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OPENING DAY

OPENING DAY
TIGERS caught with hands down their pants as JAYS explode
 
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves and crown the Blue Jays as this season's World Series Champs, let's remember we had our ace Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in baseball as per the New York Times, on the mound. The staff gets significantly shaky 3 thru 5. Jessie Litsch with a 3.58 ERA and 13 wins last season, which is still tough to accomplish in today's Baseball, represents our next best pitcher. The bats should be better than the arms - the opposite of last year.
 
Having said this,
 
It was rip roaring home opener when a crowd of 48 thousand strong watched the Jays pump the Tigers 12-5. Extra baggers, balls in the gap, home runs, sawed off singles, and timely hitting was the order of the night. Things got a llittle hairy when the Tigers roughed up Halladay in the 7th with 4 runs to make it a ballgame. This wasn't going to stop these Jays who scored another barrage in the bottom half with a dagger.
 
Every opening day, I watch the game with my grandmother who turns 88 this year (a special one in Japanese years). The evening typically consists of drinks - rye and cokes - a lot of laughs, high fives, and her signature fried shrimp. This night with the Jays scoring runs at will, the drinks were tasting a little more buttery.
 
"I'm really really into it," said Kay Umetsu - 88 year old diehard Jays fan
 
After watching a promo that has Sportsnet televising 250 games on their 4 channels, I said to my grandmother, "hey Gram you can't watch all those." And she said defiantly, "I could. I sit here and have a drink. In the winter I read books." Nice Gram. That's why I love ya. Balance. And fried shrimp. I asked her if she had watched the DVD player and dvd (Blood Diamond) I bought her for Xmas and she said, "I'm too busy."
 
Anyways,
 
When Travis Snider layed out for a ball down the leftfield foul line, this set the tone for a season where the Jays must establish a "grind" (Tenace) attitude at the plate. Snider led the team in Spring training with 24 hits and looks poised along with Adam Lind (and his record breaking 6 rbi's last night) to ignite a Jays offence that has sputtered in recent years. Wells, Rios, Overbay, Hill, and Rolen are looking to get out of the gates fast. Events turned really interesting when Tigers manager Jim Leyland pulled his team off the field because of a couple of rowdies thought it was wise to throw junk from the stands. Obviously this is a no no at any sporting event but when Leyland huffed about with his hands down his pants (the pockets are tight on those uniforms), this ended up feeding into a raucious crowd, and made Leyland look like a sore loser. When the game was finally turned over to the bullpen (#1 last year), Carlson, League, and Downs cleaned things up in a flash. 1-0. 161 to go.
 
When it's all said and done, the bats will have to carry this team until the inexperienced arms can acclimate to major league hitting every fifth day. The upside - if one or two of Purcey, Richmond, Romero, Cecil (minors) emerge into big league chewers, the Jays will be stacked next year when Marcum and McGowan return to health. By this time the Jays should have some money to throw around after standing pat in the off season. In this sport anything is possible. CC Sabathia and the mighty Yanks were kicked around last night by the Orioles in the toughest division in Baseball. The consensus has the Jays finishing ahead of the Orioles but behind Rays, Sox, and Yanks. Let's hope we muck things up a little. "Yo Gram, let's have another round." There's a game in less than 24 hours.
 
HALF NINJA
Vernon Wells goes 2-4
 
 
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