Archive for April 2nd, 2011

April 2, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Day 2: Call him Johnny Bench

Well, that’s one way to protect your .750 average.

J.P. Arencibia gave way to Jose Molina on Day 2 of the Blue Jays’ season and watched his fellow catcher launch a home run, go 2-for-3 and guide Kyle Drabek to his first Major League victory.

Drabek went seven innings, threw 101 pitches and fanned seven as the Jays again won impressively, 6-1, on Saturday. The key piece in the Roy Halladay deal walked three and surrendered just one hit in his fourth career start.

Molina and Drabek worked closely during spring training, so it’s not a surprise manager John Farrell would have them form the battery. Arencibia Nation can count on their hero being back in the lineup Sunday, where he could actually pad his lofty numbers from opening night against the mediocre Nick Blackburn, who posted a 5.42 ERA last season.

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April 2, 2011

Montreal as cool as it is cold

[From “Igloofest sizzles in Montreal” from the Toronto Star, published February 11, 2010.]

MONTREAL–It’s minus-35C with the wind chill and Nicolas Cournoyer sweats.

He’s not alone. Around him more than 5,000 mostly young people kick and dance and hug and howl beneath a full moon that has looked down on the St. Lawrence River forever and not seen a scene like this on its banks.

The coldest rave on the planet is called IglooFest and it’s the brainchild of Cournoyer, who’s managed a seemingly Olympian feat by enticing his fellow Montrealers, as well as many house music fans from around the world, to come outside in this weather.

They’ve done so even on the most frigid day of winter when everyone from the authorities to their parents are telling them it’s too damn cold.

“As long as you dress properly, you’ll enjoy it. If you dance and you’re together, you stay warm,” says Cournoyer, who wears a full-body snowsuit as he moves to the beat of DJ King Cannibal, a headliner from the U.K. spinning at Quai Jacques Cartier in the Old Port.

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April 2, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Day 1: Opening Day hero

When Roberto Alomar trotted out to play catcher for the first time ever, it may not have made sense to most of us on Friday night. Why not have both he and Pat Gillick throw out ceremonial pitches prior to the game? But obviously the soon-to-be Hall of Fame second baseman took up a position near home plate to receive Gillick’s first pitch in order to pass the mantle of Greatest Blue Jay. Ever. to J.P. Arencibia, the 25-year-old surefire All-Everything catcher who seems destined for ultimate glory. Or at least to remind Toronto of Carlos Delgado’s early days as a power-hitting phenom who managed to swat balls over the fence with such eyeopening wow some of us were willing to overlook all those other times he swatted perfectly fine oxygen as if his 36-ounce Slugger was meant to be an oscillating device.

On Opening Day, Arencibia whacked the Jays’ first home run of the season to centerfield, plating two runs and making the most optimistic of the 47,984 in attendance think ahead to October and what might be.

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