Jays leave Florida with their running shoes on
The go-go Blue Jays?
No way, but as they break camp in Florida and head for Houston and the final two exhibition games Friday and Saturday, the game plan on offence this season is to run a little more than last year.
The Jays ended their Grapefruit League season against the Yankees, or at least many of the Yankees, at Grant Field Thursday with a 5-2 loss and they did indeed hot-foot it on the basepaths, with three steals. This, along with what seems to be daily error from Edwin Encarnacion at third base, were the more predictable parts of the game and Encarnacion actually had two boots, leading to two unearned runs.
“I think it’s important to manage to what you have,’’ Cito Gaston had said before the game, laying out the grand plan for what will be a long season in terms of wins and losses. “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken (feathers) – and that’s not to say we have chicken (feathers) – it’s just that you can’t do it. I would not have a steal on for (glacial catcher Jose) Molina. I’m not going to do anything crazy, but we might open it up a little more.
“If it’s successful, fine. If it’s not, you’ve got to shut it down and find something else to do. What else can you do except increase your running game, the hit and run? Otherwise there’s not a whole lot else to day except sit there and wait for the three-run home run.’’
They have some power, but not the kind to wait on.
Aaron Hill stole a base in the third inning with two out and scored on Adam Lind’s double. Vernon Wells then beat out and infield single and he likewise stole second. Get used to it, although Lyle Overbay struck out to end the inning with the runners at second and third and people are already used to that.
A.J. Burnett was pitching for New York so, naturally, Jorge Posada was scratched at catcher shortly before game time. Burnett didn’t like pitching to Posada last season. He lasted 4 2/3 and looked so-so, touched for five hits and two runs. But it’s only spring training, even the end of it.