Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin Stadium Renovations Nearing Completion

It’s been a long year but the extensive improvements being made to the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Stadium in Dunedin, Florida are nearly complete.

Baseball Ross and I took a walk just a few blocks to see it. I also took some video that you can watch it here:

It I s worth noting, however, the player development complex at Englebert is significantly BEHIND schedule and is now looking to be completed in AUGUST. Therefore, as an active construction zone, there will be NO VISITOR ACCESS to the complex. Please do not go to the complex.


Work is beginning for the Jays in Dunedin

Living here in Dunedin, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the stadium as we anxiously await the beginning of renovations. Yesterday a dumpster was delivered near the Boxoffice, today when I drove by all the doors to the suites/press box were wide open and they looked emptied.

The funny thing was a truck pulled out of the lot full of what looked to be diamond dry or mound materials and a large box. It was manned by Jays staff and it looked like they were delivering supplies to Jack Russell Stadium only two miles away.

The Jays opening “home” game will be at Spectrum Field while the second game will be at Jack Russell.

Rumor around town is there will be an official ground breaking for the renovations in the next week or two. I’ll update as soon as I get confirmation.

I’m Overwhelmed….

Baseball Betsy Speaks!
Baseball Betsy Speaks!

It’s been a crazy couple of days. Monday night was the official presentation of the Blue Jays plan to stay in Dunedin. (You can read my post about that HERE.)

I’m not one to make public speeches and I’m terrified about speaking in public, but Monday night, I could not keep silent. I spoke up and explained why keeping the Blue Jays in Dunedin is so important to me. (If you want to see my speak, you can click HERE.)

I didn’t do anything except say what was in my heart…the applause startled me. I’ve never gotten applause before. What has happened since has been amazing. Jays President Mark Shapiro thanked me personally, members of City Council…random people I didn’t know before…this morning I even got a text message from another person that I never expected, just to say thank you.

I’m astounded and thankful. 

While I usually write about the Phillies, it IS important to note that Mark Shapiro noted the Jays special relationship with the Phillies in Clearwater as part of what makes Dunedin special. So this isn’t just a “Jays” issue, it’s a spring training and Florida State League issue.

So as a fan of baseball in Pinellas County, let me just say this…


Now, the hard work begins.

Florida State All Stars from the Threshers announced

As I reported earlier, the list for the Florida State All Star game was announced, though at the time, the only name I could find mentioned was Threshers’ pitcher Jesse Biddle.

This afternoon the Threshers announced others who made the All Star team:

The FSL All-Star squads were announced today! Making the team from Clearwater are pitchers Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, along with catcher Cameron Rupp.

Baseball Ross and I said the same thing at the same time….WHAT ABOUT CODY ACSHE AND TYLER KNIGGE????

And being the snarky little thing I am, I posted such a thought right under the announcement on the Threshers’ Facebook page. Surprisingly, they responded:

Asche would likely have been selected were it not for Lakeland 3B Nick Castellanos, who leads the league with a .409 average

Ok, I get that he plays the same position as the guy with the best average in the league, but  to Asche’s defense he does have FEWER errors making him a better fielder….so why wasn’t he designated the DH?

*shaking my head*

Well to me, he’s still an all-star.

Congratulations to all who made the team.



Jesse Biddle named to Florida State All Star team!

Bob Brookover of the Phillies Zone posted this morning that Jesse Biddle of the Clearwater Threshers was named to the Florida State All Star Team!

Biddle named to Florida State League All Star team

Baseball Ross and I have been combing the net to see if any other Threshers have made the list but have yet to find the “list”.

I will post more as we find it.

In the meantime…


Jesse Biddle prepares to pitch

Austin Wright is Alright With Me

It was a beautiful day for a baseball game in Daytona. We made the trip in about 3 hours and only sat for about 15 minutes in traffic and we arrived in time for the 10:30 a.m. start. We were amazed that we weren’t caught in more rush hour traffic.

The game started off on a high note, Pete Lavin got a single and two batters later Brandon Tripp smacked a triple to drive Lavin home.

Threshers Celebrate in the Dugout as Pete Lavin Comes Home with the First Run
Austin Wright Pitches in Daytona

While Austin Wright’s pitching was good in the bottom of the first, Daytona managed to tie it on a strange play. John Andreoli would have had only a double, but a throwing error by Anthony Hewitt allowed him to score. Game was tied 1-1 after Wright got the last Cubbie to fly out.

Wright was sharp until the bottom of the 4th. Greg Rohan managed a double, then got to third when Nelson Perez was thrown out at first. Wright then threw a wild pitch that allowed Rohan to score. It was just such a freak thing.

After that, the Threshers seemed to really buckle down. Earlier in the season, this would have been the moment where they would have sagged a little, lost their drive, but not today. They seemed to pull together and were ready to go back at it to even up the score.

D’Arby Myers was the first up and he smacked a homer to tie the game. It was as if he was saying, “Oh no you don’t!”

The next inning, two Cubs grounded out and  one struck out. The Threshers were back in form. The Threshers weren’t done. Jim Murphy was first up in the sixth and he too, started the inning with a homer.

In the seventh, Edgar Duran made it to first on a throwing error. Then Lavin got another single. Albert Cartwright laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Duran to third and Lavin to second. Murphy is up again and he hit a single to drive in Duran and Lavin.

In the eighth, the Threshers bats were silent and at the bottom of the inning Juan Sosa come in in relief of Austin Wright. Daytona managed to get one run but at the end of the 7th, the score was 5-3 Threshers.

The eighth was quiet, but in the ninth, the Threshers wanted to put the cherry on the sundae, Albert Cartwright scored on a double by Brandon Tripp.

Bottom of the ninth, Hector Neris came in and while Daytona managed another run, it wasn’t enough, Threshers win, 6-4.

Threshers Celebrate a Win in Daytona

As I said earlier, I think that the Threshers are starting to gel as a team. When the going gets tough, the suck it up and power through it. In the beginning of the season, it was almost painful to watch. They’d be behind and you just knew that it was over, they wouldn’t be able to power through…now they can. They just seem to find that extra effort when it’s needed. It’s a good thing to see.

If you go to Daytona, I recommend a quick run over to the beach. It’s only about a mile from the stadium. Once you leave the parking lot, you go to the corner and hang a right….a few blocks later you’re at the “World’s Most Famous Beach”, Daytona Beach.

Ross on Daytona Beach
Betsy on Daytona Beach

We really enjoyed our day trip to Day-tona.