The Jays roll into Orlando tonight for an exhibition series against the Rays. Pardon? These games count? In a tiny little minor league park? Weird. A little bit of promotional shillery never hurt anyone, I guess.
What would ordinarily serve as the first opportunity to feast my eyes the magnificent bastard Rocco Baldelli, instead will be another lackluster Jays Rays series free of Rocco's charms. As you likely know, Rocco got an insane and heartbreaking case of the itis, which has landed him on the 60 day DL and seen the club decline his option for next year. It is hard to fault the club's decision in this case, and fortunately Rocco has made a nice chunk of change in his career. As always, I hope he can rebound from his affliction and bring sunshine to my life in another uniform.
The Rays have predictably scuttled out of the blocks, with their number one starter on the shelf, their big offseason addition possibly being damaged goods, and the fact that they are the Devil Rays and not that good all contributing to their inability to reach the lofty heights of an even won/loss record.
Lil Litschy goes tonight, hoping to convert the few remaining nonbelievers. I was once like you, full of doubt and skepticism. While smart people were stumping for him long ago, I saw him as a smoke and mirrors kid with marginal stuff and limited shelf life. But he clearly made huge strides this winter, under the watchful eye of the old hand.