Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Blue Jays in May, 2010

For most of us baseball fans in the Quinte region, a trip to the Rogers Centre to see the Blue Jays is a rite of summer. One must participate in all of the necessary ingredients: giant hot dogs, friendly beverages, batting practice, a stroll around the entire concourse, a peek into the bull pens. All part of the experience, and for a baseball fan, a necessary part of the experience.

This year, the Toronto Blue Jays have stormed from the gate. They are in third place, completely unexpected. They lead the league in home runs, beyond Cito Gaston’s wildest dreams before they headed north from Dunedin. They are battling every inning, and have come back to steal wins eleven times this year.

The most recent addition to the team, Fred Lewis, has been most welcome. Since his arrival from San Francisco, the Jays have gone 12-8. He has impressed with his bat, and with his fielding. He has earned his starting position in the field.

Travis Snider, always a bit of an enigma, has recently found a welcome groove. He has hit close to .400 in his last ten games. Opposing pitchers are now more wary of his power, and his pitch selection.

Another pleasant surprise for Jays’ fans has been the play of Vernon Wells. Wells has been the whipping boy of the Jays boo birds the past couple of seasons, often appearing to play indifferently; however, he has really stepped up to the plate this season, leading the Jays in many offensive categories. He now has 201 home runs in his career as a Blue Jay, and trails three legendary former Blue Jay players in that category: George Bell (202), Joe Carter (203), and Carlos Delgado (336). There is no doubt that Wells is enjoying his success this season. He appears to be free of all injuries, which has not been the case the past several seasons.

The Jays have seven potential starters now on the disabled list. With some luck and good medical care, those players will return soon to help the cause.

The biggest surprise this season has been the performance of their starting and relief pitching. There was great concern about the arms coming out of Spring Training. There were few hurlers with much Major League experience. All of those fears have been put to rest, thus far this season.

There have been some great pitching performances. The Jays’ brass knew that Doc Halladay would be impossible to replace. They were correct. He has recorded six wins thus far with the Phillies in the Senior League, and is mowing down the batters as he did in Toronto. But the young crew now in Toronto has been sharp, and has given the team a chance in almost every game.

All of the intangibles come into play at this time in the season: timely hitting, great defence, finding a groove, hitting the spots. Added up, they spell success.

The Toronto Blue Jays are having some difficulty putting bums in the seats. Here area few good reasons to visit the Rogers Centre.

1. Give Away Games. Sunday May 16th-Cap Day. The first 10 000 fans through the turnstiles get a free Jays’ cap. Tickets can be had for $ 14. a great deal!
Sunday, May 30th-Photo Day. Take little Rickey to the game and snap a picture of him with his favourite Jay. Sunday, July 11th-Mr. SUB Sports Bag day. Sunday, August 28th-Dave Stieb Bobble Head day. You will also get a free Jays’ T shirt at the game on September 26th.

2. Junior Jays Saturdays. A variety of activities: kids 14 and under are selected to announce players coming to bat, and may accompany players on the field. Beginning May 29th, you are welcome to enter the ballpark two hours prior to game time to catch the flavour: face painting, inflatable riders, and player autographs. (Head down to the front row along the base lines. Have your pen and autograph book ready. Be polite.)

3. Great Baseball.

To make it even easier to get to the games, there are three bus trips running out of the County this summer: June 6th (Yankees), July 11th (Red Sox) , and August 29th (Tigers). Call Bob at 613-399-1486 to reserve a spot.

You may also order tickets directly from the Jays at 416-341-1234, or by ordering on line. When it snows again in May, the roof will be closed. Had a look at the fans in Boston lately? Not nice. Too cold!

11 May 2010

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