2015-02-25

And They're Off



This challenge has become a labour of love over time. It is rather time-consuming, yet it offers many rewards. At the forefront is that this contest gives us all some interesting insight into what the team's hardcore fan is thinking or feeling as spring training opens. It also gives us all a reason to watch those position battles in camp just a little closer than usual.

Some years the ballots we receive are quite predictable, which makes writing this post rather simple. This is not one of those years. What we like to do is point out a few interesting facts about the challenge itself and then end with the ballots. Apologies in advance for the length of this post, there really isn't a good way to roll this out.

This year, 24 competitors answered the call to the 6th annual 25-Man Roster Challenge. All 24 selected the following 14 names on their respective ballots:

Jose Bautista
Mark Buerhle
Brett Cecil
R.A. Dickey
Josh Donaldson
Edwin Encarnacion
Drew Hutchison
Maicer Izturis
Aaron Loup
Russell Martin
Jose Reyes
Aaron Sanchez
Michael Saunders
Marcus Stroman

A fine group indeed. If anyone from this list, for whatever reason, doesn't make the Opening Day roster for your Toronto Blue Jays, all bets are off. A ballot that may look silly or far-fetched now could end up being the winner if one or more of these 14 players doesn't come north with the team.

The following names were found on 23 of the 24 ballots:

Marco Estrada
Kevin Pillar
Dalton Pompey
Todd Redmond
Justin Smoak

Upon first glance, it is possible that all these players, save maybe Estrada, do not make the roster. Perhaps the owner of the ballot that didn't select them thought injury was a risk. Maybe, in the case of Pillar, the thinking is a non-roster, veteran type guy is more well-suited for the fourth OF roll. With respect to Pompey, he might not be ready to just be handed the keys to the everyday CF job. Redmond has proven to be a decent bullpen arm in the past, but there are other players in camp with better stuff, and he might slip through waivers at the end of the spring. Smoak isn't a lock to make the club by any stretch. It is also possible that they were just oversights--caught up in the numbers game, so to speak.

The following names were only present on a single ballot:

Scott Barnes
Ezequiel Carrera
Chris Dickerson
Liam Hendriks
Rafael Soriano
Ryan Tepera
Devon Travis
Matt West

These players just have to be considered a lottery ticket. A long shot, no doubt, to make the big club. Sometimes in life you have to take chances in order to receive glory. On the ballots we will put these players names in bold so that they stick out like the sore thumb they rightfully are.

We do have to mention that nobody took this guy, and it makes us kinda sad.


But we guess there are a whole bunch of pretty good reasons for that.



Fast facts!
  • Three ballots went with the unorthodox three-catcher system;
  • The battle for back-up infielder appears to be Ryan Goins, 13 votes vs Steve Tolleson, 10 votes;
  • Daniel Norris and his surgically repaired pitching elbow got 17 votes;
  • Dioner "trade me the fuck outta here any time now" Navarro got 21 votes; and
  • Only two ballots picked the same 25 players, which is kinda awesome if you think about it.
On with the ballots already. Since they all contained the same 14 names mentioned above, we will just show you the team name, tiebreaker (which was the predicted spring training record for the Blue Jays) and the other 11 players needed to round out the 25-man roster limit. 

Jays Are My 2nd Favourite Team
19-13
Steve Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Chad Jenkins
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Josh Thole
Danny Valencia

Human Rain Delay
16-15
Delabar
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Tolleson
Valencia

Jimmy Triggs
16-16
Kyle Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Barnes
Smoak
Valencia

The Roster Monster (pronounced Rast-uh Monst-uh)
19-13
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Soriano
Thole
Valencia

Norris' Buehrle Beard
16-14-2
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Rob Rasmussen
Redmond
Smoak
Tolleson
Valencia

Team Last Row 500's
14-18
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Thole
Tolleson

Just Say No To Thole
18-13
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Tepera
Tolleson
Valencia

I Like Nuts
21-10
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

@scottwspicer
13-16
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Tolleson
Valencia

Hall Of Famers
18-14
Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Thole
Valencia

Like A Candle Without Lind
16-15
Carrerra
Delabar
Drabek
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Rasmussen
Redmond
Smoak
Travis
Valencia

Brendan Kennedy's Conservative Effort
14-16
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Smoak
Valencia

Self Cynic
16-13-1
Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

@gideonturk
20-12
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

That's One Shitty Pen
16-13
Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

Ant's All Stars
11-20
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

ElFuerte ChickenWings
20-12
Dickerson
Drabek
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Tolleson
Valencia

By Norris' Beard
18-14
Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Jenkins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia

The Orlando Merceds
16-16
Delabar
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Rasmussen
Redmond
Smoak
Tolleson
Valencia

Do I Get Extra Points For Submitting A Month Early?
No tiebreaker
Drabek
Estrada
Goins
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Valencia
West

Team @1BJW
16-14-1
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Jenkins
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Thole
Tolleson
Valencia

Dead Money
20-12
Delabar
Estrada
Goins
Hendriks
Navarro
Norris
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Tolleson

Stro Knows Best
12-20
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Thole
Valencia

Team Reimer
Tiebreaker: Joba Chamberlain
Delabar
Drabek
Estrada
Jenkins
Navarro
Pillar
Pompey
Redmond
Smoak
Thole
Valencia

The last two ballots are the only identical ones in this year's roster challenge. You just have to think the edge goes to Stro Knows Best in the tiebreaker department.

And with that we are a go for launch. Thank you to all that decided to join us this year and good luck!

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