The 25 Man Roster Challenge Is Back Once Again


Are you carrying around a scratch pad of paper with crossed out player names in your wallet? Are you pondering what the Blue Jays opening day lineup will look like while you wait in traffic for a light to change? Do you tune out your significant other while you internally debate the merits of an 8-man bullpen?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then we implore you to join us for the 9th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge.

It’s a super simple game that has but one requirement: Name the 25 baseball players within the Blue Jays organization who will crack the opening day roster.

Sounds simple right?

Well, it isn’t. No one has ever gone 25-for-25 in all the years we’ve been running this challenge, and we would get the warm fuzzies all over if that streak was broken this time around.

If you decide to play, there are 3 ways to submit your ballot:

1) Send us an email: 1bluejaysway(at)gmail.com
2) Make a post on your blog, if you have one, and send us a link.
3) Add your ballot to the comments section of this post or the reminders we post later.

In the event of a tie—and it's pretty much a given at this point that there will be a tie—we ask that you also give us a prediction of what you think the spring training record will be. From what we can see, it appears as though the boys of summer will attempt to play 33 spring training games this year. That total includes the 2 exhibition games against the Cardinals at the Big O but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 17.

Try not to forget that sometimes it rains in Florida and the games don't generally get made up if they are cancelled. There is also a chance that if a game goes to extra innings and one team runs out of pitchers, both teams agree the game ends in a tie. 

It is not a requirement that you select a tie breaker, all ballots containing 25 names will be considered valid, but it is a really good idea that you do include one. Over the years we have had numerous stupid close finishes and we actually had to break it right down to winning percentage.

Some Things To Consider:

What’s this we see? Legit position player battles? Serviceable depth in the event injuries happen whilst playing a professional sport on FUCKING CONCRETE? What a concept. We’re all for running out the best 9 dudes on the roster every damn day until they drop dead or are exposed as frauds but, gosh, a real MLB bench is a unicorn up here in Baseball North headquarters. This could make the roster challenge a tad bit dicey once you really get down to the last four or five names on your ballot.

Your Toronto Blue Jays currently have a few players who are out of options on the 40-man roster and would therefore have to make the team or be sent through waivers before they could be demoted to the Minor Leagues. A few of these players are not in jeopardy at all, but there will be some spring training battles to keep your eyes on here for sure. We have not yet been able to confirm a complete list and will update this post when possible.

  • OF Ezequiel Carrera
  • 1B Justin Smoak
  • MVP Donaldson

Zeke’s days of blindly chucking baseballs around the stadium may have just mercifully come an end. Not sure the tall foreheads on the executive board over at Rogers will be pleased with eating the two million-ish bucks on his contract he just re-upped but he has no value on a major league roster.


Perusing the current 40-man roster, one name jumps out right away as the early money favorite to be the X factor in this edition of the roster challenge. An argument can be made that the very quirky and very loveable Joseph Carlo Biagini should be in the back end of the MLB starting rotation OR a swing man out of the pen OR a high leverage set-up type guy in the pen OR optioned to Buffalo to lead their team’s prospect-loaded pitching staff and be the first line of defense when Marco has more trouble going to sleepy. We think he could handle any one of those roles—some better than others, no doubt—but for the purposes of this exercise it doesn’t matter. Who wins what job is irrelevant, but it really should be taken into consideration when constructing your ballot.

At the end of the day, all you have to do to be the champion is pick the right 25 names.


This year we have a great selection of coveted prizes for the winner to keep. Last year’s champion declined to accept the loot, so we’ve just rolled it back one more time.

It’s quite a haul and more reflective of the fact that we process way too much Jays crap from the past. The foam J is the one you saw during the playoffs in 2015.

A quick note from last year’s champion who will be defending his title to the death, the one, the only, The Blue Jay Hunter:

As the defending champion of 1 Blue Jays Way's 25 Man Roster Challenge, I implore you to participate in this contest. Winning this title was no accident. I spent dozens and dozens of seconds analyzing the upside of each potential roster candidate and meticulously weighed each individual option. It's a fun exercise to see who can construct the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster, which is much more difficult than you'd think.

Injuries, signings and Spring Training oddities often throw ballots completely out the window two or three weeks into the contest. Frankly, there isn't much to argue about other than who the 24th and 25th men on the roster are going to be, anyway. Let the agonizing about the viability of Ezequiel Carrera and Matt Dermody begin!

The deadline to enter your ballots will be Tuesday, February 13 at midnight. Hope you can join us and play.

Please try to remember that all ballots should include a team name, 25 player names and a tiebreaker.


Sweet Jesus, the Jays fucking blow

For the record, I have found a proxy who is old and fakes injuries to bypass the lines.

Everybody loves free shit.

And make no mistake about it, the Blue Jays love giving you free shit as long as you’re dumb enough to line up hours before first pitch and spend triple the cost of said free item on food and beverage.

The house always wins.

So for all you greedy fucks who wait for the promo schedule to be announced before you pick your games - you know who you are - let’s take a look at the actual GAME results for every freebie this year to date.

Hint: YUCK


April 11 Opening Day Rally Towel 48,456  L 4-3
April 16 Bringer of Rain Umbrella 38,188  L 11-4
April 30 Stro Jersey 42,986  W 3-1
May 11 Jose T-shirt 29,120  W 7-2
May 14 Marco Bobble head 42,030  W 3-2
May 28 Cowboy Hat 46,188  L 3-1
May 31 Team Card Set 44,058  W 5-4
June 1 Tulo T-shirt 37,722  L 12-2
June 4 Donaldson Bobble head 46,782  W 3-2
June 13 MLB Bag 39,404  L 8-1
June 18 Grilli BBQ Apron 46,599  W 7-3
June 29 Stro T-shirt 37,291  L 2-0
July 1 Red Jays Hat 46,672  L 7-1
July 2 150 Baseball 46,696  L 15-2
July 9 Sanchez Bobble head 46,622  L 19-1

6 Wins; 9 Losses
42 Runs Scored; 95 Runs Allowed

On the plus side, you’ve got a closet full of swag; on the negative side, you’ve paid a premium in both dollars and time to watch our boys play at woeful .400 clip (which is slightly better than the Giants, who are currently 27 games out of first place).

There's no real point to this post except it may help explain where that annoying, mouth-breathing, let’s-tear-the-whole-thing-down-and-rebuild-it-right-after-I-call-Jays-talk bandwagon fan, who always corners you at work on Monday morning and starts the conversation with “Sweet Jesus, the Jays fucking blow," is coming from.


25 Man Roster Challenge goes down to the wire!

Yet another installment of The 25 Man Roster Challenge has come and gone. As usual, it did not disappoint.

With less than 24 hours to go, it was a real possibility that we would have not only one, but three perfect ballots this year. Considering it had never happened in the seven previous editions, that would have been a rare feat indeed. But, like so many times before, the braintrust overthought everything and snatched the perfect ballot dream from our grasp.

Here is your 2017 Toronto Blue Jays opening day roster:

Since all 18 ballots submitted contained the names Melvin Upton and Roberto Osuna, it basically turned into a 23 Man Roster Challenge. Below are the seven team’s that nailed 22 of 25 names correctly and therefore advanced to the tiebreaker phase.

Team BJH: 13 – 20
Over on the PECOTA: 14 – 17
Jimmy Triggs: 16 – 16
Team Tayls: 17 – 15
Jays are my 2nd favourite team: 18 – 13
@scottspicer: 10 – 19
Humain Rain Delay: 18 – 10

The Blue Jays played to a 12 – 18 – 3 spring training record, which works out to a 13.5 – 19.5 record using the modified tiebreaker formula, or a .409 winning percentage.

Taking another look at the teams, it came down to just two titans of Blue Jay fandom.

Team BJH: .393 or 0.016 under
Over on the PECOTA: .451 or 0.042 over

Sorry, Clint, Ian took this thing by a nose. The always gentlemanly Blue Jay Hunter was contacted to arrange for delivery of the well-earned loot...and he flatly declined. He did ask that the winnings be rolled over into next year’s challenge and even offered to add to the prize pool because that’s the sort of dude he is. 

Thanks to all who joined this year and we hope to see you again next year as the search for the perfect ballot continues.

As an aside, this challenge is basically all that’s left of this blog. Over the years, we all have found much better things to do with our time. Not a knock on those who still agonize over generating posts on a somewhat daily basis but, man, it’s exhausting. After you think of an idea and spend time developing it to the point where it’s fit to press post, surely some dickhead will come along and quote wOBP or UZR and then tell you how stupid you are.


Update: The 25 Man Roster Challenge

We've been scouring the internet for the last few weeks and gathered some notes from the Blue Jays camp. Today we wanted to pass along some good and not so good news to teams competing in The 25 Man Roster Challenge.

Of the 18 ballots submitted, 10 went with LHP Aaron Loup. So far that looks like a very nice call. Gibby and by extension all MLB managers like to have multiple lefties available to them. Don't buy it?

Prepare to get Wilnerized.....

And then this appeared about a week later from a much more tolerable source. To sum up, those 10 ballots are looking pretty slick.

5 of the ballots submitted thought lightning could strike twice. Well, it won't with respect to Rule V pick 2017 The Sparkman. Gotta feel for the guy, his rehab will be stupid long. I'm sure he would rather just get back on a mound and pitch, service time be damned.

For those that actually give a fuck what Wilner thinks, he's been doing a weekly series on who he thinks will head north with the team. You can find his latest thoughts here. In fairness, he's a pretty swell writer.

That's about it for now. All you that took the under on the tiebreaker are looking pretty good. Your Toronto Blue Jays spring training record sits at a dick softening 6 - 14 - 2.


And They're Off!

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for joining us this year. Without you, there would be no 25 Man Roster Challenge.

Here are some fast facts from the 8th edition of the Roster Challenge:

  • There were 18 ballots submitted before the deadline
  • One late ballot that will not be considered
  • 4 ballots do not think Joe Biagini makes the cut
  • 5 ballots hope the Jays strike Rule V gold again
  • 6 ballots are feeling minor league invitee Gavin Floyd
  • Aaron Loup is the great divide this year with just over half the ballots selecting him
  • All ballots contained 19 identical names

Devon Travis
Troy Tulowitzki
Josh Donaldson
Russell Martin
Melvin Upton
Kevin Pillar
Jose Bautista
Kendrys Morales
Marcus Stroman
Aaron Sanchez
Marco Estrada
Francisco Liriano
J.A. Happ
Roberto Osuna
Jason Grilli
JP Howell
Steve Pearce
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Darwin Barney

Once again apologies for the length of this post. Each ballot has a team name, their tiebreaker and the remaining 6 players not listed above. Our thoughts or any other interesting details regarding the ballot will be added, as deemed necessary. 

There were only two players selected once. Their names will be bolded. These are the hail mary situations.

Hip Happ Horray’s

Zeke Carrera
Gavin Floyd
Aaron Loup
Ryan Goins
Joe Smith
Glenn Sparkman

Hands down our favourite ballot this year. The owner made a change with just over an hour to go before the deadline.

OUT Biagini…..IN Rule V guy

The only ballot to give Go Go and his out of options .224/.270/.325 62 OPS+ career hitting self a nod on the opening day roster. This was also the only ballot not to contain the name Justin Smoak. You must take chances to win at this game and Team Hip Happ Horray’s has certainly done just that. Let’s see how it works out.

Jimmy Triggs

Team Tayls

Team BJH

Mike Bolsinger
Justin Smoak

Three ballots the same? Looks like we have ourselves a legit favourite. If it comes down to the tiebreaker, the team's spring training record will loom large.

The Ant Farm


Bo Schultz

Guess I shouldn’t have answered truthfully when Ant Guy asked me my point of view on this year’s team.

Team Gregor

Bye Bye Barry

Gavin Floyd

We are once again honoured to be joined by the beat reporter for MLB.com this year. You can check out Gregor’s detailed thoughts on the roster by clicking here.

Shout out to team Bye Bye Barry for the fantastic team name and the great company you’re in with selecting this ballot. Gonna miss that midget on the broadcasts. If this ends up being the winning combination of players, the tiebreaker is gonna be epic.

I Like Nuts


Only ballot not to contain the name Joe Smith on it, if that’s even a real name.


Dalton Pompey

Showing Mississauga’s finest some love!


Ryan Tepera

How about a little bit of positivity on the spring training record? This ballot is planning on watching some train wreck type level baseball and quite a few rain outs this spring. 

Over on the PECOTA


Last Row 500’s


Jays are my 2nd favourite team






These 5 ballots are all very close with the final couple of bullpen arms being the difference. 

Harrow Super Stars


Human Rain Delay


And with that, we are officially a go. Good luck to all the contestants and enjoy monitoring the spring battles for jobs in camp.

Oh, almost forgot. Fuck that Matt Latos guy.