So the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays season is finally upon us.
The Jays played their first game of the season last night. And lost.
If you are one of the Blue Jays fans whining today about how disappointed you are, allow me to inform you of something important to recognize –
in a 162-game regular season, they’re going to lose games.
If we’re fortunate enough this year, the Jays will lose about 40% of their games (last year that would have been good enough to win the division).
A lot happened in last night’s game, both good and bad. I was lucky enough to be able to attend last night’s home opener, and I will break down both the positives and negatives.
- Rasmus looked uncomfortable at the plate. This is a season where he needs to get it together, or we’ll be seeing Gose sooner than expected. And I get it, it’s a long season and it takes some guys longer to get into a groove. But where some guys were making loud outs on hard-hit balls, Rasmus went down on strikes three times.
- Arencibia set a franchise record within the first two innings of the game. Unfortunately, it was for allowing three passed balls. This was then followed by ground balls that likely would have been double-plays. Arencibia looked good catching Dickey during the World Baseball Classic for team USA, so last night was likely an anomaly. However, don’t be surprised when by the end of the season Arencibia leads the majors in passed balls. If it’s tough to hit, it’s just as tough to catch.
- Dickey didn’t throw as many strikes as he usually can. His control was a bit off, and he admitted to not feeling as comfortable with his release point. He walked more in last night’s game than he did the entire Spring Training. He threw only 56% strikes, which needs to be higher. Having said that, with the potential fire-power in this Jays line-up, they typically should be able to recover from a 3 or 4 run deficit.
- Honda gave away a CRV last night to a fan. Then they took it away and gave it to another fan. To be honest, I’m still not sure what happened. The sound system was difficult to hear (at least in the 500 section), so I’m still a bit confused. The contest definitely could have been organized much better.
- And my final negative, on a more personal note, were the lousy Jays fans we happened to be sitting with in the 500 level. I don’t know why getting so drunk that you don’t even watch the game and throw things over the railing has become a thing, but it is these “fans” (in quotations because they are anything but true fans) that ruin the experience for the others, and make a bad name for Jays fans in general. So to you rotten people, I say please stay home next year. Oh, and this is my reaction to your disrespectful behaviour: (Click here to see what everyone thinks of you).
Ok, enough of the complaining. After all, as fans we have a lot to be excited about this year.
- The Jays hit the ball hard. Really hard. Unfortunately, it was right at guys wearing gloves. Cleveland fields a solid team and made some great plays. But most of the time, when you consistently hit the ball hard, good things happen.
- After serving up a HR, Dickey struck out the next two batters on straight strikes. It seemed that he was ticked at himself and was taking it out on the batters. I see this as a great channeling of anger. He has great control of his emotions, which is so important as a pitcher.
- Even though Santos gave up a big hit on his first pitch, he was able to work out of the jam without allowing any runs and looked strong. If he and Janssen can stay consistent throwing strong innings in the 8th and 9th, we may have our Ward-Henke combo we’ve been waiting so long for.
- Cecil looked terrific on the mound, and was hitting 93-94 mph on the radar gun (where the heck did that come from?!). When Brett Lawrie comes off the DL and it’s between Cecil and Jeffress to go back down, they may have a tougher decision with Cecil now throwing at an increased velocity. These tough decisions are good problems to have!
- From a design standpoint, the new 200 level concourse looks fantastic! It feels like the stadium has been opened up more, and it’s nice to have that large area functional again, and open to anyone who has a ticket (unless it’s rented out for a private function which it was last night).
Finally, I will close with how the evening began. Tom Cheek was honoured for winning the Ford C. Frick award. The largest Canadian flag I’ve ever seen draped the entire outfield for the National anthem, and Geddy Lee of Rush threw out the ceremonial first pitch (oh how Canadian!). Our season is full of hopes and dreams. And in baseball, anything can happen.
Click here to listen to: The Dugout Show #6 – Daryl Andrews – First Canadian in the MLB Fan Cave
Brock Picken talks with Daryl Andrews, the first Canadian to be selected for the MLB Fan Cave in New York City. Daryl is representing Team Canada in the MLB Fan Cave for the World Baseball Classic, and will be watching and tweeting about all the games in the WBC. Brock and Daryl discuss the announcement of Joey Votto playing for Canada, as well as Russell Martin’s decision not to play and Brett Lawrie’s public reaction to the media. They also discuss the excitement surrounding the upcoming Toronto Blue Jays season.
Brock Picken “The Baseball Guy” brings you a weekly episode of “3 Up 3 Down”.
Today’s show is a review of the March 2, 2013 Spring Training game vs the Phillies.
Final Score: Jays 11 – Phillies 6.
1. R.A. Dickey – shaky but confident.
Dickey got knocked around a bit in the first inning, but settled in nicely. More importantly, in an interview following his outing, he explained that he was confident and satisfied in his performance, stating he was focusing on throwing a high percentage of strikes and working on mechanics.
2. Jose Reyes – exciting and on fire! Jose plays with such enthusiasm and is really fun to watch. In his three at bats, he had a single, double, and home run. I had hoped for one more at bat, to see if he could hit for the cycle (it’s one of my predictions: http://bit.ly/JaysPredictions). He looks like he’s already in mid-season form.
3. Brett Lawrie calls Russell Martin “weak”. Russell Martin opted out of the World Baseball Classic because Team Canada wouldn’t let him play short. Of course they wouldn’t, he’s a catcher! The poor attitude and pulling out at the last minute is unacceptable, and Lawrie let everyone know how he felt. I respect Brett even more for calling Martin on it. Weak indeed.
Rajai Davis and Edwin Encarnacion both made errors in the field. Both were makeable plays. Actually, Lawrie was charged a throwing error, but Edwin should have had it. Edwin has come along over the past few years in the field, but I still don’t like to see a glove on Rajai’s hand. Steve Delabar looked good in a 3-up 3-down inning, and Bonifacio looked good at the plate with a home run and 2 RBI.
Click Here to Listen to: The Dugout Show #2 – The World Baseball Classic 2013
Brock discusses the World Baseball Classic 2013, and which Blue Jays will be playing, and for which countries.
Will Japan 3-peat, or will another country de-throne the reigning 2-time World Champs?