We made it! After months of waiting through depressing weather, baseball is back. For baseball fans, that means deluding ourselves that baseball in Florida means it’s spring. While some of us, including yours truly in Canada, are still shoveling tonnes of snow, we can escape reality by enjoying our baseball teams in their journey to the World Series. For the Toronto Blue Jays, Friday marked the beginning of actual games. I’m getting way ahead of myself here by pressing pause on my extremely ambitious depth chart reports (check out the first ones here and here). Still, baseball is here and we’re going to talk about it. Let’s get to it.
A Grand Entrance
First of all, the Jays managed to edge the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in a nine inning contest. It all came off of the back of a towering shot from a new face and a steady bat. It will be discussed later in the depth chart discussion, but the signing of Curtis Granderson raised a few eyebrows this past winter. A 37 year old outfielder joining a team awkwardly transitioning to the youth movement makes very little sense. Yet here we are, talking about the immediate impact Granderson had in his first game as a Jay. Here’s his first at bat:
Alright, cool. I don’t want to get too caught up in the moment but that was pretty amazing. I can’t see the Grandy Man (barf) doing this more than twenty times this season, but anything he can contribute off the bench at the plate or in the field is going to help this team. The strange platoon situation for outfielders in Toronto is still problematic in the long term but for now I’m happy to see Granderson start spring training games off with a bang. During the game, Granderson also provided Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler with a great interview that showed off the veteran’s incredible self awareness. A pretty telling quote from him lets fans know he’s both realistic and looking forward to being a leader to the young outfielders:
“All I’m going to try to do is make this team as good as possible, the numbers aren’t always going to be there, like you (Martinez) said, but I’m gonna go ahead and be positive every day, whenever we step into the ballfield.”
Granderson is an extremely well spoken individual and he speaks very fast, so this is my best transcription of that interview. I already really like him as a Jay and I think we will fit into this team quite well with that attitude.
Biagini the Competent
The Toronto Blue Jays pitching fared well in today’s outing against the Phillies crew. They finished up with 10 strikeouts and conceded just six hits. Now, it is day one of these spring league games so there’s no need to get excited. It does seem like former #5 starter and current bullpen candidate Joe Biagini started off on the right foot. He fanned 2 batters and gave up just one hit in 2.0 innings of work. The rest of the pitching crew came off the bench and got the job done to protect the Jay’s lead to the final out. Back in the 1st inning, Biagini stuck with a comebacker that cracked off of his glove and was able to recover for the inning ending out. It’s early, but good to see Biagini doing things right. I am hoping he gets all the opportunity he can handle during the regular season.
YouTube (for Clip)
Photo from http://torontosun.com/sports/baseball/toronto-blue-jays/speedy-biagini-gets-blue-jays-off-on-the-right-foot via Canadian Press