Friday, 29 February 2008

Morning Roundup

Let me just first make note of my complete agreement with Twitchy in "Something smells fishy." From the beginning, something about Shannon Stewart's return to the Jays' fold just didn't seem right--call it a gut feeling if you will--and my discomfort has increased in recent days as more and more people seem to hop on the 'foregone conclusion' bandwagon.

There's nearly unbridled enthusiasm (rightly so) for Travis Snider, but little love left for Adam Lind, who's only two years removed from winning the Eastern League MVP. He scuffled with the bat last year--who didn't?--in his first regular stint on the team when we had a bad hitting coach, Mickey Brantley, who got fired at the end of the year. Many are wishing him traded away... I think those people are foolish.

Early spring training results--hell, perhaps even late spring training results if we go by last year's solid Towers/Ohka outings--mean jack diddly squat, so it is with great reluctance that I even bother to note that the Jays lost 4-1 to the Tigers in their first Grapefruit League tilt yesterday. Looky here if you want a game recap.

Apparently Dave Perkins still writes for the Jays beat at the Star. Anyhoo, he checks in today with a piece on how Barry Bonds isn't a good fit for the Jays. Unlike members the Rays (NOT D-Rays!) front office, which reacted like reporters were trying to throw molten hot lava at them when asked the rather innocuous question of whether there'd been internal disscussions on Bonds, the Jays can admit that JP, Godfrey et. al. did have a conversation on the HR king. It lasted all of five minutes, though, and JP came to accept that even a mouthwatering 1.000 OPS from a potential part-time LF simply wasn't worth bringing a cancerous personality into the club house.

Note to self: have a delicious club sandwich for lunch today...

Chris Zelkovich at the Star looks at Citytv's Sunday afternoon Spring Training broadcast, which is pretty much just a long infomercial for selling tickets to regular season games. I'm still gonna watch, though now I feel like a corporate sellout for doing so...

We didn't weigh in here on Godfrey's "Ticket Bullshit" (selling advance tickets for Bosox and Tigers games at the Rogers Centre to fans in Boston and Detroit before they went on sale in Canada) that has riled up pretty much every other Jays blog out there not because we don't agree with them. I just felt that ground had been covered adequately elsewhere.

My personal bugaboo with the Godfrey regime's pursuit of the almight yankee dollar begins in the gift shop. Over the years, I've been to an untold number games at Tiger Stadium, then Comerica, a pair at Fenway, others at Jacob's Field and PNC. And never once have I seen a stadium outside of Toronto that sells swag for opposing teams.

Why? Because it's downright treasonous! The rows and rows of Yankees and Bosox hats sicken and shame me every time I set foot in the Rogers Centre fan shop, as I'm sure they do you. It's bad enough we have to sit next to thousands of those a-holes in our home park, but now we're tailoring our merch booths to suit their needs? What can we do, though? This was never an issue back in the days of consecutive sellouts...

Usually the main Toronto papers run broadly similar stories on a daily basis, so it was somewhat of a surprise to see Cathal Kelly's piece on Travis Snider's recent losses in the Star today--a week after similar accounts appeared in other papers. It's one thing if his editor held it back, but quite another if Kelly felt he missed a story and went back to the youngster and had him hash out the details of his mother's death once again for the benefit of another reporter. Really, that would be of epic bad taste...

Lexi is happy to still be in the Jays fold after another winter of being bandied about it trade rumours.

Things are still lookin' good for the Beej. Blair writes:

"If he [Ryan] is healthy, we'll take him north with us," Ricciardi said. "We can't do something that's not going to help the club. Games in April mean as much as games in September."

Arnsberg is a little less cavalier, but he agreed that weather alone should not prohibit Ryan from being with the team in New York. "All it means is you'd probably give him a longer time to warm up before you put him in the game," Arnsberg said. Then he winced. "But, really, that's cart-before-the-horse stuff."

That's the third "cart-before-the-horse" reference from a member of the Jays front office I've noted so far this spring training.

Wilner is extremely sensitive to mention of his dietary habits.

-- Johnny Was

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