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The Jays Fan From Pakistan

Why do we become drawn to a particular sport? How do we decide what team gets all of our support? When you’re a baseball fan, you see the same group of guys grind out games for three plus hours per day, six or seven days per week, for six months per year. You can’t help but fall in love with them. We’re happy when they’re happy. We celebrate when they celebrate. We root for our guys to make unbelievable plays and we feel for them when they struggle too. These complete strangers own a little bit of our hearts.
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Hard Work on Display: Marcus Earl Stroman.

It seems fans either love him or they hate him, with no real in between. Personally, I absolutely love him. If there ever was a player to live up to his brand, for me, that player is Marcus Stroman. If heart was measured in height, Stro would be a giant. He pushes himself daily, and makes no excuses for times when he is struggling. He always acknowledges when he needs to do better. After the horrid 1st and 6th innings against Texas on April 28th, he said “I just need to be better overall.” No excuses. No sugar coating anything. Just admitting his struggles and his determination to do better.
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A generational love affair

I fell in love with Toronto and the Blue Jays in 1992 when I was just 15 years old. No, not because the Blue Jays won their first World Series, but because of my Grandad. It was special. I don’t know why he chose to take me, but that decision affected me for the rest of my life. We stayed with my Great Aunt in Kitchener for three weeks and that was where I remember my first exposure to baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Mathematical Lessons in Baseball Games

So your kid hates math but they love baseball? Good news, then: they don’t hate math as much as they think. Most sports are chalk full of mathematics, most especially statistics. And as a Graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Statistics major, I don’t lie when I say that getting your kids interested in sports can boost their interest in math.
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J.A. Happ – The Unassuming Ace

When you think of the Toronto Blue Jays, certain players come to mind. Ask any kid in a Blue Jays cap which player is their favourite and you’ll likely hear the names Donaldson, Pillar, or Stroman. Last year I asked my 7 year old daughter who her favourite Blue Jay was. She didn’t hesitate and immediately said, “JA Happ.” I must admit, I was puzzled by this. I asked her, “Why Happ?” and she just said, “I think he’s a great pitcher and I like the way he plays.”
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Why NSR Media? Why Me?

I’ve had anxiety my entire life. Literally, as long as I can remember, back to my earliest childhood memories. I was never the type of kid who easily fit in to new groups or made friends easily. Those types of things were always a struggle for me and still are to this day. I can remember back to Kindergarten at five-years old, bobbing for apples in class. While all the other kids were having fun, laughing, and enjoying it, I was a mess inside with this unknown feeling.
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The Fly Ball Era

With the age of information extending into the sporting world, teams are now in a position to specialize more than ever, allowing them to put their players in the best possible positions to both enhance their performance and ultimately win their team games. In baseball, this has become clear through the teams’ usage of methods such as player-specific defensive alignments and the specialization of bullpen roles. The league-wide usage of defensive shifts has drastically weakened the impact that a ball hit on the ground can have – given that there is a high percentage that they will be hit right into the shift, something that the data available to teams indicated would happen more often than not. What was the most recent response of the batters in this cat and mouse game of adjustments? Hit the ball in the air and over the shift. A simple explanation from this approach can be borrowed from Blue Jays colour commentator, Pat Tabler. As he commonly says on broadcasts – “you can’t defense that” when referring to a ball hit over the fence. As grammatically incorrect as Tabby might sound in that statement, he is correct.
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The Human Side of Sports

“I am on a lonely road and I am travelling...travelling..travelling...travelling” sings Joni Mitchell in the opening lines of All I Want, I know how she feels. In January 2016 I started a new job. It was an amazing opportunity and chance to really further my career in a direction I couldn’t ever have imagined, the only downside? Travelling. A LOT of travelling.
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They want to play...trust me.

Injuries suck… but they happen. No athlete wants to be injured and those of us who are prone to injury know that better than anyone. I happen to be one of those injury prone athletes. I may not be a professional athlete but I did play Jr. A hockey in front of dozens of scouts, I was invited to prospect camps, and I was even offered a few scholarships.
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Arkells: Canada's musical Olympians

I mainly listen to classical music, though I do love other music. But I don’t know who sings what or what anything is called. Of course I’d heard Knocking on the Door by Arkells. But I didn’t know what it was called, who it was by, or that they were from Hamilton, Ontario – which makes them my neighbours.
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A reflection: My 1st year with Outta The Park.

I’m tired…scratch that. I’m exhausted. I’m a father, a husband, a teacher, a drummer, a podcast producer, a co-host, and a sports fan. My children are awake at various points throughout the night and my wife and I soldier on throughout the day as we both work. I’m angry. More angry than I’ve been in a while.
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Who is Randal Grichuk?

Teams will always take a flier on former top prospects simply because they both hope and believe that if provided, they will be able to fix them and it will be with their organization that the player finally figures it out and becomes the star they were once projected to be. The Toronto Blue Jays are one of the best teams in baseball when it comes to unlocking a hitters full potential allowing them to become a staple in the heart of the lineup.
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It's Opening Day!

Growing up as a first generation Canadian, I struggled with trying to figure out who I really was in terms of how and where I fit in. I felt I was Canadian – I was born there, went to school there. English was my first language, the Canadian culture, values and lifestyle around me seemed the most normal and was what made sense to me. I grew up watching American television (ok, maybe a little Canadian television too) and so in that sense I felt truly Canadian, just like any other Canadian kid. But there was a catch – my parents were immigrants from India and they wanted me to be more Indian than Canadian. I think that is a dilemma that all immigrants go through in terms of adopting a new country as home, but yet wanting to remain true to the culture that they grew up with.
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Anxiety, depression and the journey to health.

Chris Sutherland, drummer for Bat Out Of Hell Toronto, formerly of Kim Mitchell, penned this wonderful story about his journey through the forests of mental health. Anyone that listens to Outta The Park knows how we feel about this topic. Its important. Chris was gracious enough to allow us to share his story. We are all at once proud, inspired and awe struck by his tale. We are honoured to call him a friend of the show.
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More Than Just a Voice

Thank You, Jerry! For 36 years, Jerry Howarth has been a part of my life and I owe so much to him. Up until 1992, I knew Jerry as many of you do, as the voice of the Blue Jays. His voice came through my radio and into my living room, car or back yard. From Hello Again Friends” to “There She Goes”, Jerry had a unique style and delivery and, along with Tom Cheek, was my soundtrack to the summer.
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Buy The Numbers Pics - Feb 8/18

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At the Plate with Heather Emm - Cauliflower Wings

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Buy The Numbers Pics - Feb 1/18

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Marco Estrada: A true gamer

Any of us who are married are well aware of the vows we take. For many, we get into a comfortable groove and tend to get a little bit complacent. Sometimes we take each other for granted, and for some, the hard times end up tearing apart that bond...Then there’s Dioner Navarro.
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Buy The Numbers Pics - Jan 25/18

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Damned If You Do And You’re Damned If You Do

Ladies and gents, welcome to the world of the modern General Manager of a professional sports team. Damned if you do, then repeat OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
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The Things We Do For Love

Any of us who are married are well aware of the vows we take. For many, we get into a comfortable groove and tend to get a little bit complacent. Sometimes we take each other for granted, and for some, the hard times end up tearing apart that bond...Then there’s Dioner Navarro.
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Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects: Part 5 (10-6)

Last week, I wrote part 3 of the Toronto Blue Jays top 30 Prospect list. On it there were some exceptional talents with a lot of potential to become solid big-league contributors. Every week, as we get closer to the top of the list, these names will become both, more noticeable, and also more valuable. Some may even be on the brink of cracking a major league roster, or possibly becoming a trade chip to land a substantial piece in the future.
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Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects: Part 4 (15-11)

Last week, I wrote part 3 of the Toronto Blue Jays top 30 Prospect list. On it there were some exceptional talents with a lot of potential to become solid big-league contributors. Every week, as we get closer to the top of the list, these names will become both, more noticeable, and also more valuable. Some may even be on the brink of cracking a major league roster, or possibly becoming a trade chip to land a substantial piece in the future.
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Who's The Best?

With former Raptors GM Grunwald on Outta the Park this week, and the debate raging on social media as to whom the best Raptor of all time is, I felt compelled to weigh in with my thoughts. Years before I found a home in the Blue Jays camera bay, I sat courtside, covering the Raptors for The Fan 590 and during my first couple of years at Sportsnet.
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Buy The Numbers Pics - Jan 4/18

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Jersey Gate

Misplaced blame is, more times than the inverse, a kevlar vest covering old wounds. The idea is to hide the open seam in one’s soul with protection that will assure another wound will not be added to the tally of those inhibiting the host.
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Believe Him or Not

The 2015 Blue Jays season was magical on many fronts. As a team, they reached the postseason for the first time since 1993, and many individuals contributed to that success along the way.
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The greatest rivalry in cricket? Or in all of sports?!

This is my second blog on the mysterious and intriguing sport of cricket. On Outta the Park Episode 30, Barry suggested that the greatest rivalry in all of cricket was between India and Pakistan. My assertion is that this is false, and that the most intense rivalry in cricket — and possibly all of sport — belongs to England and Australia.
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A Musical Maple Leafs Grading

21 games in, I thought it would be fun to “see where we are” but use songs to describe the current state of factions of the Toronto Maple Leafs corps.
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I won!

He was always the one sportscaster that I felt I related to the most. He seemed down to earth and a god honest baseball and Jays fan. He was the sportscaster, the interviewer that we all wanted to be. Hanging out in the dugout, interviewing our favourite players and being right in the mix of things with a smile on his face and encouraging words where everyone else always seems so negative and critical.
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Excuse Me...I’m Working

Roy Halladay was a Blue Jay for 12 seasons, and during that time, I must have interviewed him or been in a post game scrum of his hundreds of times. One moment however, stands out for me. It showed me what he was all about. He was this way with his teammates as well; something I didn’t understand until many years later.
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Baseball v Cricket – A Primer

111 home runs, 300 RBI, and until last season, not a day spent on the DL. Guys like him are so hard to find. He is the true definition of a “Franchise Player.” So why is the idea of the Jays trading him even on the radar?
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Bringer of Decisions

111 home runs, 300 RBI, and until last season, not a day spent on the DL. Guys like him are so hard to find. He is the true definition of a “Franchise Player.” So why is the idea of the Jays trading him even on the radar?
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WHY I RAPPELLED DOWN A BUILDING IN MY WHEELCHAIR

I loved going to Easter Seals camp as a kid. I got to do things I couldn’t do at home like playing sports, camping out, performing on stage and strutting my stuff on the dance floor. I was accepted and treated like everyone else by my cabin mates and counsellors. I had so much fun that used to cry when I had to leave and go home. I met my friend Todd at Lakewood Camp over 30 years ago when I was a camper and he was a counsellor. I wanted to help kids like me make great memories and lifelong friends like I have made with Todd.
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It's all about respect

Why am I blogging again about how sports intersects with “real life?”
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Rooting For The Underdog

They all played pro sports in Toronto, were never going to lead the league or their team in any offensive category, and were absolutely loved by fans.
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Ridiculous rules in sports

The text that follows is the listener submissions for the"Speaking Of" segment of Outta The Park Ep. 29.
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The Loser Point

Every major sports league has a system for deciding regular season games that are tied at the end of regulation. Hockey fans can take pride in knowing that the NHL’s overtime rules are better and more exciting than the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. So, why does the league insist on still awarding a point to teams that lose in the extra session?
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Explaining the hidden ball trick

It’s a rare event that we think of more as a play to be expected in little leagues or in movies like Rookie of the Year. It’s a controversial play and whenever it happens, lots of fans debate whether or not it is a legal play.
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The Artist Above The Bullpen

Other than the product of an idle mind, and some far-flung regrets about never going to art school, the signs may be best attributed to watching a frightening number of Joe Biagini interviews in April. I’ve had a bit of an up-and-down year, and Biagini’s eccentricism is comforting in its reliable off-the-wall absurdity. When he became a starter, I began to sit behind the bullpen for the first time.
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Digging The Puck Out Of The Corners of Trauma

Contact sports are about mitigating damage. A boxer, NFL player and NHL winger know they are entering the field of play to sustain a certain amount of physical trauma. Their preparation involves not only delivering such trauma, but also receiving it. Keep that mind when reading what follows.
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Tom Petty: The friend I Never Met

With the passing of another iconic musican, I look at why their deaths hit us so hard. Why are we so close to people we've never even met?
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A Case for Advanced Goalie Stats

I’ve always liked goalies. Growing up in the seventies, I loved looking at those lonesome warriors in their interesting masks. I was an average house league defenceman who got bailed out by his goalie more than once, so perhaps I appreciated what they did on a deeper level than most. Someone once told me that the stitches on Gerry Cheevers’ mask represented shots that had hit him in the head. I assumed that the stitch to shot ratio was one to one, and I wondered how many of those stitches came courtesy of shots from Guy Lafleur.
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Blue (and White) Steel

I’m going to be honest. I had a completely different article written for this week. I was going to temper expectations and point to things that need improving with this Maple Leafs team (namely their defense of leads), however after their game against the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night none of what I had written was pertinent anymore. Instead, the only thing on my mind was how resilient this Toronto team is proving to be.
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The Day LaTroy Hawkins Saved Me

I had a taste of it the year before when the Kansas City Royals clinched the 2014 ALCS, I was assigned to cover their clubhouse celebration. Normally, a visiting reporter can avoid the heavy downpour of champagne, but there were some familiar faces at this party. Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Erik Kratz were all guys I got to know from their time with the Blue Jays, so when they saw me enter the clubhouse, I became a target.
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The Kids Are Alright: Thoughts on the 2017/2018 Maple Leafs’ season

I’m not one of those fans who unrealistically think a Stanley cup is a sure-thing this season, but a few days before the start of the 2017/2018 NHL season I’m feeling really optimistic about the boys in blue and white.
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From a listener: How Jose made us smile

In 2011, I promised Mary, my grandmother, that she would never have to go to a nursing home - I would take care of her when everyday things became too difficult for her to manage.
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An Ode to the Bullpen

I got home last night exhausted. I’m on medication that often leaves me drowsy. I remember the multitude of all-nighters I pulled in high-school and marvel. I can’t do that anymore. But there were things to be done: wash makeup off, change out of jersey, put jersey in the tub to soak while I took my medication, rinse jersey, hang jersey to dry outdoors.
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Thanks For the Memory Jose

I get asked a lot about what the highlight of my career has been. For the longest time, it was a hard question to answer. These days, it’s a no brainer.
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Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects: Part 3 (20-16)

Last week, I wrote part 2 of the Toronto Blue Jays top 30 Prospect list. On it there were some exceptional talents with a lot of potential to become solid big-league contributors. Every week, as we get closer to the top of the list, these names will become both, more noticeable, and also more valuable. Some may even be on the brink of cracking a major league roster, or possibly becoming a trade chip to land a substantial piece in the future.
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Surviving Cancer Special Presentation Podcast

This special podcast will be hosted by Barry Davis and Matt McFarland, who host the Outta the Park podcast.. This special will focus on those who have personally survived cancer and families that have had to survive after seeing a loved one battle this terrible disease.
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An explanation of WAR

Despite my love of baseball and statistics, I’ve always been intimidated by the advanced sabermetrics that are an increasingly important part of the game. My favourite advanced stat is WAR, but until writing this article, I had a very cursory understanding of it. Much of the complexity still escapes me, but I take comfort in knowing that men and women determine these stats professionally. To personalize it and to help me get my head around it, I decided to analyse my favourite player’s best season. In short, I sought to determine what Jose Bautista’s 2011 WAR of 8.1 represented
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A Ballpark Odyssey Pt. 3 (Parks 10 - 1)

I’ve been blessed with the time and the resources to see at least one game in all 30 stadiums currently used in Major League Baseball, as well as four that are no longer in use. These are some of the games that I’ve gone to and trips that I’ve been able to take.
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Who is Brian Jeroloman?

Brian Jeroloman has become a regular contributor to Outta the Park. His stories are always entertaining, and his experiences and knowledge of the game are vast. One question I continue to receive from listeners though is; “Who the hell is Brian Jeroloman?” Great question!
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A Rare Bird

“I love it here...It’s like home for me” How many times have you heard a pending free agent say this, when asked about the possibility of re-signing with their current team? They mean well but we all know that money talks, and at the end of the day, they will sign the largest deal they can get. David Price is an example of how that doesn't always work out as planned.
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A love letter from Mexico

He told me was a life-long Blue Jays fan and that he was about to embark on a journey to visit Canada and the Rogers Centre, in an effort to live a dream ; to see the Blue Jays play LIVE on their home turf.
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A Ballpark Odyssey Pt. 2 (Parks 20 - 11)

I’ve been blessed with the time and the resources to see at least one game in all 30 stadiums currently used in Major League Baseball, as well as four that are no longer in use. These are some of the games that I’ve gone to and trips that I’ve been able to take.
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Trading Josh Donaldson is no easy feat

Over the past month I have been going through scenario after scenario, team after team, trying to find a mix of talent to make the trade. I have also looked at the course and trajectory of the team acquiring him, and need at position. I have come to the conclusion that a functional trade for both sides may not exist.
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A Ballpark Odyssey Pt. 1 (Parks 30 - 21)

I’ve been blessed with the time and the resources to see at least one game in all 30 stadiums currently used in Major League Baseball, as well as four that are no longer in use. These are some of the games that I’ve gone to and trips that I’ve been able to take.
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9 Reasons Baseball Wins My Heart

If you follow me on Twitter, it's no surprise that I am a HUGE baseball fan. The Toronto Blue Jays are my team, and despite their paltry start to the season and questionable chances at making the post-season, I still watch as many games as I can. With 162 games, it's no small feat, but I use much of this time to design new products for my Etsy shop, which by now doesn't involve a lot of brainpower. Multitasking for the win!
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Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects: Part 2 (25-21)

Last week, I wrote part 1 of the Toronto Blue Jays top 30 Prospect list. On it there were some exceptional talents with a lot of potential to become solid big-league contributors. Every week, as we get closer to the top of the list, these names will become both, more noticeable, and also more valuable. Some may even be on the brink of cracking a major league roster, or possibly becoming a trade chip to land a substantial piece in the future.
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The Blame Game

I understand the frustration from Jays fans. They’ve made it to the ALCS the last 2 seasons, and this team should be much, much better than it has been. To suggest, however, that one player is to blame is simply appalling to me.
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A Blast From My Past

I was recently purging some “junk” from the basement and stumbled across a box of old toys, that my now 17year-old son once owned. My first instinct was to toss them but he adamantly insisted they weren't junk at all, but memories. That got me thinking about the good ‘ol days and that grew into a full blown trip down memory lane to places and things I'd seen and all the cool things I once owned, that I wish I still had...
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Bluejays Top 30 Prospects: Part 1 (30-26)

Not long ago, the Blue Jays farm system appeared to be gutted. Major acquisition after major acquisition took away almost all Minor League depth and talent above A-Ball. It was dark times for the system. One regime change later, a major shift occurred in both draft and signing philosophy, and as a result, the system is flourishing. Not only has the player scouting and evaluation improved but it seems player development in the minor leagues has as well. We are beginning to see a massive improvement from prospects at all levels. So, lets review this season by unveiling the Toronto Blue Jays post-minor league season’s top 30 prospects.
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And here I am again…

I was 4 and going into Junior Kindergarten. I was little and we lived in a rural setting, so the bus was a necessity. She watched me board the bus, knapsack affixed, and as I turned to disappear into the bowels of the yellow machine, she waved. I don’t remember looking back.
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Don’t Rebuild! Re-tool Instead...

For even the most loyal optimists, it’s about time you faced the cold harsh reality; the Blue Jays won't be seeing action in the 2017 postseason. I could go on all day, as to the reasons why, but that’s another blog for another day. Today, I’d like to discuss why I believe it’s vital that the Jays try to put a contending team in the field in 2018.
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I'm sitting beside…..

I listened to talk radio at night. It’s a tradition I’ve kept to this day, however, podcasts have helped ensure that I keep my marriage. My wife sleeps very light, and the radio is a disturbance to her, even at the lowest of volumes. The advent of the podcast has been a boon to my radio obsession because I can use a small ear bud at night, set the podcast stream to end when the show is over, and my wife is able to sleep undisturbed.
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Stop Blaming Gibby

Managing a baseball team might be looked at by some as a “dream job”, but for the majority of those who have held down the post, it’s been more of a nightmare. I really don't know how they do it.
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The September Youth Movement

This year, more than most, there is a level of intrigue around the Toronto Blue Jays. For the first time since 2014 there could potentially be a number of top prospects on their way to the big club. This isn't just because of the organizational depth that has been grown over the past 20 months; it also has to do with exceptional performances that have come from unexpected places.
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The case for standardization

I took a beating in a poll, on two podcasts and all over social media. My contention was that pitchers and batters stats are skewed because the outfield playing areas throughout MLB ballparks are different. Therefore, acquiring a player using stats as the main buying point, would be difficult because a GM would be unsure how to accurately rate any metric using the outfield as its home.
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Will the Real Tulo Ever Arrive in Toronto?

One of the biggest enigmas for the Blue Jays in the last couple of years has been Troy Tulowitzki. There have been many theories as to why Jays fans aren't seeing the “real” Troy Tulowitzki but most are unfounded.
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Statements from the team: Your First Sports Memory

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Barry’s All-time Best Albums

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What Marcus Stroman Teaches Us About Individuality

One of those moments came about after the emotional game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics on July 27, the one that saw three ejections, crazy umpiring, and a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning. This game was full of drama, and I couldn’t help but scroll through Twitter afterwards to take in the many reactions and observations from fans, players, and sportswriters.
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This too shall pass…

Why am I hoping for a sub par Blue Jays team? I’ll tell you. For those that only have a passing knowledge of the Toronto Maple Leafs, let me bring you up to speed. The Leafs were bad; bad,bad, bad for many years. Some would say 50 years, but they would be wholly inaccurate. Yes, they haven't won a championship in 50 years but advancing into the semi-finals of the playoffs on multiple occasions during that 50 year span goes a long way to dispelling the argument that they were bad for a half-century. What do the Leafs have to do with the Blue Jays?
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Reading Between The Lines

As of the 2017 inductions, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, has 220 former Major League players. I have yet to meet a person who can claim that guys like Ruth, Gehrig, Robinson, Mays or Williams weren't incredible baseball players. How could we possibly know this? They played long before we had sabermetrics. Yes they had numbers to help evaluate how great they were, but even without the numbers, those who watched them play everyday could tell. Just as easily as they could step outside and know it’s a nice day without looking at the barometer.
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Negativity Is Hard to Silence

“He's had more poor seasons over his career than successful ones. His gimmick is up, guys can hit slow stuff.” “Let's not get too carried away.. it's the sox and it's 1 game.” “It's The White Sox” “He basically pitched to AAA team. Don't get to excited.”
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Compassion… Try it!

How can we expect me to perform at the highest level when my inner turmoil is set to breach the walls of my mind? We know nothing about what is going on inside these people that we scrutinize. How many of us knew the battle that Roberto Osuna was fighting? None of us. That’s why it was such a shock.
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It's Time To Finally Get Over Edwin

Let me begin by saying I love Edwin Encarnacion. For 6 of his 8 seasons in Toronto, he provided Blue Jays fans with so many memorable moments. His game winning homer, against Baltimore in the Wild Card game in 2016, will go down as one of the most impactful plays in franchise history. He’s also very deserving to, one day, have his name on the level of excellence.
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All In Good Fun

After talking about comedic films on Ep16 of Outta the Park, Matt the Producer recommended I blog about them. So here, in no particular order, are a few notes about my all-time favourites. I’ve included a memorable line from each. Since we have readers of all ages here, I’ve kept the quotes as close to PG as I could..
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Goins Isn’t The Problem

The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays have had many issues. They haven't pitched consistently enough, haven't hit well with runners in scoring position, haven’t provided the defence they are capable of and have suffered an unreal number of injuries. So why are so many people focused on the contributions of the team’s utility infielder?
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3 - 2 - 1 - GO

The thrill of the live broadcast. Our rare live broadcast of Outta the Park last week reminded me just how much I love the concept of being live. Be it TV, radio, theatre or music, there's such a rawness and adrenaline rush about performing live. Was it perfect? Not at all. So much of what we did would have normally been cut or redone had it been a recorded show, but that's part of the beauty of it.
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Three Things Baseball Taught Me About Life

If you follow me on Twitter, it's no surprise that I am a HUGE baseball fan. The Toronto Blue Jays are my team, and despite their paltry start to the season and questionable chances at making the post-season, I still watch as many games as I can. With 162 games, it's no small feat, but I use much of this time to design new products for my Etsy shop, which by now doesn't involve a lot of brainpower. Multitasking for the win!
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Life With Anxiety

If you’ve listened to Episode 13 of Outta the Park you know that I’ve been dealing with anxiety for many years. The operative word being “dealing.” Anxiety has no definitive cure and many anxiety triggers are unavoidable in everyday life but the good news is in most cases, not only can you deal with it, you can live a normal, productive life, with it.
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The Littlest Things Mean So Much

3:30pm.... FINALLY! The only light after another harrowing day. I came home to run a hot bath, my afternoon escape from hunger, freezing cold, and my classmate, who made it his goal to bully me into anorexia.
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The BLUE Arrow

Blue Jays Superfan, Stephen Amell using his superpowers for All-Star votes Never doubt the power of a Superhero. Ok, Stephen Amell only plays one on TV, but when not keeping crime in check in Starling City as the Green Arrow, Amell, is using his powers of celebrity to get the Blue Jays some much needed exposure south of the border.
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A Lifetime Of Baseball In 22 Years

So, just who are the 2017 Toronto Blue Jays? The team that was 8-17 in April or the 18-10 team from May? Call it fence sitting if you will, but the truth is they are neither. To play each month 9 games under .500 would see them finish 59-103 and keeping the pace of May would see them win 105-57, so you get the point. More importantly, have the Blue Jays officially recovered from that awful start enough to be considered a contender in the AL East?
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Will The Real Blue Jays Please Stand Up

So, just who are the 2017 Toronto Blue Jays? The team that was 8-17 in April or the 18-10 team from May? Call it fence sitting if you will, but the truth is they are neither. To play each month 9 games under .500 would see them finish 59-103 and keeping the pace of May would see them win 105-57, so you get the point. More importantly, have the Blue Jays officially recovered from that awful start enough to be considered a contender in the AL East?
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Aaron Sanchez And The Blisters

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped inside the Blue Jays clubhouse. It was much smaller than it is now, the players lockers didn't have as many toys and gadgets and you’d often see Duane Ward sitting back at his stall with a beer and cigarette in hand.
Continued

When Life Becomes Bigger Than Baseball

The wife of former Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro nearly lost her life after serious health concerns. I’ll never forget the day Dioner Navarro made his return to the Blue Jays. It was August 29th, 2016. The Jays were preparing for a game at Camden Yards, and at around 3:30, there he was, on a golf cart, being driven to the clubhouse in the bowels of the stadium...
Continued

All You have To Do Is Say His Name Out Loud

Joe Biagini... all you have to do is say his name out loud and it makes you laugh. When I arrived in Dunedin in February 2016, all I knew about him was that the Jays had selected him in the Rule 5 draft from the Giants and, under the rules, they had to keep him on the big league team or give him back to San Fran.
Continued

One Of A Kind

The expression "one of a kind" is thrown out quite liberally and more often than not, it's used to describe something or someone who isn't all that unique. In the case of John Gibbons, I can honestly say that I've never met anyone quite like him. "Gibby,” as he's affectionately called, is one of many managers/coaches I have dealt with over the years, but he's the only one who can make me laugh, seethe in anger, feel embarrassed and be completely lost and confused...all within the same conversation.
Continued

Did Not See THAT Coming

2-10! Can't say I saw THAT coming. Sure the Jays had a poor spring record, but that means nothing. This is the team that is supposed to make it to the next level in 2017. With arguably the best rotation in the AL, the sky is the limit, right?
Continued

What A Treat

What a treat it was to have the great Duane Ward join me on this week’s No Suit Required Podcast. He was one of the first Blue Jays I ever stuck a mic in front of, back when I was just breaking into the business in 1993, and let me tell you, I was shaking in my boots that first time I approached him in the Blue Jays clubhouse.
Continued

Alomar's Fantasy Camp

It was November of 2015, and for the first time in my life, I was suiting up with the pros...Ok, that's a bit of a stretch, but Roberto Alomar's Fantasy camp gave me, and many others, the rare chance to put on the Blue Jays uniform and at least be coached by the pros.
Continued

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