Could the Blue Jays Stay in Dunedin Longer than the First Two Home Stands?

I first became a Toronto Blue Jays fan when we moved to Dunedin, Florida nine years ago. Living just 4 blocks from TD Ballpark, I found myself being invested in my new “hometown” team. It wasn’t long after my love for baseball became known that I was appointed by the Mayor of Dunedin to the Dunedin Stadium Advisory Committee.

We worked with the City of Dunedin and the Jays and provided input on what would be come the news updated stadium and player development facilities that everyone is raving about. When the Jays announced that they would play the first two home stands here in Dunedin, I was thrilled.

Due to the limited Covid “pod” seating protocols, tickets for these major league games sold out on the primary market very quickly and the prices escalated even quicker on the secondary market. Luckily, we managed to procure tickets to the first major league game that will ever be played here in Dunedin, when the Jays will face off against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I will finally get a chance to see Mike Trout!

We also managed to grab one more ticket to the first game in the series against the Yankees. Once we paid for those two games, we decided that we had spent enough, at least we could see Trout and Aaron Judge play practically in our own backyard!

We are still wondering where the Jays will go at the end of April as in Toronto they have decreed that sporting events cannot restart until July 1st and then without fans.

Then today in an article in The Athletic by Kaitlyn McGrath, Mark Shapiro President and CEO of the Jays states:

…knowing that we can’t come back to Toronto before July 1, unless something changes dramatically. It’s feeling like playing here (in Dunedin) past early June is going to probably be a challenge, just weather-wise. I’d stick with what I’ve mentioned before, that the solution to our season probably lies in a combination of Dunedin, Buffalo and Toronto, with significant involvement and feedback from our players.

…That’s why we haven’t come up with a final date yet. Obviously, we’re probably going to be in Dunedin a little longer than we’ve communicated. We’re still working through that. But we also will likely not remain here over the summer.

So it seems that we may just get at least another few weeks of Major League Baseball! They may not be here all season, but I’m happy with as many games as we can get!

In the article Shapiro notes that due to the weather here in Florida, the Jays may move to Buffalo where they played last year at the Buffalo Bisons stadium. My only question is if they are playing there, where will the Bisons play? Here in Dunedin, they would likely have the option to move the Low A, Southeast League (the old Florida State League) back to Jack Russell Stadium where the Dunedin Jays played two summers ago while the downtown stadium was renovated.

At this point, at least in public, it’s all conjecture. If I had any sway, which I don’t, I’d keep them here. Of course, that’s because who doesn’t want to be able to walk four blocks to a major league game?

Baseball Betsy and Jays President/CEO Mark Shapiro

Phillies 2020 Minor League Roster Released!

Below you will find the first edition of the Phillies Minor League Spring Training 2020 Roster

Phillies 2020 Minor League Spring Training Roster

BRYCE HARPER Is in Clearwater!

I just saw BryceForceOne fly over my home in Dunedin! I have the close-up of Middleton’s plane complete with Phillies logo as well as the flight tracker data as proof!

ETA: Ross had just left to walk our dog when the plane was due to fly over. If you know him, you know he’s rather stoic…imagine my surprise when I heard him yelling from about 3 houses down, “YOU SEE IT? IT’S THE PHILLIES’ PLANE! YOU SEE IT!”

That was worth $330 million right there.

Ladies and Gentlemen Your 2017 Clearwater Threshers 

It is a warm night here in Clearwater with a strong breeze coming in off the Gulf of Mexico, a perfect night for the season ticket holder annual introduction to the team party. 


You can watch the video HERE.

The staff as announced is:

  • Shawn Williams, Manager
  • Aaron Fultz, Pitching Coach
  • Rob Deucy, Hitting Coach
  • Mike Hedta, Trainer
  • Mike Lynch, Strength and Conditioning 

Pitchers:

  • Tommy Berjans 
  • Ranfi Casimiro 
  • Austin Davis
  • Seranthony Dominguez 
  • Edgar Garcia
  • Tyler Gilbert
  • Cole Irvin
  • Franklyn Kilome 
  • Luke Leftwich
  • Blake Quinn
  • Jeff Singer
  • Jose Taveras
  • Alberto Tirado
  • Jacob Waguespack

Catchers:

  • Austin Bossart
  • Deivi Grullon
  • Gregory Rivero

Infielders:

  • Grenny Cumana
  • Wilson Garcia
  • Jan Hernandez 
  • Emmanuel Marrero
  • Drew Stankiewicz 
  • Damek Tomcha

Outfielders:

  • Zach Coppola
  • Mark Laird
  • Jose Pujols
  • Cornelius Randolph
  • Herlis Rodriguez 

List of “Unaccounted For” Phillies Minor League Players

As a blogger and Phillies fan, this has been one of the most difficult years. There has been very little information released by the team as to whom they have released. They have not been forthcoming with any of this information. 

In fact, the final rosters were not even made available to the general public. I luckily have a number of eyes on the inside who provided a copy of the roster I posted earlier. 

Baseball Ross and I have spent the last hour or so pouring over all the rosters that have been released this year and compared it to the final assignments to come up with a list of players that are “Missing in Action”. I hesitate to say released as there is no official word and for all we know the player could have been sent back to the Dominican academy or retired and it’s not fair to say “released”. So here is the list of players that are no longer on any of the rosters.

Pitchers:

  • Jesse Beal RHP
  • Kale Fultz RHP
  • Scott Harris LHP
  • Scott Hoffman RHP
  • Carlos Indriago RHP
  • Ulises Joaquin RHP
  • Jordan Kurakawa RHP
  • Will Morris RHP
  • Jose Nin RHP
  • Geury Ortiz RHP 
  • Oskerelly Sanchez LHP
  • David Whitehead RHP

Position Players:

  • Luis Espiritu INF
  • Daniel Garner C
  • Christian Marrero OF
  • Luke Maglich OF
  • Evan Rogers INF

THE PHILLIES MINOR LEAGUE ROSTERS HAVE BEEN POSTED!

Thanks to a dear friend, I have a copy of the newly posted final rosters! I have not had time to go over them and see who was released.

So here you go:

Note:

* denotes a left-handed player

# denotes a switch hitter/pitcher

Remembering Phillies Legend Dallas Green

Today was one of those days where my aching “Frankenfoot” was just too painful for me to bear weight so as I rested I decided to read Dallas Green’s book, “The Mouth That Roared.”

After his passing this week, I feel doubly lucky that when I bought the book, I bought it directly from him.  Two years ago, he had a book signing at then Brighthouse Field. I bought a ticket specifically to see Dallas. 

This is what I wrote at the time:

Dallas Green is now a member of the Phillies front office, but is most recognized as the manager of the 1980 World Series winning Phillies team. He’s often around the Carpenter Complex and he too, often says hello to me in passing. He recently had a book signing of his book, “The Mouth That Roared-My Six Outspoken Decades in Baseball.”

I purchased a book and when I got to the table to have it signed, I recounted to Green that as a young child I was *cough, cough* “sick” the day of the World Series parade so that I could stay home and watch it on television. I asked him to “not tell my mother I faked illness to see the parade” and he had a hearty laugh.

Dallas Green laughing at me telling him about faking illness to watch the 1980 World Series victory parade on TV.

He even left a nice inscription in my book.

Dallas Green laughing at me telling him about faking illness to watch the 1980 World Series victory parade on TV.

When I read that inscription today, it really hit me, it felt like while he is gone, that big personality will go on, carried on in his book and in the memories of us who loved seeing him at Spring Training and at games.    

RIP Dallas Green, Rest In Peace.

Minor League Workgroup List Updated

Yesterday, the new and updated Phillies minor league workgroup list was released. The most major change is that there are now players in the fifth column. This is a combination of players being sent down as well as some players that are on the DL now being included in the list. 

While there are rumors of five players being released, there has been no “official” confirmation so I have not mentioned those whom we suspect have been released. 

Please remember that until the final players are sent down from major league camp, the lists are rather fluid.


It is also worth noting that the players in the fifth column that are indented are players that are currently rehabbing/on the DL.

Josh Donaldson Makes Another Rehab Appearance

Today was one of those days where nothing went as planned but turned out great in the end. I had hoped to see former Blue Jay Pat Venditte make his first appearance at Phillies camp since being traded to the Phils from the Mariners. Since he had just returned from the World Baseball Classic, we thought that he would be at the Phillies’ complex. He was not.

Welcome to the Blue Jays

So I jumped in my Mini and headed back to Dunedin and to the Mattick Training Complex where the AA and AAA Phillies and Jays teams were playing. I got to the field as the Jays were taking the field in the bottom of the third inning. Just as I got behind home, the crowd rushed to the fence and when I looked up, I could see why, Josh Donaldson was about to bat.

I have to pause here to say that this was one of the coldest days of the winter. Early this morning, it was 39* F (4*C) and by now, it was in the mid 50s (12.8* C) with a very strong wind coming in from the gulf, right into our faces. It was freezing.

Donaldson took a swing……

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson

Even into that strong headwind, there was no doubt that that ball was going to go out. There was a collective, “Ooooh” from the crowd as the ball cleared the fence and bounced out into the grass near the softball fields on the other side. It was one beautiful shot INTO the wind.

It was his last at bat of the day so I don’t know how his earlier at bats went, but let me tell you, he’s hit long homers into the wind the last two days, there is no doubt that his timing is down and he should be good to go, once he is given the green light to run again.

I never did get to see Venditte, rumor is that he was with the Phillies MLB team. Frankly, I forgot about him once I saw Donaldson hit that homer.