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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Big Read: Inside the Toronto Blue Jays’ high performance department - Sportsnet.ca

There are no more pumps for Pearce, who signed with the Blue Jays this off-season after stops with five other major league teams. He’s found they do things a bit differently in Toronto. That’s thanks to the Blue Jays’ high performance department, an interdisciplinary collection of specialists covering everything from strength and conditioning to psychology. It’s an all-encompassing collective the Blue Jays hope will provide each and every player in the organization, from the teenager at the bottom of the minors to the $20-million asset playing every day on the big-league roster, the tools and resources they need to be at their best.

“In my experience, it’s completely unique to baseball. I’m doing exercises I’ve never done before,” Pearce says. “I feel like a fish out of water just trying to learn all the stuff that they do because it’s completely different.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 01:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, sports science

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Peter Gammons: Toronto building a new culture - GammonsDaily.com

Grey Poupon for everyone!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, clubhouse culture

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Jose Bautista, humbled but not hurt, aims for Blue Jays revival at 37

I guess his agent isn’t big on honesty.

“It was confusing, and it was tough at times,’’ Bautista says, “but you can’t take it personally. You can’t feel like it’s necessarily a direct vendetta against you or a group. I know markets have their ups and downs, but I can’t explain what happened to me.

“I’m not complaining about the deal I got. Could it have been better a couple of years ago? I guess. You can expect things, and think about what happened in the past, but at the end of the day, there are no guarantees.

“It’s hard to complain when you’re playing the sport you love, and you’re making a lot of money.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Blue Jays’ Travis ditches social media to focus on baseball | BLUE JAYS | Baseba

Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, for example, use sites like Twitter to engage fans and get his message out. Travis laughed when asked how difficult it was to put his smart phone down.

“You know what, it’s hard, man. The first couple of weeks or so it was really hard. I would catch myself opening up my phone all the time,” he said.

“But what I found out, I was just opening my phone and I just wanted to be on something. We’ve become such creatures of habit and without that, I feel like I never really care about my phone and I was always glued to my phone prior and now it’s like some new freedom.

“It’s (liberating). It’s nice, man. It’s like a really, really great freedom, like a weight lifted off your shoulders because it’s something you’re doing probably 20, 30, 40, 50 times a day without even knowing it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, devon travis

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dave Stieb on Hall of Fame: ‘I surely did not deserve to be just wiped off the map’ | MLB | Sporting News

In case anyone’s wondering, Stieb’s heard of WAR.

“Pat Hentgen told me years ago, he goes, ‘Man, you know how they’re using that WAR a lot, that stat?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘They use that like crazy now to gauge how good someone really is.’ He goes, ‘If they looked at that when you were playing, you would have won four Cy Young Awards in a row,’” Stieb said, noting it would have been 1982 through 1985 when he led for WAR three consecutive years and finished second the fourth.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 12:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dave stieb, hall of fame

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Communication foundation of success for Blue Jays’ Pete Walker - Sportsnet.ca

This year, Valentine’s Day is especially romantic not only because it’s the day when couples unashamedly and overtly make grand declarations of love. More importantly, it’s the day when the Blue Jays’ pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training. The end of winter, as it were. The day on which we can see the first spark of summer.

It’s only appropriate, then, to publish a love letter on this day, but I won’t be penning this one. This love letter is from the Blue Jays to their pitching coach, Pete Walker.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, pitching coaches

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The Blue Jays and Bautista have agreed to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option but is pending the completion of a physical, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon. The deal’s options could keep Bautista in Toronto through 2019. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The sides are discussing a two-year deal worth between $35 million and $40 million, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported early Monday.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2017 at 09:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Blue Jays’ identity crisis could lead to end of short-lived Toronto renaissance - CBSSports.com

Jonah Keri talks about the Blue Jays being caught between a rock and a hard place.

If Shapiro and Atkins truly wanted to build the team their way, they could have shopped all-world third baseman Josh Donaldson at the height of his value, rather than waiting until, say, the end of the 2017 season, when he’ll be one year from free agency. They could have shopped Happ and Estrada coming off big seasons, offering suitors strong and inexpensive starting pitching alternatives at a time when the free-agent market for starters was barren. Trading Tulowitzki might have required eating some of his big contract, but plenty of teams would have vied for a power-hitting shortstop who can still pick it, even at age 32.

Instead, a fetish for future assets, the pressure of fan expectations, the challenges of keeping money flowing and a lot of poor planning adds up to a likely season in limbo. For a franchise that spent two decades mired in mediocrity, that’s a pretty lousy thought to start the new year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2017 at 07:39 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jose Bautista’s path back to Toronto becomes even clearer

Is the last part true? If he’s really as volatile as this suggests, why would a team want to overpay *and* deal with him when there are other options?

Whether they should certainly is disputable. The fears about Bautista are fair. Older players are risky. They have trouble staying healthy. Bautista is right-handed and the lineup desperately could use another left-handed hitter. And this could be the big one: According to sources, while Bautista is willing to accept a one-year deal, he wants it to be at a higher value than the qualifying offer.

With Bautista, respect is paramount – it’s what makes him such an emotional and combustible on-field figure – and even though the Blue Jays organization owes him nothing of the sort, president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins do understand people. And they know a pissed-off Jose Bautista is not the sort of person worth having around. Every team knows this. It’s why Bautista’s salary in the end will be more reasonable than expected of someone in this market.{emphasis added}

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2016 at 08:34 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Friday, December 23, 2016

Free agent Edwin Encarnacion reportedly signs with Indians | BLUE JAYS | Blue Ja

The Blue Jays made the best offer. It was rejected. I get that fans will miss Encarnacion. Any complaints about the front office decision-making, however, seems misguided.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin encarnacion

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Blue Jays trying to balance objective evaluation, subjective exuberance - Sportsnet.ca

It’s easier to be “irrational” when you are a top revenue team. As the Dodgers have shown, it can be rational to press your higher revenue advantage. In smaller markets, breaking out the checkbook can really restrict a franchise’s future.

That’s why Atkins intriguingly said the Blue Jays don’t feel like they need to move off their positions in unspecified negotiations. But there may come a point when, to use Friedman’s phrasing, some irrationality may be needed to ensure the player they really want doesn’t get away.

The challenge is in knowing when the ante must be upped to avoid needlessly overpaying.

“It’s a really good question, and that’s exactly how we structure it: OK, what is the surplus in the deal … what we’re getting and paying for the projected performance and what that costs on the market and what we’re actually paying for it,” Atkins explained. “Going beyond those levels suggests you’re overpaying based on your own information, any information you can use. Teams often do that. And we’ll often do that. And it will be based on person, teammate, fit. And when that happens, we’ll consider doing that. It’s an interesting question and really difficult to stay disciplined.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Notes: The Nationals are in the mix for Chris Sale | FOX Sports

Imagine a rotation that included Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg ... and Chris Sale.

The Nationals can.

Add the Nats to the list of teams pursuing Sale, a list that likely includes the majority of teams in baseball.

Major-league sources confirmed the Nationals’ interest in Sale on Tuesday. The likelihood of a deal with the White Sox, however, is unknown.

The Nats’ edge is that they have A) a farm system that can satisfy the White Sox and B) a general manager, Mike Rizzo, who relishes making bold moves.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Blue Jays To Sign Kendrys Morales

The Blue Jays have struck a deal to sign free agent DH Kendrys Morales, as first reported on Twitter by Chris Meola and as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. The contract will reportedly cover three years and guarantee Morales $33MM.

Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone Posted: November 11, 2016 at 04:55 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, kendrys morales, royals

Report: Blue Jays sign Cuban prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Cuban prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr., to a multi-year deal, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the deal is for seven years and $22 million.

The 23-year-old Gurriel Jr., who stands at six-foot-four, 205 lbs., can play middle infield as well as the outfield. He practised in those spots during a September showcase in front of scouts in Panama.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 11, 2016 at 02:11 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cuban free agents, lourdes gurriel

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Blue Jays making push to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion - Sportsnet.ca

The Toronto Blue Jays are making a push to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion after some fruitful talks have apparently given the free-agent slugger something to think about, industry sources told Sportsnet.

Things have the potential to move fast, but that’s no guarantee the sides will reach an agreement. An important factor at play is Encarnacion’s desire to remain with the Blue Jays, but he’ll be able to negotiate with all 30 teams starting at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday night and will be highly sought.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2016 at 08:47 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin encarnacion, free agents

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Blue Jays Should Rebuild | FanGraphs Baseball

Is my memory faulty or is Dave predisposed to tear down rebuilds?

Jeff Sullivan disagrees.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blue Jays face uncertain future after falling short again

Now two of the biggest cogs in the lineup, right fielder Jose Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, seem likely to leave as free agents in the offseason. Bautista has hit 265 home runs in his nine seasons with the Blue Jays while Encarnacion has 239 homers in eight years.

The duo helped the Blue Jays end a 22-year playoff drought last year.

“Eddie and Jose really helped put this team back on the map again with what they’ve accomplished,” said Gibbons, who completed the fourth season of his second stint as Toronto’s manager. “Really, both made their name here in Toronto. But baseball is still a business. It’s a game we play, but it’s still a big business and guys earn the right to try free agency. They both love it here, but it’s still a business.”

Bautista declined to comment on his future following Wednesday’s game.

“I don’t think it’s the right time to be taking about that,” Bautista said. “We just battled through a tough series. I don’t want to make this about myself, and I don’t feel like I’m in the proper state of mind to be taking about that. I know it’s a possibility but we’ll see what happens.”

Instead, Bautista was more disappointed about going 3-for-18 with seven strikeouts in the ALCS.

“I know that I’m capable of doing a lot more,” Bautista said. “They pitched great. It was tough. They seemed to make the right pitches at the right time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin encarnacion, jose bautista

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Indians beat Blue Jays to win AL pennant | MLB.com

It all worked out in the end. Congrats to the Indians and their fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2016 at 07:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, indians, playoffs, world series

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Blue Jays defeat Indians in Game 4 of ALCS | MLB.com

That didn’t really work out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 08:09 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, indians

Indians take 3-0 ALCS lead vs. Blue Jays | MLB.com

A weird bullpen game. The Indians are one win away from the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, indians, playoffs

Monday, October 17, 2016

Blue Jays Fan On A Mission To Prove Canadians Aren’t Stereotypically Polite

No beer cans?

Well, one Blue Jays fan, with his Justin Bieber mask and crying LeBron James sign, is on a mission to do away with that stereotype. … “I woke up at 5:30 a.m., I drove hundreds of kilometers to be here to counter the inaccurate stereotype that all Canadians are polite. Some of us are provocateurs. … I’m here to export Canadian culture at its finest—but not the stereotypical culture that is thought of, the Canadian as a bland, polite people, you know? We’re the fierce warrior.”

An example of said fierce trash talk for the fans in Cleveland: “Do you talk to your grandma about what it was like here in 1948, when you last won the World Series?” Alas, this Blue Jays fan’s provocations couldn’t carry his favorite team on the road, and the Blue Jays face a 2-0 deficit in the series, which now heads up north to the home of Justin Bieber. Speaking of: “Justin Bieber is a cultural icon, Canadian Royalty and we’re very, very proud of him … at times.”

That’s a FAIL, eh?

The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 17, 2016 at 06:19 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, canada, justin bieber, polite, stereotypes

Friday, October 14, 2016

Player’s Tribune | Giving Thanks - Jason Grilli

Dude, I love Canadian Thanksgiving.

For Americans who don’t know what the deal with Canadian Thanksgiving is, it’s basically just like American Thanksgiving except… earlier. The second Monday of every October. It’s really amazing. You have to try it.

For where I’m at in my life, the timing for my first Canadian Thanksgiving really couldn’t have been any better. This year, perhaps more than any other, I really have a lot to be thankful for.

Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 14, 2016 at 04:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, canada, grilled cheese

Blue Jays’ Tulowitzki: ‘This is for everything. It’s our time’

TBD.

“I said it a month ago. This is the best version of the Blue Jays I’ve seen. This is a team that’s had to come together. We’ve had our backs against the wall all year. We’ve been through a lot. Nothing came easily for us. We didn’t win the division. We didn’t go any on any big winning streaks. We’ve had to fight just to get here.

“Now, this is for everything, a trip to the World Series. It’s our time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs

Blue Jay Kevin Pillar elite Statcast fielder | MLB.com

More, more, more, more. And the faster the better.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, defense, kevin pillar, sabermetrics, statcast

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