25 Man Roster Challenge is back!

It's just about that time of year when we all start to think about what the Opening Day lineup for your Toronto Blue Jays will look like. Well, it should be that time of year. The 7th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge is a go once again. It's ridiculously easy to play and you can win cool Blue Jays stuff.

If you do decide to play, you have 3 options on how to get your ballot in:

1: Send us an email: 1bluejaysway(at)gmail.com

2: Make a post on your blog, if you have one and send us a link

3: Add your ballot to the comments section of this post or the reminder post(s) we will do

All ballots should have a team name and a tiebreaker.

In the event of a tie, and it's pretty much a given at this point there will be a tie, we ask that you also give us a prediction on what you think the spring training record will be. From what we can see, it appears as though the boys of summer will attempt to play 30 spring training games this year. That total includes the 2 exhibition games against the Red Sox in the Big O, but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 17th.

Try not to forget that sometimes it rains in Florida and the games don`t generally get made up if they are cancelled. There is also a chance that if one of those games goes to extra innings and one team runs out of pitchers, both teams agree the game ends in tie.

It is not a requirement that you select a tie breaker, and all ballots containing 25 names will be considered valid, but it is a really good idea that you choose one. Three years ago we had a stupid close finish and we actually had to break it right down to winning percentage.

It should be noted that no one has ever gone 25 for 25 in all the years we have been running this challenge; it would be really swell if that streak was broken.

Some Things To Consider:

Your Toronto Blue Jays currently have 11 players who are out of options on the 40-man roster and would therefore have to make the team or be sent through waivers before they could be demoted to the Minor Leagues. A few of these players are not in jeopardy at all, but there will be some spring training battles to keep your eyes on here for sure.

OF Ezequiel Carrera
OF Junior Lake
C Josh Thole
C A.J. Jimenez
1B Justin Smoak
RHP R.A. Dickey
RHP Jesse Chavez
LHP Brett Cecil
RHP Steve Delabar
RHP Chad Jenkins
MVP Josh Donaldson

The old regime certainly took the position that if there was a tie between two players and one of them had options, that guy lost and was headed to the minor leagues. That would give the edge to a guy like Chad Jenkins for the last bullpen spot on this club. Not sure how the new guys view this situation and frankly that might be an interesting thing to monitor going forward. The upper minor leagues clearly needs some depth guys around and we doubt, at least for this year, that they let the Delabar/Jenkins types walk but you never know. Apparently we did pretty good last year and have a returning core group of players that are expected to compete for the pennant once again. Maybe it's time to trim some roster fat.

The wild card in this year's roster challenge has to be RHP Aaron Sanchez. He wants to start and there is an open spot in the rotation. He's really good at relieving and there's always a need in the back of the bullpen for shutdown guys. Depending on what happens in spring training with respect to his role on the team could determine the eventual winner. Heck, there's even talk of him starting the year in AAA.

This is a very strong MLB roster and there are not that many position battles, which is a good thing. That should in theory make it easier to select a solid ballot for the purposes of this exercise. At the end of the day, to be the champion all you have to do is put forth a ballot with 25 names on it. Who wins what job is irrelevant in this game, but it can't be played without taking it into consideration.


This year we have a great selection of coveted prizes for the winner to keep. Behold!

Little something for everyone. The foam J is the one you saw during the playoffs.

The deadline for ballots to be in will be Monday February 22nd at midnight. Late ballots will not be considered.

We wish you all good luck.


An Open Letter To Mark Shapiro

Dear Least Favourite American Guy I’ve Recently Come To Know,

It seems as though you’ve had a rough go of it up here in the frozen tundra. Clearly you didn’t read your Baseball Canada-styles for Dummies book before one of our many pesky baseball media types thrust a microphone in your face and asked you a question.

I’m all for watching this Blue Jays baseball circa 2016 public relations thing continue on its steep, menacing, downward trajectory just to see how big of a crater the hole leaves after you smash it into the ground. And it will crash and burn unless something changes right quick.

Not that any of the bullshit leading up to this point was truly your doing. Somebody offered you a better job than the one you  had and you took it. Then you started to surround yourself with your buddies. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

I guess if I had an opportunity to try to explain to you what has taken place since I became a rabid fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, it would go a little something like this:

Imagine, if you will, an annual keg party that happens every summer on a Friday night.  Nobody comes except the annoying few who discuss at length the last great, epic kegger that happened over two decades ago. Some people avoid the gathering because of the party parameters. Others, really, REALLY hate the faceless, nameless owners of the house to the point where every single possible issue no matter how small that comes up at the party is 100% their fault. Still others had been turned off by the insistence that if they showed up then a good party would surely follow. Some have just gotten tired of the whole scene and moved onto other activities altogether.

Last year’s entertainment at the party was headed down the same predicable path as the many who had preceded it:  A duo of countrymen who have gotten a little long in the tooth but still look pretty solid, a new dude brought in from the vast wilderness of the West Coast and a local guy who speaks everyone’s language. A nice mix of characters once again, but nothing that a potential partygoer would consider must-see entertainment.

At about 10 p.m., somebody had just funneled one too many beers and decided to drunk dial the hottest, most exclusive sorority house in town and offer them some future considerations in exchange for their attendance. This approach has really only been tried twice in the past and both times in backfired almost immediately. Well, wouldn’t you know it, this time they all showed up--although the head cheerleader did have some car trouble on the way and missed her giant reveal. Word spread quickly and they came from all the neighbouring cities to join in on the fun.

An epic party ensued. Clothing was optional. Plenty of keg stands and such for everyone. The live webcam numbers were off the charts. Nobody worried about tomorrow because today felt so good and we didn’t have to go back to work until Monday. A lot of loud, mouth breathing jocks from the varsity football team joined in as well, which is just how it goes sometimes. They have money and like a good party too I guess.

Anyways, that was the last party. It was really fun. Sorry you missed it. I understand you were watching over a different party in a much smaller town with half the budget.

When we all woke up the next day, still elated from the success we had longed for, we took a look around the room and noticed that there was almost a half a keg of beer left. By some miracle it was still on ice. The head cheerleader had left but nobody in their right mind believed she’d actually stay over. Wouldn’t have hurt to ask though. She seemed like she was having a lot of fun. Other than that, things look primed for another super fun party. Day drinking was the call and we all rejoiced!

Only problem was that the owner of the house clearly didn’t expect, nor had any belief, that this year’s party would be any different when the decision was made to shake up the format and try something new. How much would things change? Surely the new guy couldn’t be that different, could he? The old guys used to get a budget for the total cost of the party and as long as they stayed within it nobody really cared. They had learned some tough lessons along the way about leaving a buffer. They always talked about how much potential there was for a bigger and better party. And they promised to rip out that shitty beer and puke soaked carpet and replace it with some high-quality tiles with radiant heating.

This is where you come in, Mark.

Now, every keg party needs a guy who takes the money and gives you a cup with a number etched in black sharpie on the bottom of it. This guy generally can’t get shitfaced and needs to be a stern hand when necessary. As long as things are rocking and the pool is full of hotties, he isn’t given a second thought really. Does he revel in the process of throwing a great party? Sure. Is he trusted to ensure that future parties are just as fun? Whatever. Nobody gives a shit about this stuff. And nobody needs to hear about this stuff. Not now.

All that’s happened is the price to attend the party has gone up and some, at best, average entertainment has been added to the mix. If last year was the boom, this is the echo. Buy some bigger speakers and let’s blow this thing out.

Mic Drop


Interview With Matt Boyd

Should have probably posted this interview sooner as it was recorded way back in late April. Our boy Jay Floyd caught up with the left hander when only the true die hards knew who he was. Matt Boyd was just a guy who finished off the 2014 season in AA New Hampshire giving up 33 earned runs in his 10 starts.

Well, now take a look at his game logs for the 2015 season. That's fun!

In this 8 minute interview they cover:

  • his offseason surgery to have a bone chip removed from his pitching elbow which Matt describes as "Nothing too serious. No. No."
  • when asked about his out pitch, he states he has four out pitches
  • his repertoire which consists of a 4 seam fastball, change up, curve and slider

Not sure if this guy gets the call up for the weekend start or not but figured you might want to get to know him a little better.

Photo embedded courtesy of Blue Jays From Away

Follow Jay Floyd here

Follow Matt Boyd here


25 Man Roster Challenge Winner!

Your Toronto Blue Jays released their opening day roster for the 2015 season. Check it:
Drew Hutchison
R.A. Dickey
Daniel Norris
Mark Buehrle
Aaron Sanchez
Brett Cecil
Aaron Loup
Marco Estrada
Miguel Castro
Roberto Osuna
Colt Hynes
Todd Redmond
Liam Hendriks
Jose Reyes
Russell Martin
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Josh Donaldson
Dalton Pompey
Justin Smoak
Kevin Pillar
Devon Travis
Dioner Navarro
Danny Valencia
Steve Tolleson

After some careful review, it was determined that only 4 of the 24 contestants got 20 of the 25 names correct. The all important tiebreaker, which was the team's spring training record, once again came into play.

Human Rain Delay 16-15 .516
Norris' Buehrle Beard 16-14-2 .531 
Just Say No To Thole 18-13 .581
Dead Money 20-12 .625

After the completion of the annual weekend nostalgia fest in that shit hole of a park/city, the Blue Jays ended the silly season with a solid 19-13 record, which works out to a nifty .594 winning percentage.

And with that, we have a sole winner! Congrats goes out to @gosensgo101 on the stunning victory. You are a great champion. We will be in contact to arrange to get the prizes to you soon.

Thanks again to all that participated in the roster challenge. Without you, there would be no roster challenge. We look forward to once again running another event next year.

Go Jays!


Update: 25 Man Roster Challenge

We have been dreading this update post for a week now. You can be sure that by the time it's up, something will have changed. It's been a wild and crazy spring training for your Toronto Blue Jays and, in turn, it's been a wild and crazy 25 Man Roster Challenge.

It's wide open.

There are a few teams that took a chance on a bullpen arm and they've been burned already.

Just Say No To Thole was the only ballot with the name Ryan Tepera on it.

Team Do I Get Extra Points For Submitting A Month Early was the only ballot with the name Matt West on it.

According to this report, LHP Rob Rasmussen was optioned to AAA Buffalo. That's bad news for the three teams that took him.

Norris' Buehrle Beard
Like a Candle without Lind
The Orlando Merceds

Marcus Stroman is out for the year. Keep this in mind, all ballots contained his and the following names:

Brett Cecil
Edwin Encarnacion
Maicer Izturis
Michael Saunders

Saunders is extremely doubtful for opening day; Izturis recently pulled his groin; Cecil just started throwing off a mound; Encarnacion hasn't swung a bat in a while. None of these guys are a slam dunk to open the year on schedule which could make for an interesting finish to this year's edition of the 25 Man Roster Challenge.