Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blue Jays from Away

I've been a Blue Jays fan my whole life.  Toronto born and raised with a few stints living abroad.  I spent 4 years (well, school years) in Kingston, Ontario.  I played ball at various levels of competitiveness from the time I was 5 until I was 17, at which point, I "retired" and moved into umpiring.

After I finished university I  went on a road trip that covered about 10 ballparks in the Northeast between Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, and Montreal.  Unfortunately, this trip was before the latest generation of great ballparks was built in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and before Washington had the Nationals.  It was, however, my first visit to Fenway, Camden Yards, and Wrigley.  And two solid weeks of baseball (and driving) was pretty damn great. 

A glutton for punishment, after a couple of years off of school, I went back for more.  This time I spent two years in the baseball mecca of Boston.  Being a baseball fan in Boston was fantastic.  I lived next to Fenway Park (one of the two years) and worked out at Gold's Gym across from the stadium.  At Gold's during the baseball season, I would catch visiting ballplayers working out from time to time.  It was an especially big thrill when the Jays were in town.  I met and spoke to Cory Thurman and Pete Walker a little bit, and saw an (allegedly) 'roidy Jason Giambi in living colour.*  I went to several games at the glorious Fenway but even living in Boston couldn't knock the Blue Jays fan out of me.**

I spent most of the 2012 baseball season living in Berlin, Germany (although I did get to a couple of early season games in Toronto) and let me tell you, it's not easy following the Jays when the games start at 1am local time.  I bought the package to watch online, but I have to admit that I didn't get nearly the value out of it that I had hoped to.  I tried to watch archived games the next day but just couldn't do it.  Aside from the random mid-week day game, I was stuck watching on the weekends when I didn't have something else going on.

So I get my Blue Jays fix from the multitude of great Blue Jays blogs out there.  And I thought that I could have a somewhat unique view on the Blue Jays and maybe contribute something to the blogosphere. 

While I'm returning to Toronto at the end of November, my future career trajectory is uncertain and will probably be away from Toronto, so I think the title of this blog still seems apt.  And it rhymes.  So I'm not changing it.

So that's about as much about me as I'm willing to tell y'all right now.

What can you expect from this blog?  Ummmm Blue Jays?  But basically, I'm not a professional sportswriter, so I don't have access to anyone important.  Everything that I write will be my own interpretation of information that I've gathered from other freely available sources.   Profound?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  A bunch of stuff to read to pass the time?  Sure!  Will it be well written?  Hope so! 

What else?  If you're looking for some SABR rattling here, you probably won't get your fill.  Head on over to Beyond the Box Score for some great numbers crunching.  I appreciate (and even understand some) advanced metrics and will probably throw around acronyms like FIP, OPS, OPS+, ISO, WAR, etc., but I'm not a numbers guy. 

There may be profanity.  Especially if players and/or management do things to anger me.  Beware.  You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. 

Finally, I'll try to write fairly regularly.  And tweet.  I've got a brand-spankin-new Twitter account that you can follow (@jaysfromaway).  Again, profundity not guaranteed.

Aside from that, sit back, enjoy and let's go Blue Jays!


* Yes. I'm going to use Canadian spellings.  And Giambi was HUGE.

** It was generally safe to wear a Blue Jays cap at Fenway.  Just don't wear a Yankees cap or jersey, or you'll be subjected to calls of "Jetah sucks!"  If you've lived in Boston you know what I'm talking about.

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