ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – The time for talking is over. Its put up or shut up time. A pivotal season, the Blue Jays 38th in Major League Baseball, gets underway at Tropicana Field on Monday afternoon. Last springs eternal optimism has been replaced by this springs eternal doubt. Jobs are on the line if 2014 takes on a pattern similar to 2013. That certainly goes for manager John Gibbons. The heat already is being turned up on general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The players know it, including the ace knuckleballer for whom much was traded away over a year ago. "Guys really know that this is a big year for us collectively," said R.A. Dickey, who will make his second consecutive opening day start for the Blue Jays. "Were kind of getting a mulligan this year. Last year a lot of things went wrong. This year were pretty much all healthy, were here, weve been here all spring, weve been able to do relationships with one another and now were in a much different place than we were last year and its a much more comfortable place." While its nice that a full season has bred greater familiarity, the degree to which teammates are comfortable around one another will only take them so far. The Blue Jays go into the season with a starting rotation full of question marks on the heels of last year, when the club finished 29th out of 30 teams in starting staff ERA (4.81). "Thats the key to our success this year, thats the key to anyones success is how well you pitch as far as giving you a chance," said manager John Gibbons. "Were ready to go. Weve had a good spring all year." All things being equal, namely health, you know what youll get from Dickey and Mark Buehrle. The knuckleballer will be among the American League leaders in innings pitched, he was second last year with 224 2/3 innings despite pitching most of the first half with a strained muscle in his neck, and if Dickeys spring is any indication he could improve upon last years numbers (14 wins, 4.21 ERA). "I feel prepared. I feel confident, which is great," Dickey said after his final Grapefruit League start on March 26. "Last year I didnt feel very confident simply because I didnt feel as prepared. Im really looking forward to getting started and being able to adjust my schedule this year in a way that really maximizes my preparedness has been great." Buehrle, whose 12 wins and 203 2/3 innings in 2013 marked the 13th consecutive season hes achieved double-digit victories and more than 200 innings pitched, said of his changeup after an early March outing that it hadnt been that good in three years. Typically a slow starter, Buehrles 4.32 career ERA in the month of April is his worst for any month of the season. The joke has been how good he feels. "Its a joke but not a joke," explained Buehrle. "At times you go through your little stretches where you almost say, man, I wish I was giving up some hits and home runs to kind of get them out of the way for the season. But I feel good. I mean, obviously the results in spring training dont mean stuff but you still want to get people out no matter whether its spring training or the regular season. I feel good and I think thats the biggest thing Im taking out of this camp is I feel healthy, Im ready to go and hopefully the results are there." Throw Drew Hutchison and Brandon Morrow in the questionable category. Hutchison is there because hes 23 years old and likely to experience the normal ups and downs of any young pitcher, not to mention he has limited minor league innings under his belt following last summers return from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. Still, Hutchison was the Jays best pitcher this spring. He earned a starting job on merit and appears poised to resume a career halted by injury in June, 2012. Morrow, entering the final guaranteed year of his contract (the Blue Jays hold a $10 million option for 2015), must prove he can not only remain healthy but that he can pitch effectively, consistently. The Jays need Morrow to be his 2012 version (10-7, 2.96, 1.115 WHIP) save for the two and a half months lost to an oblique strain. Dont think the 29-year-old doesnt feel he has a point to prove. "You definitely dont want to be labeled as somebody injury prone," said Morrow. "My goal is to go out there and make every start this year. I had a positive spring so Im feeling good about it." Its a wait-and-see, hold-your-breath approach with Dustin McGowan, wholl be closely monitored not only during his outings but in between starts. The 32-year-old is returning to the starting rotation on a full-time basis for the first time since 2008. Multiple shoulder surgeries and various other injuries later, McGowans story is testament to his resolve but also a reflection of the Blue Jays lack, at the moment, of quality starting pitching depth. Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin are on the way but arent ready yet. Todd Redmond or J.A. Happ, once the issues with his wonky back get worked out, are the immediate fallback plans should McGowan falter. Anything the Jays get from McGowan has to be considered gravy given what hes been through. CASEY JANSSEN TO DISABLED LIST The Blue Jays have placed closer Casey Janssen on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 29, with what the club is calling a left abdominal/back strain. Janssen, 32, made only three spring appearances, all in the last week, after dealing with pain and stiffness in the back of his pitching shoulder for most of camp. Reached for comment, Janssen told TSN.ca he isnt worried about the state of his shoulder, which was surgically repaired more than a year ago. "Shoulder is feeling good," said Janssen. "Maybe compensated for it but, no, shoulder is good to pitch." Sergio Santos will replace Janssen as the clubs closer for the time being. Catcher Erik Kratz, who lost out to Josh Thole for the back-up job to Dioner Navarro, has been recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. McGOWAN THROWS SIMULATED GAME Dustin McGowan threw a 77-pitch simulated game at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Sunday. General manager Alex Anthopoulos, speaking on a Sunday afternoon conference call, said that as of this moment McGowan is on track to start the home opener on Friday against the Yankees. McGowan describes himself as a "second day pain guy," meaning his shoulder is most uncomfortable following his second sleep after a start. Regardless, at the moment the 32-year-old appears to have cleared all hurdles in his attempt to return to the starting rotation. Derek Roy Jersey . - Alex Dostie scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Gatineau Olympiques to a 5-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday. Justin Bailey Jersey . With a victory seemingly slipping away late in the third quarter, his quick scoring flurry helped Golden State regain control early in the fourth. http://www.authenticsabrespro.com/Danny-gare-sabres-jersey/ . Lowry and the Raptors officially announced a four-year US$48 million dollar deal Thursday. The deal was reported last week but couldnt be made official until Thursday, when the moratorium on signings was lifted. "They were real factors. I did my homework. Thomas Vanek Jersey . Week 2s biggest games include Florida facing Miami and Notre Dame travelling to the Big House to conclude their rivalry against Michigan in primetime on TSN2 and TSN 1050. Rick Martin Jersey . -- Phil Mickelson came to the St.BATA, Equatorial Guinea - Complaints about referees are common in football, but frustrated host Equatorial Guinea is claiming an actual conspiracy at the African Cup of Nations.Equatorial Guineas football federation said it sent a letter of protest to tournament organizers this week following a disallowed goal by captain Emilio Nsue in the opening game of the African Cup, a 1-1 draw with Republic of Congo in Bata on Saturday. Nsue was ruled offside though TV replays suggested he wasnt.The federation thinks the incident may have been more than just a mistake by match officials.The federation considers ... that the annulment (of the goal) is part of a planned action to complicate the passing of the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea to the quarterfinals, the federation said in a statement released through the governments press and information office.The statement said federation staff viewed the video of Nsues disallowed goal and asked sports analysts for their opinion before concluding that this is an injustice and possibly a predetermined action of the referees.In the protest letter sent to the Confederation of African Football, new federation president Andres Jorge Mbomio invites the CAF to correct these referees, to stop this behaviour which, in his opinion, is not the first time that (it) affects the national team of Equatorial Guinea, the statement said.ddddddddddddThe federation didnt clarify what it meant by not the first time.CAF hasnt responded publicly to the apparent protest.In fact, the Central African country is fortunate to be playing at the 2015 African Cup at all after it was disqualified from the tournament last year for fielding an ineligible player in qualifying. The country was reinstated after it took over as host from Morocco.Equatorial Guineas federation also overlooked a goal by Nsue in the first half against Republic of Congo, which was allowed to stand when replays suggested he was offside that time.Equatorial Guinea has drawn both its games and now must beat neighbour Gabon in the final round of games in Group A to qualify for the quarters — the very least the raucous home fans expect. ' ' '