Spring Training Notes & Quotes

Delgado and Hudson share a laugh (AP)

The Blue Jays opened camp this week, giving fans and players alike their first taste of the upcoming season. Here is a sampling of the news from Dunedin.

Roy Halladay has started a "Breakfast Club" for the Blue Jays pitchers. "Well, I live down here and [Jays' strength and conditioning coach Donovan Santos is] here, so we designed a program and just followed it. ... It's better than sitting around all day," Halladay said.

Miguel Batista spoke of his own contribution to helping the Jays young arms. "Young players usually talk to you about some difficulties they have with pitches, how to make an adjustment," he said. "I did it when I was younger and I still do it now when I'm getting older…"

He also spoke of his feelings on moving to the AL, "It's a great opportunity. I don't have to embarrass the hell out of myself at the plate."

Both Eric Hinske and Vernon Wells reported to camp having lost weight in the offseason. While Hinske's weight has been a topic before, in Wells case it was, "just eating right -- I learned how to eat the right stuff, cutting some foods completely," he commented. "I don't think I lost muscle, I lost unnecessary weight. I feel just as strong as ever. I took batting practice the other day and felt the same."

It was reported elsewhere that Josh Phelps has come into camp looking extra trim as well.

Ted Lilly injured his left wrist before practice started, reportedly moving a television. "He's a non-thrower right now, but we're protecting it with a little pad, just in case somebody pops a fungo at him," said Tosca. "He's going to be fine. It's just a minor setback. He's been checked out by the doctors and everything. There's nothing major going on there."

Blue Jay President and CEO Paul Godfrey weighed in on the issue of steroid use, "You know what? Sooner or later the issue is going to explode."

Pete Walker's contract was sold to the Yokohama BayStars in Japan. This effectively ends his career with the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays announced an extension of their player development agreement with their New Hampshire affiliate, assuring the Fisher Cats remain as the Blue Jays¹ Double-A team through the end of the 2006 baseball season. "Time and time again, the Jays farm system has proven their professionalism, dedication and desire to make their home in New Hampshire. It's now our turn to reciprocate and let them know that we¹re honored to sign this extension," observed Fisher Cat President and GM Shawn Smith on the new deal.

The Toronto Blue Jays won't discuss a new contract with Carlos Delgado until after the season. "We did the same thing with [Roy] Halladay, we waited till the end of the year," J.P. Ricciardi said Wednesday after Delgado reported to spring training.

Greg Myers admitted he might retire after 2004, "I would say probably, I haven't decided for sure," Myers said Friday. "But I am leaning that way." His contract is up after this season, and the Jays hope Guillermo Quiroz will be ready to take his spot.


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