Jackie's no Ricky Bobby
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Just about 1 a.m. here back at the ol’ MLB.com condo in Clearwater and I just got back from seeing a late showing of Semi Pro — the latest Will Ferrell comedy flick. I planned on waiting to see it until it was out on DVD, but after a week’s worth of Wilner’s pathetic begging, I caved and went to see it with him.
I guess I owed him, since earlier this spring he did accompany me to see Vantage Point, which was decent enough until the premise ran dry and the movie turned into every action movie you’ve ever seen (obligatory car chase that smashes through a sidewalk cafe included). Semi Pro was funny enough, but it didn’t live up to Talledega Nights or Blades of Glory. But, really, how many times can you tell the same joke and have it still be hilarious?
By far the best movie I’ve seen this spring is In Bruges, which stars another Farrell — this one of the Colin variety. Now that was a solid comedy, though a dark one. The previews don’t really give you a true indication of the serious nature of the movie, so it took me a little while to get into it. By the end, though, I wished I could’ve hit rewind to watch it a second time.
Anyway, enough about movies. There’s some baseball stuff to get out of the way before I hit the sack. Tomorrow figures to be a longish day, what with us making the trek over to The Mattick to watch B.J. Ryan, Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen throw in a Minor League game, and then moving to Legends in Tampa to watch the Jays take on the Yanks.
Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg said McGowan and Janssen aren’t going against New York for the simple reason that the Yanks host Toronto in the season’s opening series. With each pitcher set to throw four innings, Arnsberg sees no reason why he should give the Yankees’ hitters a chance to get a handful of ABs against each guy. Fair enough. They just need to get work in, so facing New York or a few Minor Leaguers won’t make a difference.
Over in Kissimmee earlier today, catcher Rod Barajas was asked if there was one pitcher who has surprised him so far this spring. Of all the pitchers the catcher has worked with since joining the Jays, Barajas said the one arm that really stands out is McGowan. Here’s what RB had to say:
"I had never seen, and I don’t think I had ever faced, McGowan. I got to catch him his first start and he was nice. He was nice to catch. He’s got that hop on his fastball and he’s got an incredible slider and he worked the changeup that day, too, and had a good changeup. You love seeing young guys with live arms, but who are able to command their pitches. I was pleasantly surprised. He’s a guy who I came into camp and everybody was saying ‘This guy is pretty special,’ and he lived up to it."
As for Ryan, it’ll be his final Minor League outing — barring another round of doctor’s orders — before he shifts to Grapefruit League play. That step would come Friday against the Rays in St. Pete. As for Tuesday, Ryan is allowed to throw up to 25 pitches, if necessary, but he’s been logging around 18 in his previous sim games.
Also had a nice little chat with manager John Gibbons up in Kissimmee today. There’s a small lake (pond, really) that’s right behind the visitor’s clubhouse at Osceola Stadium, and Gibby was telling me how he and a few of his fellow Mets teammates back in the day used to go fishing back there. I didn’t spy any fishing rods in the Jays clubhouse, though.