Opening Day preview?

Dsc01220_1DUNEDIN, Fla. – The sun has returned, the regulars are in the lineup and the good Doctor is on the hill. This could very well be a preview of sorts of Toronto’s opener in Yankee Stadium on March 31.

Halladay is only down for two innings, and the starting position players will probably only get a pair of at-bats each, but it’ll be nice to see the 2008 version of the Jays on the diamond for the first time.

That doesn’t mean some of them weren’t still checking to see if their name was on the lineup card. Center fielder Vernon Wells stared at one of the sheets hanging on the wall inside the clubhouse today, and couldn’t find his name. Then he realized he was looking at the order for Saturday’s game against the Rays.

"Oh, there it is, I am playing today," Wells said, grinning as he departed the clubhouse.

Today’s lineups:

DETROIT (2-0) at TORONTO (0-1)
at Knology Park at 1:05 p.m. ET

TIGERS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Edgar Renteria, SS
Marcus Thames, DH
Jacques Jones, LF
Ryan Raburn, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Jeff Larish, 1B
Max St. Pierre, C

PITCHING: RHP Justin Verlander

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Matt Stairs, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

Some of you may have heard about the lineup pool us writers are in. About a week and a half ago, after manager John Gibbons was asked for about the sixth day in a row about the lineup, he asked each writer to scribble down what they think the order would be on Opening Day. The pool cost $5, and Gibbons said the winner could go to dinner with him.

Well, Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun saw the lineup today and said, "That’s mine! I’m the winner!" My version looked identical, except I had Stairs in the No. 2 slot and everybody else bumped down a slot. So: Eck, Stairs, Rios, Wells, Hurt, Rolen, Overbay, Hill, Zaun. The winner will be whoever predicted the lineup Gibby uses for Game 1 of the season.

Not much else going on so far this morning. B.J. Ryan apparently didn’t meet with Dr. Tim Kremcheck yesterday — that meeting is scheduled for Sunday now. Jason Frasor was supposed to pitch today, but the flu bug that’s been going around caught up with him. Dave Steib is in camp now as a guest coach, joining Pat Hentgen.

Another item of note, hanging above Halladay locker — stuck in his nameplate — were four very cool looking baseball cards. One featuring A.J. Burnett, followed by cards for Shaun Marcum, Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan. So, has Halladay made up his mind in regards to the rotation? Looks like Litsch is the favorite.

More later…

1 Comment

Jordan, I hope you win the contest, although I am going to have to go with Ken on the lineup. It looks really good. Is Gibbons buying the food for the winner, or do you just get to sit and talk with him? Thanks for the great pics as usual.

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