Blue Jays from Away Update


Click for larger image
Click for larger image


Some of you have probably noticed that we’re gearing up for the release of our first ever publication, the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook (just click on the tab above that says “Handbook”). Since that’s about all I’m doing today (and there’s no game to speak of), I’ll give you an update on how things are going.



We are hard at work on the Handbook and we’re pleased to inform you that just about all of the writing is done (yes, Frank Viola III will be included). We’re piecing together the final patches in the quilt of player profiles now while the last overall edit is under way. It’s a hard slog. With everything now put into one MS Word document, we’re clocking in at 172 pages and it will grow by 5-10 pages before it’s all done.


For us, we feel like this is an important piece of information for all of you wondering if you’re going to buy this wonderful piece of prose. We want you to get your value and knowing that our e-book is so substantial, we think that you’re getting a huge bargain at the $7.99 purchase price (which, I believe, will be in US funds). Other books of this kind (both in print and digital forms) are costing $15 – $20. I can’t promise that we’ll maintain this low price beyond this year but we hope you consider it a low, introductory price point to enhance your knowledge of the Blue Jays’ minor league system.


In addition to our final edit, I’m busy all day formatting the book to e-book standards. It won’t be fancy (fancy is the enemy of the readable e-book) but it will be very functional. You’re going to be able to read the Handbook on just about any device you have and the lack of fancy makes publishing in multiple formats for multiple platforms possible.


Here’s a recap of what you’re getting in the book:

  • Histories and profiles of all seven North American Blue Jays affiliates including the Buffalo Bisons, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Dunedin Blue Jays, Lansing Lugnuts, Vancouver Canadians, Bluefield Blue Jays and Gulf Coast League Blue Jays
  • Over 250 individual profiles of every player anticipated to play in the Blue Jays’ minor league system in 2014 with about 80% of the players scouted by one of our three authors
  • A new essay by current Blue Jays minor league pitcher, John Anderson, a member of the 2013 Dunedin Blue Jays
  • Ticket, travel and city information to help you plan any trips to see the Baby Jays play
  • Complete 2014 minor league schedules
  • Broadcast information to help you follow along with the teams and players from wherever you are
  • Minor league positional depth charts
  • A 2013 draft review
  • A new foreword by Toronto Sun baseball writer Bob Elliott


Your initial reaction is probably, “Holy Crap! How did these guys do all of this?” And, to be honest, we’re not entirely sure, but it will be finished by this weekend and it will be available for pre-order soon. The Handbook should also be available for pre-order on some of the world’s major e-book outlets like Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Amazon before the release date of March 31, assuming all of the technology works properly.


Speaking of our release date, we’re looking to schedule a Book Launch event at Tallboys Craft Beer House during the first week of April. We’re planning to have some special giveaways, promotions and games so come out, watch the game from Tampa on the TV and celebrate the launch with us.



Finally, I’m excited to get the book in the can because next Wednesday, I’ll be heading down to Dunedin for (what is becoming) my annual Spring Training trip. With any technological luck, I’m going to be doing daily mini-podcasts from Dunedin and I’ll be able to get you interviews with some of your favourite minor league Blue Jays as well as scouting reports from the action down in Florida.


While I’m in the US, I’ll be serving two masters, of course. If you didn’t know, I co-edit a minor league blog in the FanSided Network called Grading on the Curve. I’ll definitely be busy down there because I’ll be getting some great content for GOTC as well as for here so I highly encourage you to head over to Grading on the Curve where we have a tremendous group of writers and follow us on Twitter (@gradingthecurve).


So that’s my update on this balmy (-5!), baseball-less Thursday afternoon in Toronto.