2016-04-04

Over: The 25 Man Roster Challenge



This year, 19 willing and able competitors answered the call to The 25 Man Roster Challenge and only 2 are left standing after a long and gruelling spring training. In order to win the coveted prizes this year, 22 out of 25 was required. Considering two of the players who didn’t break camp with the big club were named on all ballots, pitchers Aaron Loup and Marco Estrada, that’s a very solid score. As has been the case in almost all previous years, the tiebreaker will determine glory.

Before we get to the championship round, a special shout out goes to the @gregorMLB ballot. Up until 11:53 pm the night before the season opener he was still very much alive and it looked like there would be 3 ballots advancing. But then, the unthinkable happened...


Anyway, on to the finalists:

BJH Ballot
12-18 .400%

@1BJW
16-13 .550%

Normally, the great Blue Jay Hunter is the most positive Jays guy in the room, but he predicted a paltry 12-18 spring training record for the reigning AL East champion juggernaut. We must give credit where it is due, though, and acknowledge the ballsy selection of Rule V pick Joe Biagini. 

So as it stands, I have won my own challenge (again). I’m sure you are all super thrilled for me. The prizes will be held in trust and baked into next year’s edition of the roster challenge.

Thanks again to all that joined in on the fun. Hope to see you again next year.

2016-03-22

Roster Challenge Update

















Nice to know there's a park that is worse than ours, isn't it?

The long (too long) slow trek to opening day is almost over. As such, the roster challenge is certainly heating up. The highlights as we see them so far:


This is a biggie. All 19 ballots have the name Aaron Loup on it. That effectively means this has become the 24 Man Roster Challenge and the tradition of no perfect ballot lives to fight another day. If old man veteran Randy Choate grabs the job as the LOOGY then there's nothing to see here. A one for one swap means this injury doesn't change the outcome of the challenge. If he does not, all of those rando relievers we all picked have another shot at breaking camp with the big squad.


Team I Don't Know was the only one to hitch a ride on the Izzy train. That stings.


Four ballots looked to score big with Bo. Unfortunately he has yet to pitch in a grapefruit league game to this point. Not looking so good.


Three ballots liked the look of Mississauga's favourite son in the bench role. Well, he's destined to get regular at bats just down the QEW if anyone wants to call road trip. The Canadian dollar is being taken at par at the box office and for concessions until May 8th. Bring a jacket and a fist full of cash.

That's about it for now. Good luck to everyone still chasing the loot!


2016-02-25

And We're Off!

The 7th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge is a go, and what a deadline flurry we had. With about two hours to go before the midnight deadline on Monday, February 22nd, just about the time when most of the ballots start to roll in, Kenny hit us with this:




Seven ballots in this year's challenge contained the name Jay Bruce. Some would even say that it was the smart thing to do considering the timing of it all. We gave it some serious thought ourselves. 

Then shortly after the midnight deadline, this:




Hands down the most exciting deadline EVER. Even the most seasoned competitor realized the magnitude of their error.




















First, let's take a look at some fast stats from this year's edition of the 25 Man Roster Challenge:
  • There were 19 ballots submitted before the deadline 
  • One late ballot that will not be considered
  • No two ballots were the same (mind blown)
  • All ballots contained 17 identical names
If any one of them doesn't break camp with the team, this thing could get interesting in a hurry.

Russell Martin
Edwin Encarnacion
Chris Colabello
Justin Smoak
Ryan Goins
Troy Tulowitzki
Josh Donaldson
Jose Bautista
Kevin Pillar

Marcus Stroman
Marco Estrada
R.A. Dickey
J.A. Happ
Drew Storen
Roberto Osuna
Brett Cecil
Aaron Loup

There were quite a few player names, eight to be exact, that only appeared once in this year's roster challenge. Those names will be bolded. Consider them the long shots. It must be said that you do have to take chances in this game to win it. 

We apologize in advance for the length of this post. Still haven't figured out a better way to roll out the ballots. Each team has a name, their tiebreaker and the remaining eight players not listed above. Some of them we commented on. Some of them we didn't.

Blue Birds Have All The Fun
17-13

Drew Hutchison
Steve Delabar
Gavin Floyd
Jesse Chavez
Josh Thole
Michael Saunders
Ezequiel Carrera
Darwin Barney

The only ballot without Aaron Sanchez on it, thus making us type out the name Sanchez 18 times. Swell.

@gregorMLB
16-14

Aaron Sanchez
Barney
Carrera
Floyd
Bruce
Chavez
Thole
Ryan Tepera

We are honoured that the beat reporter for Bluejays.com decided to join us all this year once again, and he even dropped a little knowledge included with his ballot.

On Tepera:

Going against everything I normally follow with options... for some reason I just think Shapiro really likes the guy. I'm going to be wrong, they're going to option him for organizational depth but I'm going to stick with this one.

The next three ballots are all on board with this line of thinking.

I Like Nuts
17-10

Sanchez
AJ Jimenez
Hutchison
Carrera
Chavez
Saunders
Steve Delabar
Tepera

This ballot decided to go with eight relievers and no backup infielder to start the year. Somewhat unconventional.

Jays Are My 2nd Favourite Team
19-11

Sanchez
Barney
Carrera
Bruce
Chavez
Thole
Delabar
Tepera

The Rudderless Shapiros

Sanchez
Dalton Pompey
Barney
Floyd
Bruce
Chavez
Thole
Tepera

The next eight ballots are affectionally known as the randos:

Elvis's Seventh Inning
16-12

Sanchez
Jimenez
Barney
Floyd
Bruce
Chavez
Bo Schultz
Darrell Ceciliani

I Never Win
13-16

Sanchez
Pompey
Barney
Floyd
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Roberto Hernandez

(Insert lame Fausto Carmona joke here)

@Minor_Leaguer
14-14

Sanchez 
Carrera
Bruce
Chavez
Thole
Junior Lake
Pat Venditte
Arnold Leon

Arnold Leon hates Canada. Boo that man.

Mr. Defending Champion, Sir
16-13

Sanchez
Barney
Carrera
Floyd
Thole
Saunders
Delabar
Castro

Mr. Castro? Well, we went through the rosters of all the full season teams in the Jays system and came up empty on this one. We considered giving the champ a do over but didn't notice the specifics of each ballot until well after the deadline had passed. Probably this is another ill timed case of the dreaded autocorrect for the name Chavez.  At least Castro is kind of a common name. Very tough way to start out when defending a title.

@AndyMc9293
19-11

Sanchez
Barney
Floyd
Chavez
Lake
Saunders
Delabar
Tony Sanchez

Guess it's possible that Tony Sanchez could learn how to catch a knuckleball in the next six weeks but it's more likely that he won't. Maybe the thinking here is that Thole gets hurt.

BJH Ballot
12-18

Sanchez
Barney
David Aardsma
Floyd
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Joe Biagini

Rule 5 player Joe Biagini would have to remain on the 25 man roster (*cough* or DL *cough*) all season or be offered back to the Giants.

Team Last Row 500's
16-13

Sanchez
Schultz
Barney
Hutchison
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Devon Travis

Devon Travis will have a remarkably early comeback from major shoulder surgery. You heard it here first.

I Don't Know

Sanchez
Pompey
Hutchison
Floyd
Thole
Saunders
Delabar
Maicer Izturis

It would be awesome if Izzy made the team and played for the league minimum. Basically the exact opposite of the current Bautista contract situation.

@scottwspicer
18-9

Sanchez
Schultz
Barney
Hutchison
Carrera
Chavez
Thole
Saunders

Team Ant
17-13

Sanchez
Barney
Hutchison
Carrera
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Delabar

Fried Meats
14-15

Sanchez
Barney
Aardsma
Carrera
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Venditte

Remember Domer?
15-15

Sanchez
Schultz
Barney
Carrera
Floyd
Bruce
Chavez
Thole

Team Austin
17-13

Sanchez
Barney
Hutchison
Bruce
Chavez
Thole
Lake
Delabar

@1BJW
16-13

Sanchez
Barney
Carrera
Floyd
Chavez
Thole
Saunders
Delabar

Good luck to all the participants and thanks for playing.

Go Jays!

2016-02-15

Only 1 Week To Go!

Just a friendly reminder that your ballots are due on Monday, February 22nd at midnight.

A helpful countdown clock has been added to the main page of the site to assist all the visual leaners out there.

If you need a refresher on the rules or another look at the prizes please click here.

We hope you can join us in the 7th annual edition of the 25 Man Roster Challenge.


2016-01-20

25 Man Roster Challenge is back!
















It's just about that time of year when we all start to think about what the Opening Day lineup for your Toronto Blue Jays will look like. Well, it should be that time of year. The 7th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge is a go once again. It's ridiculously easy to play and you can win cool Blue Jays stuff.

If you do decide to play, you have 3 options on how to get 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 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 30 spring training games this year. That total includes the 2 exhibition games against the Red Sox in the Big O, but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 17th.

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 choose one. Three 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 11 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.


OF Ezequiel Carrera
OF Junior Lake
C Josh Thole
C A.J. Jimenez
1B Justin Smoak
RHP R.A. Dickey
RHP Jesse Chavez
LHP Brett Cecil
RHP Steve Delabar
RHP Chad Jenkins
MVP Josh Donaldson


The old regime certainly took the position that if there was a tie between two players and one of them had options, that guy lost and was headed to the minor leagues. That would give the edge to a guy like Chad Jenkins for the last bullpen spot on this club. Not sure how the new guys view this situation and frankly that might be an interesting thing to monitor going forward. The upper minor leagues clearly needs some depth guys around and we doubt, at least for this year, that they let the Delabar/Jenkins types walk but you never know. Apparently we did pretty good last year and have a returning core group of players that are expected to compete for the pennant once again. Maybe it's time to trim some roster fat.

The wild card in this year's roster challenge has to be RHP Aaron Sanchez. He wants to start and there is an open spot in the rotation. He's really good at relieving and there's always a need in the back of the bullpen for shutdown guys. Depending on what happens in spring training with respect to his role on the team could determine the eventual winner. Heck, there's even talk of him starting the year in AAA.

This is a very strong MLB roster and there are not that many position battles, which is a good thing. That should in theory make it easier to select a solid ballot for the purposes of this exercise. At the end of the day, to be the champion all you have to do 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. Behold!









Little something for everyone. The foam J is the one you saw during the playoffs.

The deadline for ballots to be in will be Monday February 22nd at midnight. Late ballots will not be considered.

We wish you all good luck.