Jays Season Opener!
The Toronto Blue jays are set to start their season on April 2nd against the Cleveland Indians. This season is expected to be a good one for the Toronto franchise; there have been many great acquisitions over the off-season.
The opening day lineup is set to look like this
1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
5. DH: Adam Lind
6. C: J.P. Arencibia
7. CF: Colby Rasmus
8. 2B: Emilio Bonifacio
9. 3B: Maicer Izturis
SP: R.A. Dickey
Of course this lineup is missing Brett Lawrie due to injury, but for the time being the Jays can start off with just one missing piece. There are a few questions and concerns going into this season, such as; how will the team deal with injuries? Will the bullpen hold up for the season? or how will the returning coach John Gibbons fare his second time around as head coach? and will Ricky Romero return to his former self? These questions will be answered this season and the next few seasons thereafter.
The Jays answered the Ricky Romero question by sending him down to class A Dunedin to work on his mechanics. The Blue Jays got lucky with J.A. Happs strong spring, which made it easy to send down Romero and take a lot of pressure off of him in the Majors for now.
The Blue Jays rotation looks as follows R.A. Dickey, Brendan Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and of course J.A. Happ. For the time being that is the best rotation in the AL east and most likely the whole American League which competes with the entire league as the best rotation, but now it is time for results and less speculation. The Blue Jays ended their spring season with a 16-17 record, which does not seem to be the greatest record, but spring training is a time to see how the rookies and veterans are and to warm them up.
Like many baseball fans including myself, I am excited for the season to start and just like many Canadian baseball and sports fans there will be many eyes on the Blue Jays. I am optimistic in thinking that the Jays will compete everyday for the top spot in the AL East and the possibility of them making the playoffs is very high. For now it is time to throw out the first pitch, play ball and watch the season commence!
Iginla Saga Over!
Jarome Iginla was traded on March 27th to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski and a 1st round pick. Not a terrible trade, Iginla is an older player and therefore to get 2 players and to get a first round pick is not so terrible. On the 27th of March it was rumored for most of the day that Iginla was headed to Boston for two players and a conditional 1st round pick, just hour’s later Boston was told they did not get Iginla and that it was Iginla who picked Pittsburgh in the end. Many Boston fans were disappointed and sad that they did not acquire him, but many are just as angry feeling that it was not fair to make a list of four teams that he wanted to go to (Pittsburg, Boston, LA Kings and Chicago) and Boston who is on that list makes an offer and he still waits for the Penguins to call.
Frankly I did not care who Iginla picked and yes if he only really wanted to play with Sidney Crosby (team Canada Teammate) and the Penguins why not just say that in the first place? But as many hockey fans know he had a No Trade Clause and was asked to make as list. Iginla is a great hockey player and was an elite player in his time and still has a good impact in the NHL. Until being traded to Pittsburgh, Iginla only had one team to call his own and that was the Calgary Flames he was the heart and soul of the Franchise and tried his best help that team win.
So for the people who are mad at Iggy for not going to Boston and deciding to wait for the Pens offer, they are getting mad for nothing. Iginla wants to win a Stanley cup and his better chances were with the Pens, Kings and Blackhawks not the Bruins. If the Bruins win it all this spring then sure Iginla made the wrong choice, but honestly when your choice is playing with Crosby, or not Crosby, most people pick playing with Crosby. Yes I know, Sid is injured with a broken jaw with no time line to return, but I really think he will be back by the end of the season ready for the playoffs and anyway the Penguins have such a strong team that they will be fine without Sid the Kid for the time being.
The way I see it is Iginla had every right to dictate where he wanted to go and honestly if the Flames had been in the playoff picture he would still be in Calgary. So if picking the Penguins right now gives him the best chance to win the Cup, then why not? It is not a popularity contest and he has earned the choice. My only criticism is that the Flames should have traded him a few years ago when his trade value was higher, but that is in the past and nothing can change that now, so good luck Iggy! hope you made the right choice.
Couple of Trades to Mention
San Jose traded Michal Handzus was traded to Chicago for a 4th round draft pick.
Buffalo traded Robyn Regehr for two 2nn round picks.
Calgary Flames made another move trading defensemen Jay Bouwmeester for Defensemen Mark Cundari and Goaltender Reto Barra
More Trades will happen up until the trade deadline on the 3rd of April stay tuned!
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