Results tagged ‘ dana eveland ’

TP01: Spring Training Report & Home Opener Countdown

“People
ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I
do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers
Hornsby

The Toronto Blue Jays will be making their way to Texas in
six days from today to start to the 2010 Season against the Rangers. As you
should know, the Home Opener is also approaching and is an exciting thirteen
days or 312 hours away. Are you ready for baseball season? I definitely am. So
far this season there hasn’t been a lot of buzz surrounding the Spring
Training Team. Quite a few people I’ve spoken to don’t have a clue about the
team that they’ll be watching for the next six months. After Roy Halladay
departed for Philly, there hasn’t been any blockbuster trades in the news, but
the key to this season, is that the Jays are working with the talent they have
to grow and continue building the franchise. There are a
couple notable mentions and new faces to the roster this season that you may
or may not have heard about, so let me briefly catch you up to speed.

As of today, March 30th, 2010 the Blue Jays (10-11) are only 6.0 games
behind the top team in the Grapefruit League, the Tampa Bay Rays (18-7).
Spring Training is a chance to forecast the rest of the season, not over-doing
it but making sure the right choices are made early on in the year. In what
will be Cito Gaston’s last year as Manager for the team, there is a current
focus to secure the final pitching rotation, but that takes time. With
injuries and various possibilities, choosing the best starters will foreshadow
the success of the team on the mound this season.

Let’s chat about
Dana Eveland. Eveland is a left-handed pitcher, acquired by the Blue Jays back
in early February of this year from the Oakland Athletics. Eveland, who’s
recorded 198 career strikeouts since his debut in 2005, has made six
appearances in Spring Training for the Jays, pitching 22 innings,
in hopes to have a regular spot in the pitching rotation (or at least the Jays
Bullpen). If chosen as a starter, Eveland would join 6-foot, 210 pound
left-handed pitcher Ricky Romero and right-handed pitcher, Shaun Marcum who
missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008.
According to reports,
Marcum and Romero are
the only definitive selections for the starting rotation and the remaining
three spots will be filled by any combination of RHP Brandon Morrow, LHP Marc
Rzepczynski (ZEP-CHIN-SKI), LHP Brian Tallet, LHP Brett Cecil, or LHP Dana
Eveland.

In order for the Jays to be successful offensively in 2010,
they’ll require continued and consistent effort from second baseman Aaron Hill
and Left-Fielder/Designated-Hitter Adam Lind. In 2009, Hill was ranked first
among second-basemen in the league and recorded 36 home runs. Hill was also
awarded the Silver Slugger Award and was named the American League Comeback
Player of the Year. Lind, who made 587 plate appearances last season, recorded
97 runs and 35 home runs for the Jays. Center-Fielder Vernon Wells, who will
most likely remain with the Jays until 2014 (by contract), is back and ready
to go after a successful wrist surgery in the off-season. Though he suffered a
lot of pain last season, Wells made 630 plate appearances for the Jays and
recorded 84 runs.

It all seems to come down to expectation at this
point in the season with the hope and drive to surpass the training reports on
the team. In order to do so, these three players, along with the other members
of the active roster, will need to step-up to instill confidence within the
young members of the roster with the support and reliability from players who
have been around the league longer. In one of the videos on the team website,
a narrator makes the goal for the season very clear, in true Toronto form:


“This season, it’s about the name on the front of the jersey, not the
back.”

All this talk about the starting rotation is getting me really
excited to see the team in action. T-Minus 13 Days until the 2010 Jays Roster
makes their first appearance on the turf at the Rogers Center. Do you have
your tickets? No? Hm. You call yourself a fan? Do you want tickets? Not just
any tickets though..no, no, no. How would you like to treat a friend to the
Home Opener against the White Sox in style? I’m talking comfortable seats,
snacks and drinks and two hosts that will surely keep you entertained while
you wear your new Jays Hat and speak to Jays General Manager Alex Anthopolous
in a private box. Ahem. Excuse me, while I brush the dirt off your shoulders.

Well lucky for you Fancypants, you could have your friends fighting
for your attention and showering you with bribes and all you have to do is
enter to win. I also hope you have an opinion about the Jays, because the FAN
590’s Don Landry and Gord Stellick sure do. They’ll be the hosts of the box
while you and your buddy take in the first glimpse of a revitalized Jays team.

I interned at the FAN 590 for just over a year and a half and eight
months of that time was spent as an intern on the Morning show with Landry and
Stellick. Every morning, Monday to Friday last year, I started my work day at
5:00am assisting the producers on the show. Weekly I got to call (Read: wake
up from a deep slumber) Cito Gaston, take calls, do research and compile
information on the latest triumphs in sports for the guys. If you ever listen
to the show, you’ll hear two guys that really love what they do and have
various opinions on the sports teams in Toronto.

So, what are you
waiting for? Get a move on right now (click here)

Finally, last week was a big week and so is the upcoming one. You
should know already, after my brief introduction, that baseball has had a huge
impact on my life. I wish you could have seen the smile on my face when I
walked into Gate 3 of the Rogers Center to have my photo I.D. taken and given
a tour of the office I’d call home for the upcoming months. That day was a
blur and for someone who usually has an excellent memory (read: I don’t forget
much at all) I haven’t a clue who I met or what they do, only that I smiled a
lot and was so excited to meet everyone. It hit me the moment I left to go
back to school: I get to go to work every day at the Rogers Center and be
around the game I love all of the time. I really couldn’t imagine a better way
to spend my summer. For the first time, I would get my own space with my own
desk not to mention, for the only professional club in Canada. Cool, huh? I
bought myself a cookie (a vegan one) that day, because I was so excited. My
family has been adding to my Jays memorabilia collection this week, to
personalize my desk at the office. I’ve got a plaque with the 1992
Championship team on it and two autographed Blue Jays Hockey Sticks that were
given away to fans in the late 70s-early 80s at exhibition stadium. So you
know what that means? I’m now the proud caretaker of some family heirlooms.

I
officially start on opening day, so I’ll be posting regularly then and for
crying out loud, go get your Home Opener tickets, I don’t like excuses.