, but back in the early 90's Gaston wasn't exactly the most revered manager in baseball.

This week for Acid Flashback Friday we take a look at the "Cito Sucks" campaign.

It all began in 1993 when Cito irked some folks by electing four additional Blue Jays on the 1993 American League All-Star roster, in addition to Joe Carter, John Olerud and Roberto Alomar who had been voted in by the fans. However, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Fast forward to the 1993 MLB All-Star game itself. In the bottom of the ninth, as only one of three pitches who had not been used in the game, Mike Mussina assumed that he would be called upon as the hometown hero to finish the game.

With a comfortable six run lead going into the top of the ninth, Cito opted to use his closer Duane Ward and Mussina never tossed one pitch in the game. After the game, Cito expressed his disgust with how Mussina took it upon himself to start warming up in the bullpen.
"By standing up, he (Mussina) showed me he's a person with little class. Screw him. I just won't take him next year".
The fans revolted and so began the "Cito Sucks" campaign, as you can see by the guys in the T-Shirts above. For years, Cito was extremely disliked in Baltimore and he and Mike Mussina haven't exactly seen eye to eye.

In fact, Cito would often receive death threats when the Blue Jays would travel to Baltimore on road trips, so it's apparent the fans haven't forgotten about what happened in the 1993 All-Star Game.

All this time later, the jury's still out on who was in the wrong in that situation: Cito Gaston or Mike Mussina. After 17 years though, I would say it's time to move on.

It just goes to show you that fans never forget. That's why Steve Bartman will probably never be able to show his face in Chicago ever again.

Randy Ruiz is freed permanently (in bobblehead form)

Thursday, April 22, 2010  |  by 

Image courtesy of Las Vegas 51's
After spending years in the minor leagues, I am proud to announce that Randy Ruiz has finally been freed permanently ... in bobblehead form.

This Saturday at Cashman Park in Las Vegas is Randy Ruiz Bobblehead Night in honour of last year's Pacific League Coast MVP and current member of the Blue Jays roster.

Unfortunately since the game is in Las Vegas, most of us will be unable to attend. However, for those in the vicinity of Sin City this weekend, this is a deal you cannot pass up:

Apparently if you go to the Golden Gate Casino in Vegas and sign up for their "Club 1906", you get FREE tickets to the Las Vegas 51's game, FREE transportation to the game, and of course the FREE Randy Ruiz bobblehead.

So what do you guys say - impromptu road trip to Vegas or what?

It'll be just like The Hangover, except it won't be a bachelor party, and there won't be any tigers in a hotel suite, and the Chinese mafia won't be out to get us ... but other than that, it'll almost be the exact same.

Plus, we'll have a Randy Ruiz bobblehead to remember everything by!

Afternoon Delight

Wednesday, April 21, 2010  |  by 

Image courtesy of Daylife
Okay, so maybe it wasn't an "afternoon delight" of sorts, but I was already committed to using that title whether the Blue Jays won or not.

It was nearly a self-fulfilling prophecy, hadn't it been for Alex Gordon's solo home run in the top of the tenth. I think our pals at 1 Blue Jays Way must not have been in the house this afternoon, otherwise Gordon would have left the batter's box in tears.

So it was the same story as usual with Shaun Marcum on the mound - another quality start, but nothing to show for it.  He started off with a rough first inning, but cruised for the most part for the rest of the afternoon.

Of course, the pitching received some help thanks to a couple of spectacular plays on the field. I didn't see them live, but after hearing the call on the radio, you definitely have to go back and check out these two defensive jems courtesy of Alex Gonzalez and John McDonald.

I guess it was also an impromptu Wayback Wednesday which featured the Blue Jays in their powder blue uniforms once again. Most notably, Cito Gaston brought back the old school blue jacket and I have to say, looking quite sharp circa 1990.

Welcome to the V-Dub Club

First of all, I can't take credit for the new Vernon Wells line above - that is courtesy of eyebleaf at Sports and the City. Hopefully, you'll see it on a sign at the Rogers Centre over the course of the season.

It made me recall when fans would happily post signs that boasted of the "V-Dub Club". In actually, it was probably only a few years ago, but considering all that Vernon Wells has been through in the past few seasons, it seems like an eternity.

Now here we are almost two and a half weeks into the seasons, and Wells is tied for the league lead in home runs. Who ever would have though? Not me, for one ... but that's the great thing about baseball. One bad season is exactly that - ONE bad season. There is always a chance for redemption the next year.

It's unsure whether Vernon's swing adjustment did the trick or if he's just seeing the ball better. Either way, it's good to have the old Vernon back. Welcome once again to the V-Dub Club.

Jays offense serves up a delicious BAS

Tuesday, April 20, 2010  |  by 

Image courtesy of Daylife
A big thank you goes out to the Kansas City Royals because they just became the Toronto Blue Jays slump buster.

It was like a completely different team on the field last night - not only were the Blue Jays getting on base, but they were driving them home. What seemed like a foreign concept these past few games finally came around against the Royals.

First off, great for Lyle Overbay for snapping out of his mini-funk. Here's my theory on the Lyle Overbay Hate-Fest in Toronto: the fans can't boo Vernon Wells anymore, so naturally the next target is the slumping Lyle Overbay.

I would hardly say a two week slump from Overbay warrants being heckled as badly as A-Rod, but hey ... it's a free country. Personally, I think Overbay lost his mojo right after he shaved that epic trucker stache of his, but things seem to be back to normal ... facial hair notwithstanding.

Jose Bautista did a great job of recruiting more BAS members with his two home runs and five RBI's. Bautista wasted no time at all in those two at bats, swinging at the first pitch both times and sending them both over the left field fence.

Congrats to Brandon Morrow for picking up his first win of the season. After those first two shaky starts, I'll admit I was a little scared that maybe Alex Anthopolous got the wrong Brandon back in that trade. However, like his counterparts in Shaun Marcum and Ricky Romero, Morrow flirted with a no-hitter late in the game.

So I guess the Royals were the cure for what ailed the Blue Jays after all. Bring on game two!

Can I Get A Hit?

Monday, April 19, 2010  |  by 

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you swing for the fences and come up empty.

We're all looking for answers as to why the Blue Jays couldn't get the bats going against the Los Angeles Angels, but I think the best explanation is that they simply just couldn't get the bats going in all three games against the Angels.

No matter how well your starting pitchers perform though, if you don't put any runs on the board then you can't win the game.

The three Angels starters combined to give up just five runs. Five runs! That's an average start for Brian Tallet, and five runs were all the Blue Jays could muster off Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana.

Don't get me wrong - the Angels pitching staff isn't anything to scoff at, but it's not like they sent out three Roy Halladay clones out there. That just goes to show you that once a pitcher is dialed in as Santana was yesterday, it's hard to break them.

Ricky Romero pitched well enough to win but just couldn't get the run support - something that Roy Halladay was all too familiar with during his tenure as a Blue Jays. Although not quite as dominant in his last start against the White Sox, Romero fed a steady diet of changeups and curveballs to keep the Angels guessing.

He only made a few mistakes, but they unfortunately they were costly - namely a pair of doubles to Hideki Matsui. In fact, the Angels did a great job of grinding out the extra base hits: 4 of their 7 total hits were two-baggers.

It wasn't the ideal way to close out the second week of the season, and hopefully the Kansas City Royals will be the cure to whatever is ailing the Blue Jays right now.

Lazy Sunday Links

Sunday, April 18, 2010  |  by 

Happy Hangover Day! In honour Lazy Sunday, here are brief collection of what's going on the Blue Jays Blogosphere.

First off, I'll be liveblogging this afternoon's series finale between the Jays and the Angels over at The Score. Make sure to stop by starting at 1pm via the interwebs, or you can also follow along via your Blackberry and iPhone for FREE!

My boy eyebleaf from Sports and the City is currently living the dream traveling to every Major League ballpark in the next 60 days. Check out his Stealing Home journey over at The Globe and Mail Sports, as he's already hit up Rogers Centre, Comerica Park, Progressive Field, and PNC Park.

Apparently there was much more to the Adeiny Hechavarria signing than meets the eye. Bob Elliot from the Toronto Sun has a detailed behind the scenes account of how the deal went down.

Where are the fans in Toronto?

Friday, April 16, 2010  |  by 

Things couldn't be much better for the Toronto Blue Jays right now. The city is buzzing about the team once again, their franchise player Vernon Wells is back in fine form, and overall the team is performing very well and exceeding expectations.

There's just one problem ... there aren't any fans at the ballpark.

Much has been said in the media this week about how the Toronto Blue Jays are having trouble putting butts in the seats. Now that the Maple Leafs and Raptors are done for the year, the sporting focus in the city now shifts to the Blue Jays.

While the attendance this week at the Rogers Centre has been a huge point of contention, I wondered if the attendance issue was really as bad as some are making it out to be.

So I decided to take a look at the home attendance at the Rogers Centre from the past five seasons. Click on the image to see how the attendance has spiked and dropped off from 2005 to 2009.

Click image in enlarge

Aside from that dip in attendance back in September of 2009, it appears that numbers for the past five seasons are on track more or less. Last year's total attendance was 1.87 million, but the Blue Jays easily cleared 2 million in total each of the four previous seasons.

It's hard to ignore the thousands and thousands of empty seats at the Rogers Centre this week, but it's definitely not time to panic. If you're looking for an explanation for why there have been all the empty seats, there are a few things at work here:

For one, we are still coming out of a recession ... which means disposable income for things like sporting events suddenly takes a back seat to everything else. Yes, the Blue Jays are the cheapest ticket in town - but for many, a trip to the Rogers Centre includes parking, food, gas, and it can all add up very quickly.

Secondly, the 2010 season is still in its infancy what with it just being the second week of play. Even Paul Beeston admitted that the bulk of fans come out between Memorial Day and Labour Day. The city takes a while to warm up to baseball once again, and this year is no different.

I chuckle when people use the argument that the Blue Jays are in first place and therefore there should be fans flocking to the Rogers Centre to see the team. Once again, it's only the second week of the season ... but even if it were July and the Blue Jays were in first place, I don't think you'd see attendance drastically higher than previous years.

Finally, the fans in Toronto understand that this team is rebuilding and it's going to take a few years to bring it back into contention. For the past eight seasons of the J.P. Ricciardi era, he sold hope from the onset of Opening Day.

Each of those seasons, this organization felt like it had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Now, for the first time in a long time, the Blue Jays are not expected to do that. I'm sure Alex Anthopolous isn't going to be thrilled about a fourth or fifth place finish this year, but it's something that's necessary if the Blue Jays are going to become better as a bal lclub.

In my opinion, this string of 10,000 something fans at home this past week is nothing to worry about. It doesn't warrant building a new stadium, it doesn't mean the Blue Jays turning into the Montreal Expos, and it doesn't mean baseball is dead in Toronto ... it's just hibernating.

Just like any beast which spends five months huddled up in the winter, it takes a little while for things to get back to normal.

So don't stress the lack the of attendance, and if anything make sure you get down to the ballpark to help out your hometown team.

Series Split with White Sox

So the Chicago White Sox squeak out a victory in game one of the series. Then Ricky Romero weaves tapestry of awesomeness the following night. After that, the bats pick up and the White Sox make the Blue Jays look like a Double A affiliate. And to wrap it all up, the Blue Jays get some payback in the final game of the series.

Despite the 7-3 win, I would say the momentum actually favoured the White Sox late in the game. Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz, and Scott Linebrink each struck out the side in the 6th, 7th and 8th inning. Thankfully, the Blue Jays had the lead going into the latter part of the game otherwise it could have been a repeat of Wednesday's loss.

I am serious ... and don't call me Dana

Dana Eveland continues to be one of the more pleasant surprises of the season, now with a 2-0 record through 13.1 innings. He isn't exactly an over-powering pitcher, but he's doing a great job of keeping opposing hitters guessing with a great variety of off-speed pitches. If he keeps pitching that that, Eveland will be a hot commodity at the trade deadline.

Sniderman comes alive

If there was any worry about Travis Snider, it all but dissipated last night after his towering solo home run. Make sure you watch the video replay, it's the kind of things that dreams are made of.  The funniest part of all is Andruw Jones didn't even budge in right field.

Overbay, Ole!

So Lyle Overbay earned a Golden Sumbrero by striking out four times last night, which pushes his batting average down to .077. To no surprise, Overbay is still hitless against left-handed pitchers.

The Angels will start two righties (Weaver and Santana) and one lefty (Joe Saunders), so look for a possible Randy Ruiz sighting on Saturday.

Welcome to the club, Fred Lewis

Yesterday the Blue Jays made it official by trading to get San Fransisco Giants castaway Fred Lewis. Ghostrunner on First proves that if you wish for somebody hard enough, they just might suit up with the Blue Jays.

It seems like a great signing, but my estimation is that Lewis was brought in to keep Randy Ruiz company on the bench. I have a feeling those two are going to be spending a lot of time together this season.

Acid Flashback Friday: George Bell's McDonald's Commercial

This week's Acid Flashback Friday is short and sweet ... after scouring through the Retro Ontario Channel on Youtube, I came across this McDonald's commercial from 1987 featuring none other than American League MVP George Bell.

Remember when Big Mac meals used to be $2.99? Yeah ... me neither.

The Rogers Centre turns into an empty nest

Wednesday, April 14, 2010  |  by 

A philosophical baseball question: if the Blue Jays lose a game by ten runs and only 10,610 people are there to see it, does it actually count?

Like most folks, I'm just going to pretend that tonight's 11-1 loss didn't actually happen.

Aside from Randy Ruiz' stolen base and him scoring from second to home on a base hit from Jose Bautista, there weren't many positives to take away from this game.

Kudos to the fans that not only showed up for this game, but bonus points should be awarded to the brave souls who actually stuck around for the full nine innings.

It's not the easiest thing to watch your team down by ten runs, but at least the Blue Jays fans aren't as sparse as the Pittsburgh Pirates fans.

Romero Knocks Them Out

Tuesday, April 13, 2010  |  by 

There are games where a pitcher is so focused on the task at hand, they become virtually unhittable. Starts where pitchers just plow through the opposing lineups as if they are facing a little league team. Instances where hitter after hitter just saunters back to the dugout shaking their head thinking "how am I going to figure this guy out?"

Over the years, the Blue Jays have been on the receiving end of numerous starts like that, but tonight it was their teammate who was completely dialed in.

In arguably the best start of his young career, Ricky Romero spun a gem of a performance. Just one hit, and twelve strikeouts against the Chicago White Sox.

All but two of Romero's twelve punchouts on the night were swinging strikes, and he finished off seven of those ten swinging strikeouts with his changeup.

Maybe even more impressive, was Ricky's control of the count throughout the game. On only two occasions did he ever let the count get to three balls. In fact, Romero kept the ball in the infield for the first seven innings.

Like the drama queen he is, A.J. Pierzynski sold a hit by pitch to the foot which eventually lead to the two-run home run from Alex Rios, but in no way whatsoever did that blemish ruin what would be one of Ricky Romero's finest performances.

Is this a sign of things to come for Ricky Romero? All I can say is ... don't call it a comeback. He's going to be here for years.

Welcome Back, Alex Rios

There's no question that Alex Rios was public enemy number one at last night's Home Opener. While some jeering was expected, I couldn't believe the magnitude of boos that rained upon the former Blue Jay.

Wasn't it just nine months ago that Alex Rios was the future of this franchise? How quickly people forget when the player suddenly gets shipped off to another team.

It's not like Alex Rios ever requested a trade out of Toronto. It's not like he ever had anything bad to say about the city or it's fans (aside from the "Who Gives A F*ck" incident).

So why all the hate for Alex Rios?

Honestly, I've never heard crowds at the Rogers Centre booing that loudly for an opposing player ... and that includes Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod did something that warranted being booed. His bush league move back in 2007 combined with allegations of cheating on his wife in Toronto were enough to get him booed.

Alex Rios on the other hand, did nothing wrong other than suiting up for the other team.

In the end it all didn't matter anyway. Rios must've fed of the hatred from the crowd, because he went 3 for 5 and subsequently bumped his average above the Mendoza Line.

Maybe in some strange way, I was secretly responsible for Rios' great night at the plate since I was hoarding an Alex Rios t-shirt underneath my Blue Jays jersey.

Good thing I didn't decide to stand up and profess my admiration for Rios, because I probably would have been fed to the drunken wolves.

The Home Opener Hangover

What a hell of a Home Opener!

It had a little bit of everything ... some towering home runs, the thrill of extra innings, inability to throw out baserunners, beach balls in the stands ... basically, it was a virtual cornucopia of baseball awesomeness.

Pitcher's Duel, this was not

If you were expecting some sort of pitchers duel, you were in for a surprise. It definitely wasn't a great night for the starting pitchers: Jake Peavy was roughed up for seven runs and Brian Tallet was charged with six. 
Both guys had a tough time keeping the ball on the ground: Peavy with six fly balls, and Tallet with seven fly balls (several of them to the warning track).

Welcome Home, Rios

Maybe most surprising of all was the huge chorus of boo's for Alex Rios. I didn't quite understand why the crowd turned on him so quickly. It's not like Rios wanted to be traded out of Toronto. What did he ever do to achieve the Level of Douchebag Excellence at the Rogers Centre that could only be bestowed upon someone like Alex Rodriguez or Jorge Posada?

Speaking of Rios ... maybe it was just the angle I was looking from, but it appears his batting stance has become even stranger than last time. It looks like his knees are almost together and his legs are separated to make a V in the batter's box. It looks very uncomfortable and unnatural ... but what do I know. Rios was 3 for 5 anyway.

It's Not All Frasor's Fault

As Mike Wilner pointed out, some might point their fingers at Jason Frasor for losing this game, but Frasor was only part of the problem. From where I sat, from the the bottom of the eight to the bottom of the tenth inning, the Blue Jays looked absolutely horrible at the plate.

J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton practically had the Jays eating out of their hands. Nearly half of the Blue Jays final 15 hitters struck out ... I'd say that's a recipe for disaster there.

In Conclusion ...

All in all, this game had a great amount of give and take with both clubs going back and forth with lead changes. Even though the end result wasn't exactly what I had hope for, it was very entertaining to say the least.

More Home Opener Tidbits

Monday, April 12, 2010  |  by 

It's all Toronto has been talking about today ... the Blue Jays Home Opener!

In just a few hours, the 2010 Home season finally gets underway and if you leave for the Rogers Centre now, you just might make it in time for the fourth inning.

If it hasn't already, the game will be nearly sold out with close to 50,000 fans coming through the gates. Not to sound like a pessimist or anything, but I find that very surprising especially considering that Roy Halladay isn't pitching, and the Red Sox or Yankees will not be the opponents tonight.

Canadian Athletes from the Olympics including Gold Medallist Alexandre Bilodeau will throw out the first pitch. The Jersey Boys will be singing the National Anthems, though I think it would be much more entertaining to see the cast of the Jersey Shore take a crack at "O Canada".

Will Randy Ruiz finally be freed? After six games on the bench, Ruiz could finally get his first taste of baseball this season ... though I highly doubt it. With righty Jake Peavy on the mound, don't be surprised if Cito Gaston sticks with the same lineup as yesterday's game in Baltimore.

Thanks to anyone who saw/heard me on CP24 at Noon earlier today. Along with being a blogger, did you know I am also a coyote trapper?

And finally, don't forget to give a nice warm welcome to Alex Rios. For those who are sitting in section 113 and were hoping on heckling the former Jay, unfortunately you will be out of luck. Rios will likely be stationed in left or centre field. But feel free to verbally accost Carlos Quentin as much as you wish.

Once again, Happy Home Opener and see you at the dome!

Hope Begins Here: The 2010 Blue Jays Home Opener

The sound of the beer vendors shouting up the aisles ...
The smell of Lester's Ballpark hot dogs at the concession stands ...
The sight of more than 40,000 fans ...

It can only mean one thing - the Blue Jays Home Opener.

After six long months of waiting, baseball has finally returned to the city of Toronto.

Each year, the Blue Jays Home Opener brings a sense of hope back to baseball fans. While this season in particular doesn't exactly promise to be an extremely successful one on the field, that doesn't mean this year's Home Opener is any less special.

The Home Opener means different things to different people, and a few weeks ago I reached out to the Blue Jays blogosphere are some followers on Twitter about what the Hope Opener means to them.

Not surprisingly, for some folks the Home Opener revolves around alcohol. And there's no doubt that it's usually the biggest party in Toronto that day. Here's what Stoeten from Drunk Jays Fans had to say about the Home Opener:
"To me the home opener has kind of become synonymous with amateur night at the Dome. It's the one night all year that I know for sure my non-baseball friends will come out just to be there and have a giant party and get ridiculously drunk on insanely overpriced beer and whatever we can sneak in."
Drew from Ghostrunner on First shares a similar regard towards the first game of the season on home soil:
"I'd like to say something poetic about hope springing eternal and the wonderment of a blank slate and being tied for first; but Opening Day is about getting drunk.

Opening Day -- just like every other warm weather holiday -- is more about Vitamin D-fueled excitement trampling over the meaning of the occasion, leaving an ugly trail of empty king cans in its wake. One giant party with baseball as the guest of honor. School is skipped, work is blown off, slurs are uttered, tops are removed.

The least significant game (in terms of the ultimate post-season goal) serves as the backdrop for an entire continent shaking off the winter rust and letting loose in the fresh spring air. What's that? A roof? Abomination."
On the other hand, Mat from Jays Journal took a more sentimental approach:
"The Home Opener is a day full of memories for families, fans, and friends. The stadiums are always packed, with some people taking time off from work and some kids skipping school, and each fan is equally optimistic about what the season holds.

It's a great day because unlike the other professional sports, most people can afford to attend the games if they want to. The seats are plentiful and there are prices to meet everyone's budget.

On Opening Day, you can be sure that no matter where your seat is, you're likely to be surrounded by many fellow fans. That's what makes it such a great day and the best first day of any sport."
Dick from 1 Blue Jays Way speaks on how the fans themselves really make the Home Opener what it is:
"The Home Opener to me means that spring is here and summer is around the corner. I have been going every year except the year after J.P. let King Carlos walk. It was my own sort of silent protest.

The thing I love most about the opener is the fact that the Dome is always full, downtown is packed and the buzz that that environment creates. It takes me back to the days when the Jays packed it every night and finding a pair up in the fifth deck was tough.

The game itself is almost secondary, the feeling that it gives me to be there after a long, cold winter is what I crave."
Here's what the Blue Jays Home Opener means to Matthias from Mop Up Duty:
"I view opening day like the first day of a new job. Excitement and a little fear mixed together. But after a while the shine wears off and it's time to put the hammer down and get the job done."
Chris from Infield Fly talks about how there is a giant party atmosphere at the Home Opener, especially after waiting a week for the Blue Jays to come home:
"To me, the Home Opener is like New Year's. When the Jays open on the road, it's kind of like watching the fireworks in Australia on TV before celebrating for real."
Mike from The Mike Statement shares some of his memories from past Home Openers:
"It reminds me of elementary school, sitting in the gym, with the game piped in over the PA system - when everyone loved the Jays, win or lose, and the SkyDome was filled every night."
Here's what my friend Shane had to say, who I dragged to last year's Home Opener:
"It means 10 dollar beers and paper airplanes on the field."
Thoughts on the Home Opener from Jeff at Sport Marketing Discussion:
"It means the largest gathering of Torontonians for one event in the year!"
Fans dream of the Home Opener as soon as the off season begins. Twitter user AlleyCat17 has been eagerly anticipating baseball coming back to Toronto:
"It's a chance to forget about the cold winters and give us something to be excited about, its a hope for a prosperous season full of seeing young dreams come true, while 1000's of people cheer them on. The opener gives me another chance to see Rios."
Maybe best of all is from the eternal optimist and the self-proclaimed unabashed homer himself, Eyebleaf from Sports and the City. He manages to constantly instill belief in non-believers, and says it best with just a few words:
"It means summer. It means Toronto talking Blue Jays baseball. It means hope."
It doesn't matter whether if you're among the 40,000+ fans in the stands, or halfway across the country watching on TV, the Home Opener is the one game of the year where the fans really get a chance to shine.

This Home Opener in particular marks the beginning of a new beginning for this franchise ... and in my mind, that's something to celebrate.

Happy Home Opener, Jays fans!

The Official Blue Jays Home Opener Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, April 11, 2010  |  by 

Click image to enlarge
For those who have ever been to the Rogers Centre for the first game of the year, you can attest to the fact that the Home Opener is a game in itself.

One could spend the entire game just watching all the characters in the stands and the antics that happen on the concourse.The 2010 Home Opener should be no different!

Just in case you have trouble keeping track of all the crazy things that happen tomorrow, feel free to print off the above Home Opener Scavenger Hunt and see how many things on the list you can find.

Happy Hunting!

Acid Flashback Friday: 1977's Home Opener at Exhibition Stadium

Friday, April 9, 2010  |  by 

It's hard to believe that just over 33 years ago, the Blue Jays played their very first game in the city of Toronto.

Some of us were just kids when it happened, and some of us weren't even born yet. Despite that, most can recognize those iconic images like the one above of the snow-covered field at Exhibition Stadium on April 7th, 1977.

For this week's Acid Flashback Friday, we take a look back at the Home Opener that started it all - the very first Blue Jays home game at Exhibition Stadium.

Some interesting facts about the game: the 1977 Blue Jays Home Opener was the only major league game to ever be played with the field entirely covered in snow. Also, Exhibition Stadium was the only ballpark not to serve beer. I wonder if the crowd subsequently got rowdy and started throwing paper airplanes onto the field?

The snow was not only a giant headache for the players and the grounds crew, but also for the thousands of fans en route to the game.

For anyone who remembers the huge snow storm the day of last year's Home Opener, you can attest to the fact that it was like hell on wheels trying to drive to the ballpark that day. I'm sure it was the exact same way back in 1977.

Doug Ault was the hero of the day, hitting two home runs and helping the Blue Jays win their very first game on home soil 9-5 over the visiting Chicago White Sox.

The success was short-lived though as the team would only win 55 games that season, beginning a streak of three consecutive 100 loss seasons.

For me, the sheer unpredictability of the weather in April adds to the lure of the Blue Jays Home Opener and makes it even more special.

Any other day of the year, that snow on the ground would be just another headache. Yet there's something about snow on the day of the Blue Jays Home Opener that will always make me think back to that very first game at Exhibition Stadium.

Boo Who? Vernon Comes Alive in Texas

Thursday, April 8, 2010  |  by 

A wise prophet once said "I Believe In Vernon Wells".

Not only was he devoted to Vernon Wells through the good and the bad, he shouted it proudly from the highest mountain (and by mountain, I mean the 500 Level at the Rogers Centre). When others were booing and jeering Vernon Wells, there was one man who stood and cheered.

Eyebleaf, my friend ... I think you were right all along.

We may only be two games into the season, but Vernon Wells has already far exceeded expectations just within the first week of play. It's a ridiculously small sample size, however V-Dub has already clubbed three home runs, and driven in six.

In 2009, it took Wells 76 plate appearances to hit three home runs. This year, it's only taken him nine plate appearances.

Another thing that's very evident just by watching the first two games of the season is that Wells seems much more comfortable at the plate.

He isn't chasing pitches out of the zone, and is taking a very aggressive approach at the plate rather than reactive. Two of his three home runs have been very early in the count:

Home Run #1:  0-1 count, 89 MPH Sinker
Home Run #2:  0-0 count, 89 MPH Four-Seam Fastball
Home Run #3:  2-2 count, 86 MPH Four-Seam Fastball

I'm not saying that we're completely out of the woods yet, but things are definitely looking up for Vernon Wells.

High five for a great start to the season!

Maybe Ruiz hasn't been freed after all

Wednesday, April 7, 2010  |  by 

Randy Ruiz may have finally escaped the clutches of the minor leagues, but maybe he isn't free after all.

After numerous Spring Training tryouts, Ruiz made a giant step forward by making his way onto the Blue Jays Opening Day roster. Unfortunately, that's just half the battle.

Any chances of platooning the first base position were all but thrown out the window once Cito Gaston decided Lyle Overbay would be the starting first baseman for the 2010 season. And with Adam Lind all but locked up as the designated hitter, it doesn't leave much room for Randy Ruiz.

Initially, I was hopeful that Randy Ruiz could possibly rack up 300+ at bats and make 2010 his coming out party. Now I'm starting to think that he might be lucky to get even half of those plate appearances.

With Cito's decision to keep Ruiz on the bench during Monday's game against the Rangers, it's apparent he would prefer to keep Overbay's defensive prowess in the game as opposed to the offensive upside from Ruiz. So if the game is close or tied in late innings, Ruiz will not probably not be pinch hitting for Lyle Overbay.

However, if the lineup gets down to the bottom of the order, Cito does have the option of pinch-hitting Ruiz for John Buck, Alex Gonzalez, or even Travis Snider. Each of them could be easily replaced the following inning by Jose Molina, John McDonald, or Mike McCoy.

Let's keep in mind though that in the 33 games Randy Ruiz started last year, all but three were as the designated hitter. That makes it very unlikely Ruiz will see any fielding time this season. Aside from the odd day off for Lyle Overbay or Adam Lind, I'm afraid those are the only instances Ruiz will get a chance to hit.

The downside is by committing to Lyle Overbay as the starting first baseman and Adam Lind as the everyday designated hitter, the playing time for Randy Ruiz is going to decrease even more. It's a shame because Ruiz had to fight tooth and nail just to make the 25-man roster, and now he has to continue to fight just to sneak in an at-bat here and there.

Yet for a guy who has spent 11 seasons in the minors, Randy Ruiz has overcome bigger obstacles before. In the meantime, Ruiz waits for his time to shine.

More Thoughts on the Adam Lind Contract

Tuesday, April 6, 2010  |  by 

When other MLB agents start getting pissy, that's when you know you're doing something right as a General Manager.

Ken Rosenthal reports that some agents are all up in arms about Adam Lind's latest 4-year $18 million dollar contract extension, arguing that Lind could have easily gotten that kind of money without the club options:
“Three club options? The union hates those deals and understandably so,” one agent said. “He should have gotten those numbers without the options. The arbitration process rewards offensive production, and this kid is going to produce.”
Good for Lind's agent John Courtright on negotiating a deal that was best for the client, rather than gouging the Blue Jays for maximum dollars. Maybe Scott Boras could learn a lesson or two from Mr. Courtright.

Delving further into this topic, Rosenthal also shared a few more thoughts on the Lind contract:
"Adam Lind’s new deal with the Blue Jays is another example of the crashing market for designated hitters as teams place renewed emphasis on defense.

At first glance, his four-year, $18 million contract looks extremely club-friendly, particularly since Lind granted the Jays club options on each of his first three free-agent years. Yet, when considering the harsh treatment of DH types in recent free-agent markets, the deal makes more sense.

The risk for Lind is that salaries will return to the point where top DHs command better money. The risk for the Jays is that Lind will get injured or decline."
Lind signed this extension when contracts for a DH are at an all time low, and most designated hitters are lucky to even squeak out a two-year contract.

If he is going to continue to be the starting DH, then the Blue Jays picked a very good time to sign Lind this contract while the market is still down. Chalk one for the good guys!

Rangers pour Saltalamacchia into Jays wounds

Monday, April 5, 2010  |  by 

It wasn't exactly the way the Blue Jays were hoping to start off the season - a walk-off loss in the bottom of the ninth against the Texas Rangers.

Suddenly, I'm getting flashbacks from last year.

Despite all that, I would say it was a pretty solid effort put forth by the Blue Jays on Opening Day. Up until the seventh inning, momentum was completely in their favour until the Rangers finally started nibbling away at Shaun Marcum.

As luck would have it, as I was nervously listening to the game on MLB GameDay Audio, my feed crapped out the instant I heard the ball make contact with Vladimir Guerrero's bat. By the time the feed caught up, it was too late - Marcum's quest to throw the no-no was over.

I'm brought back to Shaun Marcum's start on May 13th 2007. After six hitless innings, John Gibbons didn't hesitate to pull Marcum from the game and thus end his no-hit bid.

Should Cito have done the same today?

Out of all the starting pitchers, Marcum probably has the longest leash and most sway with the manager. So why did it take Cito so long to finally bring in Scott Downs after Vladimir Guerrero broke up the no-hitter?

At that point, Marcum had already pitched 6 and 1/3 innings in just his first start of the season. Cito should have been on the phone to the bullpen the instant that Vladdy reached first base.

Anyway, on to the positives. Vernon Wells - 3 for 4 with 3 RBI's. A very nice start to the season and hopefully a sign of things to come. Adam Lind also contributed going 2 for 4 with a solo home run. Travis Snider, while not extremely impressive at the plate, sprawled out in left field to make a diving grab for the second straight game.

Ultimately, I feel the worst for Shaun Marcum - one minute, he's riding a no-hitter and the next, the lead is gone courtesy to a Cruz Missle (thanks RollFizzleBeef). It's like finding out you won the lottery, only a moment later discovering that it was one of your buddies who planted a fake ticket in your wallet.

Oh well ... there's no point in dwelling on one loss. Yes, things could've been much different if there were some more timely managerial decisions, but these are the kinds of things we're going to have to live with so long as Cito is at the helm of this ship.

One down, 161 to go.

Welcome Back, Baseball

Baseball fans ... prepare to rejoice. Baseball is officially back!

In an instant, the six months of the off season is gone and the slate is wiped clean for another year.

Out of all the possible storylines that begin today, none are more intriguing than the return of Shaun Marcum. After being shelved for the past 18 months, Marcum makes his highly anticipated return to the Blue Jays roster.

Vernon Wells is also in a similar boat as Shaun Marcum - he is expected to bounce back this year and be a leader not only in the clubhouse, but on the field as well.

Don't forget that Vernon Wells will be returning to his roots in Texas, which means we just might see some more shots of Vernon Senior in the stands at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

In reality, Opening Day is one one game out of 162 to be played this year, so it's difficult to gauge what we can expect from the Blue Jays. If I've learned anything from last year, it's that a great start to the season means absolutely nothing because divisions and wild cards are won in September, not May.

Having said that, aside from the Home Opener in Toronto, there is no other day of the year I look forward to more than Opening Day. It's the equivalent of Christmas morning for baseball fans.

The 2010 season begins now for the Toronto Blue Jays. It's great to have you back, guys.

Lind Your Contract Extension

Sunday, April 4, 2010  |  by 

Adam Lind is here to stay for at least another four more years.

Yesterday the Blue Jays locked up Lind long term for the next four seasons at $18 million dollars, which could potentially turn into a seven year $40.5 million dollar contract.

If Lind rides out that contract to the very end, he would enter free agency following the 2016 season at 33 years old with approximately nine seasons of service time.

The contract that folks are using as a benchmark for Lind's deal is the contract the Orioles handed over to Nick Markakis: six years and $66 million dollars, with only one club option as opposed to the Blue Jays three club options for Lind.

As far as I'm concerned, it's like comparing apples and oranges with these two contracts. Narkakis is more valuable in the field, and all indications point to Lind being used as a DH for the rest of his career.

That's basically the only qualm I have with this contract - if Lind is not used as one of the corner outfielders, he essentially turns into a $5 million dollar a year designated hitter.

If the Blue Jays are going to contend in the next five years, it's important that they lock up their young starts like Adam Lind. Slowly but surely, the pieces are starting to fall into place.

The only payroll commitments for the Blue Jays after the 2010 season belong to Vernon Wells, Aaron Hill, John McDonald, and now Adam Lind.

I want to be extremely excited about this contract extension, but I also remember feeling the same way just prior to the Home Opener in 2008 when the Blue Jays announced they had signed Alex Rios to a seven year $69 million dollar contract extension.

Then again, if things don't pan out with Adam Lind, at least the Blue Jays have the option of cutting ties with him following the 2013 season. That's an option the Blue Jays probably wish they had with Vernon Wells, who will still be cashing in an additional $21 million dollars a season from 2012 to 2014.

Where's that Hot Tub Time Machine when you need one?

Flashback Friday: Devon White's "The Catch"

Friday, April 2, 2010  |  by 

This could very well be the most famous catch in Blue Jays history.

The iconic image of Devon White sprawled against the centre field wall at the Skydome is something that will remain etched into the history of this franchise. This week for Acid Flashback Friday, we pay tribute to "The Catch" courtesy of Devon White.

For a moment, let's travel back to Game Three of the 1992 World Series to relive the magic ...

With two men on and nobody out, David Justice smacked the ball to deep centre field. Playing medium depth, Devon White had the speed and the coordination to not only track the ball to the outfield wall, but he had the foresight to hit the cutoff man after he made the catch.

Was "The Catch" one of the best in the history of baseball? That's debatable ... but according to teammate Roberto Alomar, he considers the play even better than Willy Mays' infamous over the shoulder catch from 1954:
"This one was better," insisted Roberto Alomar. "Mays didn't hit the wall, but Devo did. He had to catch the ball and hit the wall almost immediately."
While a great catch in itself, I think the weight of the circumstances within a World Series game definitely helped boost the reputation of "The Catch".

Also, had umpire Bob Davidson made the correct call on the play, the Blue Jays would have turned only the second ever triple play in the World Series, thus making White's catch even more impressive.

Of course, we all know that Deion Sanders was clearly out as you can clearly see by the photographic evidence below.

Despite that the Blue Jays were completely robbed of the triple play, that doesn't take away from the fact that it was one of the most spectacular all-around plays in Blue Jays franchise history.

Had Devon White not made the catch, Game Three of the 1992 World Series could have ended much differently. Thankfully, we never have to wonder what could have been, because the Gold Glover Devon White saved the day.

Image via ESPN

What does the Blue Jays Home Opener mean to you?

Thursday, April 1, 2010  |  by 

There's something magical about the Home Opener at the Rogers Centre.

Whether you're in the Action Seats, sitting in the back row in the 500 level, or watching the game from your own home, the Home Opener brings a feeling to Blue Jays fans that's tough to put into words.

So what does it all mean to you when the gates at the Rogers Centre open for the first time this spring?

In 140 characters or less (or 30 words or less), feel free what the Blue Jays Home Opener means to you. Your memories could be used in a compilation blog post I'm working on for the Home Opener.

It could be a particular memory from a previous Home Opener, your favourite part about the Home Opener, or just a general statement about it.

You can either leave your feedback in the comment section below, let me know on Twitter, or email them to me. Please include your first name or "handle" you would like to be referred as. If you would like to remain anonymous, that's cool too.

The best entries will be included in a blog post on the day of the Blue Jays Home Opener on April 12th. Thank you and good luck!

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