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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Blue Jays Newsbeat

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Steven Matz, Marcus Stroman met in high school |

The date was April 16, 2009, and when those Long Islanders talk about it, a few details remain ambiguous. Some, like Stroman’s coach Anthony Frascogna, recall it being an “overcast day, one of those early-spring baseball days,” that call for windbreakers and enough luck that the skies don’t open. Lou Petrucci, Matz’ coach at Ward Melville High, recounts it as “a beautiful day for baseball.” Unsurprisingly, Petrucci is the one that shortly afterwards adds, “and it was even more beautiful that we won.”

This is how legends work, growing and permutating with the stature of their protagonists. Six years later, Stroman and Matz have been important pieces for Major League teams looking to squash significant October demons. But when they met that day, they were former teammates opposing one another for the first time.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2015 at 03:03 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman, mets, steven matz

Cubs Edge toward Destiny as WS Fave Jays Open ALDS

Rational Pastime’s playoff simulator now projects the Cubs as 34% favorites to represent the Senior Circuit in the Fall Classic, and 5:1 to win it all… Among today’s American League contenders, the Toronto Blue Jays remain big favorites at 2:1…

Summary of projections:

TOR 3:1
CHC 5:1
HOU 5:1
LAD 8:1
KCR 11:1
NYM 12:1
STL 13:1
TEX 16:1

J-Doug Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:41 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nlds, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, world series

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays Big Favorites as 2015 MLB Postseason Begins

It begins again: Rational Pastime projections for the 2015 postseason. Tonight, the RP model has the Houston Astros as slight favorites over the New York Yankees. Were these teams evenly matched, the Yanks would be favored 54-46, thanks to home field advantage. However, my RP Score system believes that the Astros are a better team.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the model—which relies on the Log 5 equation and Matt Swarz’s numbers for home field advantage—picks the Toronto Blue Jays to win it all as nearly 2:1 favorites.

J-Doug Posted: October 06, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, pirates, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, yankees

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Mark Buehrle to throw two innings on Sunday, then retire

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports that Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle will pitch two innings on Sunday, then retire. He is not expected to be included on the Blue Jays’ post-season roster.

Two more innings would bring Buehrle to 200 innings for a 15th consecutive season. The 36-year-old has vastly outpaced the competition in this category, as his closest competitor since 2001 is James Shields, with nine 200-inning seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2015 at 03:06 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark buehrle, marlins, retirement, white sox

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos wants to remain with Toronto next year but he’d prefer his contract not be ‘a story’ | National Post

Smart guy.

Only one detail has ever been leaked about his contract: that it covered five years and that it expires on Oct. 31. Even that much information is too much for his taste. He understands why players’ salaries are public, but he sees no reason why contract details of other club employees should be revealed.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Saturday, October 03, 2015 Video: Pillar’s outstanding diving grab

Who’ve you got for the catch of the year: Kiermaier, Trout, or Pillar?

JE (Jason) Posted: October 03, 2015 at 12:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, centerfielders, kevin pillar

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Kawasaki: “Bush party tonight!”

Munenori Kawasaki explains to Barry Davis what he will be doing tonight to celebrate the Toronto Blue Jays making the playoffs.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Blue Jays’ MVP candidate Josh Donaldson features unique inner confidence | FOX Sports

Huh, I guess the new guy at work isn’t really a jackass, he’s a fledgling superstar.

“It was like Day 3, and I was like, ‘Who the heck is that?’” Gomes recalls. “He had a big old knee kick, was hitting moon shots over the scoreboard.

“The guys who had been there were like, ‘He’s kind of a jackass, kind of like in his own world. He does this. He does that.’ I thought in my head, ‘Those are all characteristics of a superstar. That’s how superstars act.’”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 22, 2015 at 09:12 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, josh donaldson, mvp

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blue Jays OF Chris Colabello takes incredible journey to the majors

You have to pull for a kid like him.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2015 at 11:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, chris colabello

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Meanwhile, the Dodgers traded for Johnson, Mat Latos and Wood. Latos still hasn’€™t won a game, and Wood had pitched poorly before Wednesday night. Johnson’€™s been a disaster.

Oh, and the Dodgers are 7 ½ games ahead of the Giants.

Their big moves didn’€™t work at all, and all they’€™ve done is run away and hide.

Which should be the real takeaway here.

The Mets would have a big lead without Cespedes, the Royals without Zobrist; granted, both teams will probably be thrilled to have their prizes next month, not that either player is guaranteed to continue his surge for another few weeks.

Of all those 36 players, it seems to me that only three have made a real difference so far: Price and Tulowitzki with the Blue Jays, and maybe Happ with the Pirates. Without Happ, the Pirates’€™ lead over the Cubs in the wild-card standings might have vanished by now. Without Price and Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays probably wouldn’€™t own a semi-comfortable lead over the Yankees.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 MLB teams with offseason holes and in-season jackpots -

Getting lucky doesn’t hurt.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, diamondbacks, giants, pirates, rangers

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tangled Up In Blue - The Jays pull away in the AL East

For most of last weekend’s four-game series between Toronto and New York, the different levels of the new plutocrat’s paradise in the Bronx were soaked pretty thoroughly in blue. There was singing and bell-ringing. Out on the field, there was a pretty decisive pounding handed out by the Jays and the likely end of the last pennant race in baseball.

Paul D(uda) Posted: September 15, 2015 at 01:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, yankees

What to watch for: Blue Jays have opportunity vs. Braves -

Right now the Braves are just dreadful. Will the Blue Jays take full advantage?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2015 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Troy Tulowitzki exits game with injury |

This isn’t good news for the Jays.

Tulowitzki was sent for an MRI late Saturday afternoon that revealed the fracture in his scapula. He also was diagnosed with upper back muscle bruises and the Blue Jays will monitor his status over the next week before a timeline for his return can be established.

The injury is a potentially devastating blow to a Blue Jays lineup that has been borderline unstoppable since the end of July. Toronto entered play in Game 2 Saturday night having won 31 of 40 games, which is the best 40-game stretch by an American League club since the Twins went 32-8 in 2006.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 13, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, injuries, troy tulowitzki

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman will pitch against Yankees on Saturday - The Globe and Mail

Stroman is pitching with a brace on his knee. As Steve Phillips pointed out on MLB Radio yesterday, you have to wonder how the contraption will impact his delivery. Do the Blue Jays really need him this season?

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed here on Tuesday afternoon that the 24-year-old pitcher, out all season after having knee surgery in March, will make his 2015 debut in New York on Saturday against the Yankees.

Gibbons said that it will be just a spot start for Stroman. His performance will determine how the Blue Jays use him over the final month of the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Back to School: The Science Behind Toronto Flamethrower Marcus Stroman’s Rapid ACL Recovery «

I am shocked.

Marcus Stroman is starting tonight. For the Lansing Lugnuts, the Toronto Blue Jays’ A-ball affiliate, but still: He’ll be throwing baseballs to professional batters. Five months ago, that was something that no one but Stroman foresaw. And five years ago, the chronological realities of rehabbing from in-season surgery might have proven his prediction wrong. But Stroman’s is a special case, a partnership of personality and science that points the way toward the future of injury rehab.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2015 at 01:29 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Shapiro comes to Blue Jays as well-loved individual -

Shapiro spoke at a SABR convention in Cleveland. I remember being impressed.

“We don’t have enough time,” Francona said. “This guy is a combination of intelligent probably bordering on … he’s that smart. But he takes that intelligence and he’s very driven and organized. And you take it with the people skills … a pretty nice combination.”

Francona describes Shapiro as a dynamic speaker with the ability to make any topic interesting — even the typically tedious organizational meetings that can test coaches’ patience.

“Two minutes into it you see guys reaching for pencils because they want to take notes,” Francona said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, indians

Monday, August 31, 2015

Blue Jays to name Mark Shapiro club president, replacing Beeston -

Mark Shapiro, the Indians’ team president, will be named Toronto Blue Jays president, sources close to that team said.

The announcement is expected to come as early as this week, perhaps Monday.

Shapiro will replace Paul Beeston, the longtime Jays president who is retiring. Beeston is expected to remain through the year in Toronto, and Shapiro may not start in Toronto until next season, though the exact starting date isn’t known.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, front office

Encarnacion’s home run hat trick

At first, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thought “a couple idiots” were just throwing their hats onto the field, then he saw dozens more hit the turf. Teammates let Edwin Encarnacion know what was going on.

Hats rained down from all sections of Rogers Centre in the most Canadian way of celebrating Encarnacion’s home run hat trick in the Blue Jays’ 15-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Saturday afternoon. Encarnacion’s not a big hockey fan, but he got an education in that sport’s tradition after making history.

“(Catcher Dioner) Navarro told me after they throw all the hats to the field, he told me when they score three goals, I think, they do that,” Encarnacion said. “It made me feel happy.”

Starting pitcher Drew Hutchison said fans throwing their hats onto the field was one of the coolest things he has ever seen. Encarnacion posed with the bag of hats in the clubhouse afterward and said he might sign them and give them back to show his appreciation.

“I hadn’t seen it before,” Gibbons said. “Don’t they normally throw octopuses or something?”


Alex Anthopoulos accuses infielder Steve Tolleson of quitting on team

“Steve Tolleson just decided he didn’t want to play anymore,” Anthopoulos said during a media session in Texas on Wednesday.

Tolleson, however, insists he has been injured since the Jays placed him on the disabled list with a groin strain on May 27. His minor-league rehab assignment expired July 1, just after he had played in two games for Buffalo, and the Jays designated him for assignment that day.

In dispute is whether the 31-year-old reserve infielder was still injured when the Jays designated him for assignment, which removed him from the major-league roster. Under the collective bargaining agreement, an injured player cannot be DFA.

The Jays’ decision indicates they felt he was healthy enough to play. Tolleson said he has been unable to play because he aggravated the groin strain late in his rehab assignment, then suffered suffered several setbacks, including a hip injury and a hamstring strain.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It seems anything is possible for Stroman the optimist: DiManno | Toronto Star

“He hasn’t made a start yet, even in the minor leagues.” Still, conceding: “Alex was always wanting me to try to start him, where I thought he was going to be in the bullpen, realistically. But, wrong again,”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jose Bautista is boycotting SportsNet because they won’t pay for Devon Travis’ suit

Jose Bautista has refused to do one-on-one interviews with Sportsnet for the past three months in protest of the broadcaster’s refusal to pay the cost of a designer suit purchased by rookie Devon Travis as part of a TV segment aired on Sportsnet on May 19.

Paul D(uda) Posted: August 26, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: bautista, blue jays, media, travis

Friday, August 21, 2015

Injured Stroman making strides | Blue Jays | Sports | Toronto Sun

“I feel ready to go now. It’s just a matter of getting my pitches where they need to be and getting back to the big leagues.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


Because this was an August deal, after the July 31st deadline, Cone had to pass through revocable waivers before the trade could be completed. The Blue Jays had stood atop the division all year long. When the deal went through, Toronto was 73-55 and only the Oakland Athletics had a better record at 76-51. As such, any other team in the American League could have claimed Cone on waivers in order to block the trade. And so one must wonder: why didn’t the Milwaukee Brewers, who wound up being Toronto’s closest competitors, claim Cone and block the deal?

Unsurprisingly, part of the answer is that Bud Selig was a cheap skinflint who cringed at the thought of paying the remainder of Cone’s contract — a bit over $1 million before he became a free agent at the end of the season. But that isn’t the whole story. The Orioles were actually in second place in the division at the time, just 2.5 games behind Toronto, and they also declined to claim Cone. Furthermore, Cone wasn’t the only affordable, quality player to pass through waivers. A whopping 12 post-waiver deals were completed in August of 1992, including five in the final two days of the month. Quality players like Jose Canseco, Kevin Bass, Bill Krueger and Jeff Reardon were also dealt that August…..

Vincent was kicked out in September, just after a number of odd deals like Cone’s were allowed by competitive clubs to transpire during the waiver trade season. Marvin Miller, players’ union head, agreed with Vincent and told reporters the behavior of both the owners and previous commissioner Peter Ueberroth in the 1980s had been “tantamount to fixing, not just games, but entire pennant races, including all post-season series.”

I’m not sure exactly what David Cone meant when he said “some funny things were going in 1992,” but for Brewers fans, I don’t think there’s a single satisfactory explanation. Either the end of the 1992 season was corrupt due to the ongoing collusion and labor battle within the game, or Bud Selig was utterly unwilling to open up his checkbook to get his squad to the playoffs. Or both! We can’t forget that possibility.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2015 at 05:10 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brewers, bud selig, collusion, david cone, fay vincent, trades

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