Day two as the radio color man. Just like back when I was a player, home games are much more enjoyable. You just jump in your car and head home when it’s over instead of getting locked into Tampa traffic.
In the booth I felt like I got stronger as I went on. Jerry is a real pro and easy to work with, and I’m pumped to work with Wilner because I think he’s going to have a completely different approach. It will be good for me to work with different personality type. I expect more humor during tomorrow’s broadcast.
So, what to take away from the game… Well, for starters, the biggest thing to happen during this game, for me, was Jose Bautista got his groove back. Nice to see the slugger letting the bat go with the same visceral sense of aggression we’ve all come to know and love. The wrist is a complex joint and injuries to it have derailed many a bright career. Just missing long stretches has, for that matter. There was reason to be afraid that Jose might not return, or take a long time in doing so because of this injury. I’m happy to say, even though I know you can predict a whole season on one at bat, that based on the swings I’ve seen him take lately, it seems to me he’s back to 100% health, and comfortable with his body.
Buehrle got knocked around a little, but that doesn’t surprise or shock me. He works fast, changes speeds, and grinds out innings. His strength is dumping a good mix of quality located strikes over the plate. His biggest focus this spring is getting the ball down and his consistency back by April. He’s never been overwhelming, so I contribute today’s hits to the elevation of his pitches. He makes those same pitches a ball width lower and the game sails along with the occasional hit sprinkled in between grounders and pop-flys. As it was, he was pitching so fast Jerry and I could barely keep up!
Santos was back to himself. I didn’t get a good read of his off-speed stuff, but his velo look good and he was throwing quality strikes. I don’t think he’s going to be long in returning to a go to man in the Jays’ pen.
Loup, who really should be on this Blue Jays team when it breaks camp purely because of his 2012 season, looked like vintage Loup. Solid command, low strikes, and mound presence beyond his years. He could get bumped out as the LOOGY by Cecil because Cecil is out of options. A shame considering Loup only walked 2 last year and gave up 0 homers. Not many freshman can say that. Not many veterans can say that… Strong peripherals: great signs Loup is not a fluke
Speaking of Cecil, he pitched well in the split squad game against the Yankees. And, for all of you wondering if the Delabar magic arm work out actually worked out for Cecil, it seems it did. He was throwing 91, 92mph. (Maybe I should make a comeback).
I talked to Dickey today, about spirituality and books and publishing… but that’s just for me, sorry ;-p
Instead, I give you this: