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How many all-time great Blue Jays are we watching?


So Baseball Steve and I are sitting on the stools watching the Blue Jays game unfold – funny how that happens frequently and I presume we’ll be in the same seats this afternoon – and we’re discussing how pretty darn good this team is.

How good?

Well, we kinda got to debating how many of these guys would be “best ever” at their positions in the storied history of the franchise.

The consensus, only after some discussion, was that Donaldson is the best third baseman they’ve ever had, you probably could make an argument for Tulowitzki although Tony Fernandez was damn good so we made that a tie and, yeah, given the totality of his career contribution, I think you can say Bautista would make that list, just edging Joe Carter. Wouldn’t he?

We didn’t get to Encarnacion but I’m not sure there’s a discussion there, is there?

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(How’d we do? Let’s do our now-usual thing, you send me what you think to the mailbag, askdoug@thestar.ca and I’ll compile ‘em for the end of the week)

I think the scope of our discussion was truly big picture, not just what they’ve done this week or this season but how they’ve handled themselves for as long as they’ve been in Toronto jerseys.

It’s hard and it’s totally stool discussion and you know I don’t do definitive in these kinds of things but it was enjoyable.

The big one, and one we wrestled with, was where to put the starting pitching staff, and we stretched it out to these four – Estrada, Happ, Sanchez and Stroman – and tossed in Dickie because five-man staffs are the thing right now.

As good as that group is, especially the four that are going now, the 1992 group – Morris, Key, Guzman, Cone at the end, Stieb and Stottlemyre – probably wins out, doesn’t it?

But what I think it all meant – other than killing time during those inane in-between inning chats – is that there are some special players on this team from an historical perspective and regardless of how the rest of this series plays out, this is a pretty special group put together at one time.

No idea why this stuck in my head but it did so …

With no disrespect to the few who asked last week, we kind of, um, mailed in the weekly mailbag Sunday and we don’t want that again, do we?

So start now, get over to askdoug@thestar.ca and do your thing.

It’ll make you feel better. Honest, it will.

Not an awful lot of Raptor content in the annual NBA.com survey of league general managers that got out there yesterday.

Some love for Kyle Lowry for his toughness, Pascal Siakam as a steal of the draft and Nick Nurse as an assistant who would some day make a good head coach.

Other than that, it’s pretty boilerplate stuff – the GMs love Golden State and Cleveland, Curry and LeBron and think the Durant move was the big shock of the summer player-wise and that Thibodeau going to Minnesota was the coaching move of most importance.

Really going out on a limb.

But it is nice that they do it and it is extremely thorough, which at least provides some insight into their minds – I love that among the most under-rated player transactions were Serge Ibaka to Orlando and Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City when they were traded for each other.

In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t mean an awful lot – no one’s keeping score – but it’s a nice way to get ready for the coming season.

No, I’m not on this pre-season road trip so make sure you check out My Man Chris, who’s got ‘em today in Detroit and tomorrow and Friday in Washington.

But some sad news out of Troy, Michigan, though, which makes missing the trip a bit easier. I’m told the Champps directly across the street from the Troy Marriott that has been the traditional night-before-the-game dinner spot is now closed. A true shame, losing a road local only used a couple of times a year is a tough loss.

At least we’ve still got Hoops for post-game stuff when we get there in the regular season.

Somehow my silly iPhone updated itself overnight or something and now I’ve got a whole new series of screens to unlock it and check various messages and e-mails and I hate technology.

And change.

Not an awful lot out of HOTH practice yesterday – there was this item about Patrick Patterson – but Masai did stop by to say hello, which was nice of him.

No news, of course, because there isn’t an awful lot to talk about at the moment but he is off to an NBA board of governors meeting later this week which could be the biggest news of the week.

Now, none of the reports the last little while suggest anything is close to being done but you know there’ll be some update on the state of labour negotiations. Last we heard last week was that there were going to be chats this week and there is a sense of optimism out there.

The way things are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if sometime in the next month or so we’re presented with a done deal that has basically been worked out under a cone of silence. That’d be pretty darn good.

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