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Thursday, May 18, 2017

MLB probing incident involving Kevin Pillar’s homophobic slur

Major League Baseball says it is investigating an incident in which Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar appeared to say a homophobic slur at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday night’s game.

Pillar struck out swinging to end the seventh inning of Atlanta’s 8–4 win and felt he was quick-pitched by Motte.

Pillar started to yell toward the mound at Motte after he struck out….

illar apologized to for actions after the game.

“It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for,” Pillar said. “It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and heat of the moment. Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know he didn’t do anything wrong, it was all me.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 02:35 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, gay rights, kevin pillar, slurs

Pillar, Bautista apologetic after bench-clearing incidents

Blue Jays outfielders Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista were both apologetic on Wednesday night after they were involved in on-field incidents that twice cleared the benches against the Atlanta Braves.
In the top of the seventh inning, Jason Motte struck out Pillar to end the inning. After his swing and miss, Pillar said something to Motte as the pitcher headed for the dugout and despite there being no physical aggression, both benches cleared.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Pillar called the moment “stupid and immature.”
“I think it just stems from a little frustration in myself and just the way this series has been going,” Pillar told reporters after the game. “Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let (Motte) know he didn’t do anything wrong. It was all me.”
In the eighth inning with the Blue Jays down 8-3, Bautista hit a solo home run and flipped his bat after connecting off Eric O’Flaherty. Braves first baseman Jace Peterson said something to Bautista as he rounded the base and the Jays’ slugger briefly stopped before continuing toward second. Atlanta catcher Kurt Suzuki also had some words when Bautista arrived at home plate and the two dugouts to emptied once again.
Again, no punches were thrown.


Braves pitcher Eric O’Flaherty: I’ve seen it from Jose Bautista too much

Benches emptied in the Blue Jays-Braves game Wednesday night after Toronto slugger Jose Bautista homered to left field, stood at home plate and stared toward pitcher Eric O’Flaherty before flipping the bat away with a towering toss in Atlanta.

Jace Peterson said something to Bautista as he rounded first, and Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki was waiting for Bautista when he touched home.

No punches were thrown, but O’Flaherty didn’t mince words about Bautista’s actions.

“That’s something making the game tough to watch,’’ the pitcher said, referring to previous home run celebrations by the Toronto slugger. “It’s turned into look-at-me stuff. He hit a home run with [the Braves holding] a five-run lead and throws the bat around. I’m just tired of it. I’ve seen it from him enough.’‘....

“I’m surprised he’s ready to fight after last year,’’ O’Flaherty said with a disdainful chuckle.


Monday, April 24, 2017

What is wrong with Jose Bautista? - Beyond the Box Score

“Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.” ~ Branch Rickey

Jim Furtado Posted: April 24, 2017 at 07:07 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blue Jays and their fans being tested like never before - Sportsnet.ca

How does the president and CEO handle the muck?

“When it comes to evaluation, you fight not to evaluate because everything gets accentuated at the start of a season, as well as emotions and desires, some of the things that make our players special, or how much they care and how competitive they are,” Shapiro said before a 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night pushed the worst opening in franchise history to 1-9.

“When it goes collectively as badly as it does right now with our offence, a lot of what we’re dealing with is we need to get to a point where guys stop trying to do too much and stop trying to take responsibility for it individually. It’s going to have to be a collective approach where as a team we start having better at-bats, getting on-base and finding ways to score.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 16, 2017 at 07:20 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blue Jays making sense of slow start, where to go from here - Sportsnet.ca

How can this be? From all the preseason predictions I thought all the teams had to play the same way as last year?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Melvin Upton Jr. Won’t Make Blue Jays

Outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. won’t make the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Jays are listening to offers for Upton, tweets FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who lists the Tigers, Orioles, Rays and Giants as sensible fits.

Toronto hasn’t finalized its roster yet, though the last spot was reportedly down to Upton and out-of-options infielder Ryan Goins as of Tuesday. Notably, the Blue Jays signed utilityman Chris Coghlan to a minor league deal Saturday, so it’s possible he could factor into the mix.

The Blue Jays can’t option Upton to the minors without his consent. As such, whether via trade or release, it appears the 32-year-old’s short tenure with the organization is about to end. Upton joined the club prior to last July in a deal with the Padres, who ate all but $5MM of the remaining $22MM on his contract and acquired right-hander Hansel Rodriguez in return..

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2017 at 10:36 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, melvin upton

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jesse Barfield says arm tells all in war for drug-free baseball

Yikes! Greg Luzinski must have been on turanabull from a very young age!

Since Barfield is so familiar with strong arms he thinks it’s a giveaway to which players are on performance enhancing drugs. The giveaway is not when an outfielder suddenly develops a rocket arm. It’s when someone with a rocket arm suddenly can’t throw.

“When you look at guys, you have a pretty good idea of whether they are on something or not. It’s not natural to have muscles growing out of your neck like this,” Barfield said, holding his hands on his neck in a big circle.

Barfield said outfielders using PED’s build up their muscles so much around their shoulders, they can’t throw.

“They can’t get the arm up over the top because of how the muscles are built up,” he said. “It’s not natural. Guys who could throw, suddenly can’t throw.”

Barfield said it was never an issue with the Blue Jays of his era. With Lloyd Moseby and George Bell as his outfield mates, Toronto had one of the finest young outfields in the business.

“As close as we were as a team we would know if anyone was doing anything like that and if they were, we would have . . . stopped it right away.”

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 04:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, history, steroids

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Monday, January 09, 2012

Blasts from the Past

With the Hall of Fame results being announced today, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and dig up some old scouting reports from the Baseball America archives on some of the ballot’s notable candidates. . .

8. Barry Larkin, ss, 21, 5-11, 175, R-R
Larkin looked right at home in AA, hitting .267 for Vermont. He didn’t show power (one home run in 255 at-bats), but that will come. The key for him was just getting his feet on the ground, and he was not overpowered by the high level of competition (21 strikeouts in 255 at-bats). He will have good power for a shortstop.

6. Edgar Martinez, 3b, 25, 5-11, 175, R-R
Martinez’s discipline will produce runs. He’s averaged 70 RBIs the last four years. In the field, he’s solid, with good reactions and the soft hands of a middle infielder.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, braves, hall of fame, mariners, padres, reds, yankees

Monday, January 02, 2012

White Sox trade Jason Frasor to Jays

Reliever Jason Frasor is headed back to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 34-year-old righty was traded from the White Sox to Toronto on Sunday, five months after the Blue Jays dealt him to Chicago.

The White Sox got minor league right-handers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb in this latest swap….

“It felt like I was never coming back. (His July 27 trade) was an emotional day. I think it was the first time I’d cried since I gave up five runs in Atlanta a couple of years ago,” Frasor said….

Frasor, from Chicago, was 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 64 relief appearances with the White Sox and Toronto last season. Chicago acquired him and pitcher Zach Stewart from the Blue Jays for pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen in midseason.

Frasor had been the longest serving member of the Blue Jays and left as the franchise leader in games pitched when they traded him. He spent eight seasons—2004-11—with the Blue Jays, posting a 24-28 record in 455 games with 36 saves and a 3.69 ERA.

And who is 119th in franchise history in games pitched - who else? - Octavio Dotel.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:45 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, white sox

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Griffin: Jays need to be transparent on Darvish and move on

But that policy sometimes leads to reported Jays participation and in interest being exagerrated and perpetuated, in rumours not being nipped in the bud and continuing to grow. That then encourages media searching out secondary sources, subject to interpretation. There Are even top player agents that will include the Jays as being interested in their client in order to drive up the price, confident that Anthopoulos won’t confirm or deny. It’s always been clear that there are times when the club would benefit from total transparency. Darvish is one of those times.

On Wednesday morning, Anthopoulos had staged a 15-minute conference call with local Toronto media to say nothing. He coyly deflected questions of what had been Jays’ interest in Darvish, of having made any offer at all and of the dollar amount that was reported by national sources said to be runner-up to the Rangers’ reported winning bid of $51.7 million.

He must have known that being recognized as runner-up would generate fan support since he would be perceived to have made a sincere effort. In this case the speculation was helping the team’s off-season image and interest. But, now, with all the denials of the $50 million bid that had been reported in multiple outlets elsewhere before being confirmed here, angles offered about the plucky Jays being competitive for Darvish, the previous fan and media support is turning to frustration and anger at being played. Are the Jays trying to take unwarranted credit for aggressiveness to curry public support?

Thanks to Sh.

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 02:37 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, business, media

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Boston Red Sox - Red Sox have more competition than ever - The Boston Globe

This week’s Boston Globe Sunday baseball column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:32 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves, mets, miami, nationals, orioles, phillies, rangers, rays, red sox, yankees

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