by Jonathan Buckstein
The Toronto Blue Jays welcomed hundreds of fans into the Rogers Centre for their annual Winter Fest. Roster hopefuls Reese McGuire and Cavan Biggio spoke about their game plan for this upcoming season, while the always entertaining, Joe Biagini did his best to answer all the questions thrown his way.
“Being around Russell was a pleasure, I was able to play with him when I was a young rookie in the Pittsburgh system,” McGuire said after being asked about what he had learned from Russell Martin, who was traded to the Dodgers just a few weeks ago.
“One cool thing about Russell when I got over here, was in spring training he brought together all the pitchers and catchers who had thrown to each other the day before. We would meet 30 minutes before any position players got there and we’d just talk about the game plan. He just took over the leadership role, just a cool human being. He’ll be missed.”
After reports last season of Ryan Borucki and Danny Jansen friendship and growing together in the minors, Reese talked about with whom he had shared a bond since joining the Jays, “Pannone, (Thomas Pannone), he and I both came to the team through trades, we had that in common. Sharing that experiences, we were able to become close right away and it was really fun to catch up with him in the majors. So I think both of us had a good connection, but I mean, I hope I have a good relationship with all the pitchers!”
While McGuire has seen some major league action, with the first taste of baseball in 2019 just weeks away, Cavan Biggio, a Blue Jays fifth round draft pick back in the 2016 draft, and son of hall of fame second basemen Craig Biggio spoke about his chances of making the team out of spring training, ”I’m very excited, I mean to become a major league player and all. The head office is trusting us, passing the torch to the young guys.”
He followed up talking about his experience winning the AA championship with New Hampshire. “I think the front office here is keen on winning in the minor leagues, a lot of guys on that team easily could have been called up to AAA, but we were focused on winning that championship and that experience the last few weeks of the season was really fun and a great experience.”
Lastly Joe Biagini stepped up to the podium, after a year where there was a lot of uncertainty of where he belonged on the team, as he served duties out of the bullpen and as a starter.
“I thinks it’s tough having different roles but, every role is tough. I’ll go into spring training doing what the coaches ask me to do, I mean it’s a different mindset between coming out of the pen and starting, but I’m willing to do what’s asked of me.”
“I don’t know if I do this perfectly, but I always try to remind myself just how unbelievable it is that I would be desired, to come here and sign autographs and take pics with the fans, I always try to make every interaction memorable.” Biagini said, on a lighter note, about his time at Winter Fest.
He started to pan away from baseball and spoke about his interesting choice of walk up song from last season, Tears of a Clown. “Listen, there’s a ton of songs that I like, but when you hear it everyday, I don’t want to ruin those songs.”
As they look to the future, all three players agreed on one thing, they can’t wait to get back on the field, in a Jays uniform.