2017-03-21

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.

2017-02-18

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
16-15

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
16-16

Team Tayls
17-15

Team BJH
13-20

Biagini
Mike Bolsinger
Carerra
Loup
Smith
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
20-13

@1BJW
18-14

Biagini
Bolsinger
Carrera
Bo Schultz
Smith
Smoak

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

Team Gregor
18-14

Bye Bye Barry
17-14-1

Biagini
Bolsinger
Carerra
Gavin Floyd
Smith
Smoak

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
17-15-1

Biagini
Bolsinger
Carrera
Loup
Schultz
Smoak

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

Sigbox
22-11

Bolsinger
Loup
Dalton Pompey
Schultz
Smith
Smoak

Showing Mississauga’s finest some love!

@scottwspicer
10-19

Biagini
Carrera
Smith
Smoak
Schultz
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
14-17

Biagini
Carrera
Loup
Smith
Smoak
Sparkman

Last Row 500’s
15-17-1

Biagini
Bolsinger
Carrera
Smith
Smoak
Sparkman

Jays are my 2nd favourite team
18-13

Biagini
Carrera
Loup
Smith
Smoak
Sparkman

@AndyMc9293
23-10

Biagini
Carerra
Floyd
Schultz
Smith
Smoak

OkOkBlueJays
18-15

Biagini
Carrera
Floyd
Loup
Smith
Smoak

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

Harrow Super Stars
18-11

Bolsinger
Carrera
Floyd
Smith
Smoak
Sparkman

Human Rain Delay
18-10

Bolsinger
Carrera
Loup
Smith
Smoak
Tepera

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.

2017-02-13

Get Your Ballot In!



Hope you can join us this year. All you need to do is guess who you think will be the 25 players on the Blue Jays opening day roster. Throw in a team name, a tiebreaker and your ballot is set.

Simple enough and you can win free prizes.

Click here for details

2017-01-21

The 25 Man Roster Challenge Is Back!

After what can only be described as an underwhelming off-season for a team coming off back-to-back ALCS appearances, we ask you once again to join us for the 8th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge.

The braintrust continually tries to assure us that there is still time to strengthen the roster, which does make this edition of the roster challenge potentially very intriguing. Considering the obvious needs of the team and the solid big league talent still currently available on the market, the possibility of trades or signings during spring training--after the deadline to have your ballot in--isn't as remote as it has been in the past. Throw in a WBC, and the very real possibility of injury that comes with playing high-intensity games relatively early on in the spring, and this thing could get messy in a hurry.


If you do decide to play, you have 3 options to submit your ballot in:


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 reminder post(s) we will do.

All ballots should have a team name and a tiebreaker.


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 on 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 Pirates at the Big O, but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 25 or the WBC tune-up game against Canada on March 7. 

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 one of those games goes to extra innings and one team runs out of pitchers, both teams agree the game ends in tie.
It is not a requirement that you select a tie breaker, and all ballots containing 25 names will be considered valid, but it is a really good idea that you do. Four years ago we had a stupid close finish and we actually had to break it right down to winning percentage.

It should be noted that no one has ever gone 25-for-25 in all the years we have been running this challenge; it would be really swell if that streak was broken.

Some Things To Consider:

Your Toronto Blue Jays currently have a number of 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. As usual, the last few bullpen jobs and the last roster spot could be decided by who is able to open the year in Buffalo and who isn't.
  • OF Ezequiel Carrera
  • 1B Justin Smoak
  • SS Ryan Goins
  • RHP Mike Bolsinger
  • RHP Bo Schultz
  • MVP Josh Donaldson
At the end of the day, all you have to do to be the champion is put forth a ballot with 25 names on it. Who wins what job is irrelevant in this game, but it can't be played without taking it into consideration.

Prizes:

This year we have a great selection of coveted prizes for the winner to keep. Due to the fact that I won my own challenge last year, most of these prizes have been rolled over. An old school bobblehead has been added just because. Behold!




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.

The deadline to enter your ballots will be Monday, February 13 at midnight

2016-12-27

Interview with Dwight Smith Jr.




In what can only be described as yet another instalment of prospect porn, here is our latest featuring OF Dwight Smith Jr. In repeating the AA level, Dwight posted an unremarkable .265/.332/.433 triple slash line with 15 HR and 12 SB.

In 2016, he patrolled all three outfield positions but the overwhelming majority - 91 of his 126 total games – were spent in LF. The left-handed hitter was taken 53rd overall out of high school in the 2011 draft.
Not sure if he was eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason or not but, in any event, he wasn’t selected. He is currently not listed as being on the 40 man roster. A move up to AAA for 2017 is most likely in his future and Bisons fans should see plenty of Smith Jr. in a corner OF spot at Coca Cola Field.

Our man on the field, the one and only Jay Ballz, caught up with Dwight for a brief chat in which they discuss:

  • Eastern League competition
  • The pressure that comes along with being a first-round pick
  • What it’s like to play in front of a packed Olympic Stadium in Montreal
  • His observations from spending time in big league spring training camp
  • What superpower he would choose if able

This interview was done in May shortly after Bautista got decked in the jaw by Odor. We apologize for the delay in posting it. (Not really. It's a stupid blog post and it’s free, so deal with it.)