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Monday, June 27, 2016

Stroman shows signs of progress but still hasn’t quite found it - Sportsnet.ca

Stroman, meanwhile, will try to lock in on the gains he made Sunday and leverage them when he starts the Canada Day matinee against the Cleveland Indians on Friday.

“You don’t want to think when you’re out there, but I’ve been struggling so obviously I’ve been thinking in between starts, just doing everything I can to get myself where I need to be, but for the most part when I’m out there, I’m not thinking, I’m just trying to execute my pitches and get on the same wavelength as Russ (Martin),” said Stroman. “Definitely not thinking, maybe overthinking a little bit too much between starts, trying to change too much, but I’m not far from where I need to be, and I know it’s just around the corner.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 10:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Blue Jays’ Saunders making legitimate case for being MLB’s most productive hitter - Sportsnet.ca

The guy is having a great month/season.

And Saunders nearly had a fourth, as he smoked a 2-2 fastball 330 feet to left field in the third inning, where it fell right in front of the outfield wall marker that reads “333.” Five more feet and Saunders would have made history.

“Michael’s in a nice little groove. He’s having a hell of a year for us,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. “And he’s using the whole field, too. He’s not just hitting his home runs pull side. He’s driving some balls out the other way. Just a great effort by him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2016 at 07:55 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, michael saunders

Monday, June 06, 2016

Sanchez’s success creates more tough decisions for Blue Jays - Sportsnet.ca

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have a dilemma. They’ve found ways to ease Sanchez’s workload by mixing in extra days off on occasion. In theory the added rest could allow Sanchez to stay in the rotation a little longer than initially planned.

Success has complicated matters, since Sanchez keeps pitching deep into games. As manager John Gibbons notes, he’s averaging almost seven innings per start. One time to provide Sanchez with some rest would be around the all-star break, when teams get to reset their rotations strategically.

“We could,” Gibbons said. “At the all-star break you could really do anything you want.”

“Definitely,” Walker added. “Any time you have a break like that you can re-shuffle the deck so to speak and make sure you have things lined up properly. It’s a good time to do that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2016 at 01:06 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron sanchez, blue jays

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista won’t stop speaking his mind

As long as they still have the First Amendment up in Toronto, Jose Bautista will speak freely.

The epic bat flip was the perfect accelerant in the virtual world: shareable, brief, visual, dramatic, meme-provoking. It was an apt display for these times, if not the century of baseball that preceded it. Hall of Fame relief pitcher Goose Gossage, for instance, called Bautista “a disgrace to the game.”

“That’s always going to be there. They’re purists,” Bautista says of his critics. “And I get it. It’s hard to see the change in your sport, and hard to accept and swallow sometimes. Do you think Larry Bird cringes when he watches a game now and sees alley-oops left and right and people draining threes without setting plays and the way they play defense, especially in the regular season? Probably. He’s like, Man, back in my day it was different.

“But I don’t know why other sports are more accepting of that change. Baseball is the only sport where people try to hold on to the past and prevent that change from happening.

“I think most people understood that it was spur of the moment, a natural reaction in a celebratory way to a big, huge moment in a playoff game. I think most of the negative backlash came from the losing part: the Texas region.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2016 at 10:50 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Atkins on Blue Jays’ reputation: ‘I think we’re misunderstood’ - Sportsnet.ca

Ross Atkins recently wrapped up draft meetings with the club’s scouts in Florida and California and has also had an opportunity to review the club’s farm system. His take on what’s left after last summer’s trade deadline buildup? “There are some positives within our system,” he said. “There are some things that you guys saw in major-league spring training that give us reason to believe that we have some guys who could be every day major-league players. I think where we’re lacking is the depth of those guys that could turn into major-league players, that larger number of what we call in the industry a Role 4 player, someone who is maybe not an everyday player but a solid contributing player, who could turn into a five. That’s where we’re lacking a little bit of depth. Less margin for error. We have to make sure the guys that we feel are going to be great every day major-league players, become them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2016 at 07:49 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general manager, ross atkins

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Report: Rangers’ Rougned Odor suspended 8 games by MLB for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista

OAKLAND, Calif.—Major League Baseball gave Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor an eight-game suspension on Tuesday for his role in a weekend brawl with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Heyman, citing an unnamed source, said Odor plans to appeal the suspension.

Without naming sources, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that Odor will also face a $5,000 fine.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Blue Jays, Rangers throw punches during game | MLB.com

I usually don’t care about this kind of stuff. This fracas was pretty stupid though.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2016 at 05:41 AM | 282 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brawls, jose bautista, rangers, rougned odor

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Alex Anthopoulos reflects on time Blue Jays | MLB.com

On his reasons behind walking away at the end of 2015…
Anthopoulos: “I know a lot was made that I wasn’t as forthcoming, or maybe it should have been a little more specific, but I wanted to keep that more private overall ... I did my best to try to enjoy the playoffs. I really made a conscious effort to try to enjoy it. And until the decision is final, it’s not final.
“I would say through the end of the month of August, I expected to be here for five, 10, 20 years, whatever it was going to be, and then things rolled into September, and that’s probably the first time it entered my mind that it might not be back. But certainly the decision wasn’t done until the end.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 07, 2016 at 11:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jays’ Colabello Suspended 80 Games for PEDs

Colabello’s positive test for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid that is sold under the name Turinabol, was a violation of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. His suspension is effective immediately.

“On March 13, I got one of the scariest and most definitely the least-expected phone calls of my entire life. I was informed by the players’ association that a banned substance was found in my urine,” Colabello said in a statement released by the union. “I have spent every waking moment since that day trying to find an answer as to why or how?”

It was probably in a milkshake.

Infinite Yost (((Voxter))) Posted: April 23, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, steroids

Friday, April 22, 2016

Josh Donaldson not resting on his MVP laurels

Blue Jays fans and fantasy aficionados can take comfort in the knowledge that Donaldson has no plans to jog out a groundball or mail in an at-bat any time soon. With the exception of punching slabs of meat, he has done everything in his power to prepare himself for the seasonal grind.

“They call this sport Groundhog Day every day, but it’s only gonna be Groundhog Day if you have that perception,” Donaldson says. “I feel very fortunate to be in the position I’m in. I don’t want somebody to ever say, ‘You’re taking this for granted, or not respecting this,’ because I do.

“If I go out there and say, ‘OK, I’m taking it easy today,’ I would be doing a disservice to my team, to myself, to the game of baseball and the people who came before me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, josh donaldson

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Steven Wright sends gift to Chris Colabello after beaning Jays 1B

“[Wright] went above and beyond in my eyes,” he said. “It was pretty obvious there was no intent. You could see by his reaction.”

Colabello said the act of a pitcher sending a gift to a player after hitting him “happens more than people know. You build relationships with people.”

Wright said he did it because it scared so many, including Colabello’s parents, who were in the stands. Colabello graduated from high school in Milford, Massachusetts, and played college ball at Assumption in Worcester, Massachusetts.

“I felt like it was the least I could do for scaring myself and probably his parents because I know he’s from around here and his parents were here,” Wright said. “I know that’s something I needed to do.”

I am all for this being a full unwritten rule. Especially for accidentally hitting someone in the head, but even for intentional plunks to the meaty parts. If you hit someone, get them a little something to let them know you realize that getting hit sucks.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Noah Syndergaard throws so hard he branded his catcher’s chest | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

Maybe he should take off his necklace in the future.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, kevin plawecki, noah syndergaard

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Peter Gammons: Troy Tulowitzki, Travis Shaw, and attention to the defensive side - GammonsDaily.com

While the Blue Jays watch Tulowitzki’s work ethic so that he gets rid of throws strongly, quickly and accurately however he reaches them, so too, on the other side the Red Sox have come to marvel at the throwing of Travis Shaw.

Now, for a guy who was moved to first base for awhile, Shaw’s athleticism has surprised the coaches and the front office. “I know I am very impressive with his defense,” says Dave Dombrowski. “Travis gets rid of the ball very quickly,” says Brian Butterfield, “and he does so with arm strength and exceptional accuracy. He impressed all of us when he came up last year, but he’s better than we imagined. And his throwing is special.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2016 at 12:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, defense, red sox

Monday, April 11, 2016

Edwin Encarnacion As Next Red Sox DH? David Ortiz Wants It To Happen

It appears David Ortiz has handpicked his successor. The Red Sox designated hitter is in his final Major League Baseball season, and there’s no doubt he’s going to leave a hole in Boston’s lineup come 2017. But Ortiz apparently has been scouting Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion as his replacement. “Hell, yeah. He’s a perfect replacement,” Ortiz told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Friday. “Because of everything, but mostly because he can hit.”

Paul d mobile Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:32 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ortiz, red sox

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Casual sexism in baseball is alive and well – HardballTalk

In the new world it’s a crime to suggest, in any way, that men and women are different. In this worldview, we all have to be the same. Manliness and machismo are sins. Craig is clearly one of those guys.

There is no place for this crap. There is no way, in 2016, that equating women with weakness or using “woman” as an insult, which was clearly the case in Kansas City, is acceptable. The idea that a guy with long hair is a “woman” and that such a thing is bad was comically played out and exposed as retrograde idiocy as long ago as the late 60s. That it’s still a go-to insult now is inexcusable.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 10:12 AM | 295 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Gibbons: ‘Maybe we’ll come out and wear dresses tomorrow’ - ESPN Video

Video of John Gibbons after the game. I’d embed the video but ESPN doesn’t want video shared anywhere but Twitter and Facebook.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 07:05 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, john gibbons, utley rule

Friday, April 01, 2016

Dale Murphy on Brycer Harper & Bautista

Dale Murphy was talking with his wife Nancy about this supposed rift between generations. You probably have heard something about it. Bryce Harper wants the game to be more fun, livelier, with more feeling expressed, with bat flips and fist pumps and raw emotion. A few other younger players have said similar things either with words or, in the case of Jose Bautista, with an epic bat flip for the ages.
And in the last couple of weeks, a couple of great players from my childhood — Goose Gossage and Mike Schmidt — took issue with Harper’s words and Bautista’s tactics and the young players’ desire to be more demonstrative. Schmidt wrote that such displays “show a lack of respect for your opponent and the history of the game.”

Gossage concurred. “It was a bleepin’ disgrace,” he said.

Dale Murphy played when I was a kid too; he was a hero of mine. I have three Dale Murphy autographs in this house basically because, if you were a Dale Murphy fan, you just ended up with autographs the way that jeans end up with loose change. He was that kind of nice guy. Murphy was a fantastic player in the time of Schmidt and Gossage. He won back-to-back MVP awards just after Schmidt did. He faced Gossage 23 times, hitting just .130 against the Goose (Murphy did manage a homer against Gossage the very last time they faced each other).

In any case, Dale was talking with Nancy about this goofy rift between old school and new, this disagreement between these crazy kids today with their antics and the staid, respectful players of old who kept their heads down, when Nancy interrupted. ‘Wait a minute? Wasn’t there a player in your time who used to come on to the field doing backflips?”

That was Ozzie Smith, of course. And everybody loved it.

“Funny thing about us old guys,” Murphy says. “We don’t always remember our own time so well.”


Thursday, March 31, 2016


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Roberto Osuna to be Blue Jays closer | bluejays.com

I wish they had announced this one day earlier.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Donaldson has seen dark side of domestic violence | Toronto Star | thestar.com

His early years were drenched in violence that no little one should ever have to witness.
“I’m not going to get too colourful with it. But it wasn’t pretty. The best way I can describe it is I can still remember things from when I was from three to five years old that are very vivid in my mind to this day. And it’s not something I would want anybody else to go through.


Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte faced off against switch-hitter Antoan Richardson | MLB.com

Just kidding, there’s a rule for this exact scenario.

“A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch ... The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury.”

In other words, the batter gets the final call. As Clint Hurdle told MLB.com’s Adam Berry, “It was a little bit comical. Because if anyone knows the rule, I think the pitcher does. He’s the only one. It’s not like you’ve got three or four guys working with this opportunity. It’s fun to watch.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 08:25 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, pat venditte, pirates

Sunday, March 06, 2016

What to do when your window of opportunity is closing (Mar 5, 2016) | FOX Sports

The Blue Jays want to build on last year’s success, while the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals hope 2015 was an aberration. All three teams are trying to keep their championship windows open, and it isn’t easy.

‘‘At some point, some teams get into an all-win-now mode because they’re right there,’’ Tigers general manager Al Avila said. ‘‘It’s very hard to get into the playoffs. It’s very hard to get into the World Series, much more even to win it. When you feel you have that chance, you’ve got to go for it.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, nationals, playoffs, team building, tigers

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Peter Gammons: Jose Bautista and the future of athletic preparation and longevity - GammonsDaily.com

He has studied all the aging metrics, and defies them the way he defied his projected career path of being a utility player. When Jose was 30, he led the league in homers (43), walks, slugging, OPS and OPS+.

At 40? “I am preparing to be physically capable of doing the same,” Bautista says. “I am preparing to defy those aging curves by my strict adherence to physical, mental and nutritional routines. When I missed time (at 31) with hip problems, I changed everything,” he says. “I studied, I learned about my body, and how to keep it at peak performance levels, and how to maintain it. I study how Chip Kelly prepares his players. I do what he teaches. I do what Tom Brady does. It is about discipline and diet and strive for physical and mental states that defy aging. I love a good steak; I cannot eat red meat. There are a lot of things I love, but I cannot be who and what I want to be and eat and drink them.

“It has been suggested that when I told the Blue Jays what it would take for me to sign an extension and pass up free agency (next November), it was because I absolutely believe that I will perform at my expected level past the age of 40.”

And, oh, by the way, he wants six years, not five.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2016 at 02:20 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Monday, February 29, 2016

Troy Tulowitzki says he’s done feeling bitter at the Rockies | FOX Sports

The subject came up more than once during the postseason, in casual conversation, during formal interviews. Troy Tulowitzki, instead of savoring his first playoff appearance since 2009, dwelled upon getting blind-sided by his trade from the Rockies to the Blue Jays and admits now he was “still bitter” about it.

He talked openly about that bitterness, talked about how the Rockies promised to keep him in the loop and “man, that was the furthest from the truth.” At the time, I wondered whether Tulowitizki would ever move forward. But as I walked into the Jays’ spring-training clubhouse on Friday, I quickly discovered that he had.

“I was honest last year saying it was very tough for me,” Tulowitzki said. “And now I’m honest saying I’m over it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 29, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, rockies, troy tulowitzki

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sources: Bautista’s demand is five years, $150M - Article - TSN

OK, so where will Bautista end up playing next season for less money?

Toronto Blue Jays’ all-star outfielder Jose Bautista is demanding a five-year contract extension worth more than $30 million per year, two sources familiar with the matter told TSN.

Bautista turns 36 in October and a $150-million contract, were he able to secure it, would make him among baseball’s top-paid players.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2016 at 03:09 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

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