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Blue Jays Fan

R A Dickey posted by Blue Jays Fan

Born October 29, 1974, R. A. Dickey is a MLB pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays. He mainly relies on the knuckleball, which has served him well in his pitching career. Dickey switches between a slow knuckler at 54 mph and a fast knuckler that can reach a speed of up to 83 mph. He also uses four-seam and two-seam fastballs in the range of 82 to 85 mph, and occasionally resorts to a changeup, which is in the range of 76 to 78 mph.

Dickey played baseball in school and college, but started his professional career when he was drafted in 1996 by the Texas Rangers; however, his debut was not until 2001. In 2004, he started the season strongly with a 4-1 record but by the end of the season, he was down to 6-7 record with a poor 5.61 ERA. Dickey realized he had to better his pitch, and in 2006, he was given a chance to experiment with the knuckleball, and was named the fifth starter by the Rangers. However, in the first start, he gave away six home runs, and he was demoted to play with Oklahoma Red Hawks, a Triple-A team, which is a minor league affiliate of the Rangers.

From 2007 to 2010, Dickey mainly played minor league for Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and Seattle Mariners. In January 2010, Dickey signed a contract with New York Mets to play minor league, and he was assigned to Buffalo Bisons, a Triple-A team. However, in 2012, during Cy Young Award Season, Dickey played excellently, and was the first pitcher to win 10 games of the MLB season. In December 2012, Dickey was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and in February 2013, Dickey was named the starter for the opening day. In June 2014, Dickey managed the 1,000th strikeout of his career, while pitching against Chicago White Sox.

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Blue Jays Fan

How will Toronto Blue Jays Perform in MLB Baseball Bets posted by Blue Jays Fan

For betting on MLB baseball, you need not be an expert, as there are many resources available online that can guide you to make the best wagers. From potential of each player to winning strategies, everything is discussed in detail on these websites. For instance, if you are a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, this season can be quite exciting opportunity to make some profitable wagers. The Toronto Blue Jays were quite lucky this season, as they had the opportunity in building quite a formidable team. Taking advantage of the salary issues with the Miami Marlins, Toronto was able to get Joe Buck a star catcher, great pitchers like Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, and super star Jose Reyes. This is in addition to the already existing powerful offensive of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Another recent inclusion, which has increased the winning odds for the team is R.A. Dickey. 
Another major thing playing in Blue Jays favour is the NHL lockout, which has led to decommissioning of Maple Leafs. The Toronto team has also managed to take the lead ahead of New York Yankees for winning the AL East with odds at +150, while the Yankees are trailing behind with +190. The New York team, which was considered a favourite, seems to be declining, as there are ageing players and pitching is not up to the mark. However, they still have a good chance, as they have been winning the AL East title for 12 years out of a total of 15 years play. The odds for New York Yankees of winning the World Series are at 14/1, whereas the odds of Toronto Blue Jays are at 15/2. This is going to be quite close, and betting will be quite exciting.  There is good potential of winning substantial amounts in sports betting through and by playing casino games. Now all this can be done from the comfort of your home, as you can access betting spaces and huge casinos, online. Approaching a bookie for placing a bet on your favourite team is a thing of the past, as you can do the same thing online in a highly secure environment. You also do not have to bother about the legality of the transaction, as most websites are licensed by the authorities to conduct gambling businesses. These sites come under strict government regulations, which means there is much more safety for the player wagering any amount.
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Richard Kagan

Dunn's 32nd HR Ties Blue Jays, 1-1 posted by Richard Kagan

Last season Adam Dunn has a season to forget, quickly.  A traditional power hitter for the length of his career, Dunn managed only 11 homers and a gazillion KO's last year.  Dunn was recovering from surgery before the season and never got untracked.  His swing got messed up and he kept flailing and fanning.  This season Dunn has almost 170 KO's, and may well lead the league.  But he is among AL leaders in HR's too, with 32.  He will triple his production from last season.  Dunn either seems to hit a HR or strike out.  He hit a single or double and drove in a run the other day.  I was shocked.  A Rbi that most players experience.  Some of Dunn's HR's are blasts. 

Watching him at the plate is kind of interesting.  You want to see if he hits one far, or swings at a bad pitch--it is good to see him producing and hitting HR's at bat.  He said, he doesn't get paid for hitting singles.  That seems to be the case.

Continue reading "Dunn's 32nd HR Ties Blue Jays, 1-1"


David

New season brings new hope posted by David

Two thousand eleven was a difficult year for Major League Baseball.  There was no strike, no brawl in which a player grabbed an elderly coach and threw him to the ground, and no collision between players that proved to be career-ending for anyone.  (Buster Posey should be fine this season.)  On the field, things were good.  In the stands and outside the park, however, tragedy struck the baseball world.

Christina Taylor Green, the nine-year-old granddaughter of former Phillies GM Dallas Green and daughter of Dodgers scout John Green, was shot and killed in Tucson at the Gabrielle Giffords Congress on Your Corner event in January.

Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten nearly to death outside Dodger Stadium on Opening Day.

Shannon Stone, a firefighter, fell 20 feet in front of his six-year-old son at Rangers Ballpark in July and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Greg Halman, a 24-year-old Mariners outfielder, was stabbed to death in his native Holland in November, allegedly by his own brother.

Despite the tragedies that occurred in 2011 – both during the season and before it began, inside and outside the stadium, accident or intentional – it was heartening to hear about Barry Bonds’s offer to pay for Stow’s children to go to college.  I have personally never been a Bonds fan – and I’m still not – but I give credit where credit is due.  Detractors may say that it was just a publicity stunt to improve his image, and I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t, but does it really matter?  A wealthy athlete did something he didn’t have to do in order to help someone in need.

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Blue Jays Fan

Jays' Santos brings the heat posted by Blue Jays Fan

The Blue Jays will not be going to need to face Sergio Santos this year and that’s a fantastic thing.

Monday a couple of in the Jays’ hitters got a firsthand look at Santos’ repertoire inside a live batting practice session as well as the new closer sent Brett Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacion away shaking their heads and grumbling under their breath.

Santos features a heavy mid-90s fastball, a sharp, biting slider and this year is dusting off a changeup that he neglected last year as Chicago’s closer.

"The a single thing we went back and looked at when he evolved into the closer function was that he became predominantly a fastball-slider pitcher," said manager John Farrell. "The year ahead of when he was inside a late-inning (setup) role his changeup was a true weapon for him.

"By his own admission in conversations throughout the off-season, he felt like he got away from that pitch. It is a darn great pitch, whether to righthanders or lefthanders, and when you are running within the mid-90s, having a wipeout slider and also you can throw another pitch in to the mix that they've to defend against, it makes him less predictable."

The Blue Jays will have some interesting mlb props this year, that's for sure.

Continue reading "Jays' Santos brings the heat"


David

A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day posted by David

If you’re looking for a baseball book that will keep you entertained until Opening Day, check out Dirk Hayhurst’s The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran.  The book details Hayhurst’s 2007 season at three different levels of the minors.  He describes long bus rides, living with host families, Kangaroo Court, and battling the urge to give up on a dream.  It’s an honest story about the arduous journey it takes so many ballplayers to reach their ultimate goal, knowing they may never achieve it.

Hayhurst has since made it to the majors, pitching in 25 games, making three starts, and compiling a 0-2 record and a 5.72 ERA for the Padres and Blue Jays.  The Kent State University graduate’s book received rave reviews from Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Tom Verducci and Tim Kurkjian, and made The New York Times Bestseller list.

Hayhurst also played for my hometown’s college summer league team, the Bethesda Big Train, back in 2001.  After missing all of 2010 with a shoulder injury, he signed a minor league contract with the Rays and will hope to spend this season in Tampa Bay.  Dirk Hayhurst, best of luck.

A big step in my career

After spending last season working for the Toledo Mud Hens, I’ll start a new job next month in the Research Department at MLB Network.  I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with baseball people who love the game as much as I do.  The researchers support the on-air personalities by providing statistical and analytical information for each broadcast.  In addition to Bob Costas and Peter Gammons, MLB Network on-air personalities include retired ballplayers Sean Casey, Bill Ripken, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, and John Smoltz.  Since I’ll be living so close to New York City, hopefully I’ll make it to Citi Field and New Yankee Stadium this year for the first time.

Continue reading "A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day"


Michael McGauley

"Time for the Giants to Focus on the Rockies and Not Wednesday's Disaster" posted by Michael McGauley

Okay Giants' fans, it's time to get over Wednesday's loss, and get ready for the Rockies Friday night. Hey, I can be just as greedy as anyone, especially when it comes to a potential three-game sweep of the defending N.L. Champion Phillies. Everything was looking good: Lincecum on the mound, a three-run lead in the top of the 9th, and Brian Wilson getting loose in the pen should Timmy run out of gas. Then, with one out, a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino, Bochy yanks Lincecum after 106 pitches, and Wilson cannot close the door. Jayson Werth's bases-clearing bloop double down the right field line tied the game at 4-4. In my opinion, total fluke! Wilson had not allowed a single run all season, and actually retired the first batter he faced. There were two outs before Utley singled and Howard walked to load the bases. Listen, if Wilson had finished off the game as he usually does, we wouldn't be having this endless discussion about Bochy's ill-fated pitching change. If he had left Timmy finish the game and he blew it, the same people would be criticizing Bochy FOR NOT making a move. It's really an impossible position for the skipper. I don't mind seeing Lincecum throw 120 pitches, but you have to figure it will make a difference later in the season once he exceeds the 200-inning plateau. If Bochy can save him, and limit the pitch count here and there, it could keep him fresher into September, and that's really the big picture. Don't pound your horses into the ground in April. Yes, it would have been nice to see the complete game, but IT IS Wilson's job to slam the door, and Wednesday just wasn't his day.

Continue reading ""Time for the Giants to Focus on ..."


David

Jason Heyward: Instant Hit posted by David

When the Atlanta Braves announced during the last week of spring training that Jason Heyward had made the big league roster, it made headlines in part because both Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman were being assigned to the minors.  However, after winning the starting right fielder’s job in Atlanta, the 20-year-old phenom wasted no time before impressing the baseball world by launching a three-run home run in his very first major league at-bat.  Batting seventh in the lineup behind Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and others has limited the pressure on the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft, but before long, you can expect to see Heyward taking his hacks in the cleanup spot.

How ‘bout that?

How about Albert Pujols?  Picking up where he left off at the end of the 2009 season, Pujols collected four hits – including two home runs – on Opening Day.  The Cardinals slugger has been nothing but superhuman in the batter’s box; unless he suffers an injury, he will likely win his third straight (and fourth overall) Most Valuable Player Award.

How about Vernon Wells?  Looking to bounce back from a disappointing season (.260/.311/.400), Wells has already hit four home runs and boasts a .600 batting average.  The centerfielder became the first Blue Jay in history to homer in the team’s first three games of the year and played a major role in Toronto winning its first series of 2010 over Texas.

How about the Giants?  Led by shortstop Edgar Renteria’s .727 batting average (eight hits in 11 at-bats), San Francisco has continued to play well, sweeping a three-game series in Houston following a 23-12 record in spring training.  Not only are the Giants the only team yet to lose a regular season game, they have not even trailed at any point.  Though it is far too early to call a winner, the Giants will hope their fast start is a sign of things to come as they eye their first division title since 2003.

Continue reading "Jason Heyward: Instant Hit"


David

The Big Unit hangs ‘em up posted by David

Big news from the Big Unit: 46-year-old Randy Johnson announced his retirement, concluding his career with a record of 303-166, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.  His five Cy Young Awards – one with the Mariners and four in a row with the Diamondbacks – rank him behind only Roger Clemens, and his 4,875 career strikeouts are second only to Nolan Ryan.  He was a 10-time All-Star, starting the Midsummer Classic four times – twice for each league. Johnson made history in 2004 when he became the oldest player – at 40 – to throw a perfect game.

Johnson was a crucial member of his Diamondbacks team in the 2001 playoffs: after pitching well but losing his only start in the first round, he went 2-0 with 1.12 E.R.A. in the National League Championship Series against the Braves, including a 2-0 complete game shutout against Greg Maddux.  Then in the World Series, Johnson shut down the three-time defending champions from the Bronx with absolute dominance.  He picked up three wins, including a complete game shutout in Game 1 and back-to-back victories in Games 6 and 7, to end the Yankee Dynasty.  He surrendered only nine hits and three walks in 17.1 innings for a remarkable 0.692 WHIP to go along with a 1.04 E.R.A.  For his extraordinary performance, he was named co-MVP of the Series.  A fan attraction everywhere he went, Randy Johnson will surely be missed.

How ‘bout that?


How about Matt Holliday?  Christmas came late for the biggest name on the free agent market this offseason, as Holliday was rewarded for his huge numbers (.353/.419/.604) after his arrival in St. Louis with a very big payday – $120 million over the next seven years.  Though it was painful to watch as it happened, Holliday has been forgiven for his costly error in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.  The slugging outfielder hopes to lead his team back to the playoffs in 2010, and with Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, and Adam Wainwright working together, expectations will be high once again for the Cardinals.

Continue reading "The Big Unit hangs ‘em up"


Stan Walker

Another Defensive Outfielder for Oakland posted by Stan Walker

The Oakland As recently got a John Hancock from Former Red Sox brawler Coco Crisp, for a modest 1 -year, 4 and a half million dollar contract. With this latest Billy Beane brain storm the A's should give its fans one of, if not the best defensive out fields in baseball, if thats how it will play out. As the normal with the A's, they leave the winter meetings with questions all over the diamond. But the outfield, with the signing of crisp and deals for others are the most muddled. Crisp could join Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney to form that crew.

But what does this move really mean for the A's. Well for starters last season Oakland brass acquired Matt Holiday for stud outfield prospect Carlos Gonzales in a trade with the Colorado Rockies. They then showcased Holiday for all the true playoff contenders, to decide who would acquire the best bat available for the stretch run. That team ended up being the St. Louis Cardinals. Oakland would acquire thirdbase phenom (why is every flash in the pants considered a phenom. Remember Ben Grieve ? former Rookie of the year who was king of hitting into the double play? He has been out of baseball a long time . anyway,) Brett Wallace.

The A's now have essentially flipped prospects with the Toronto Blue jays by obtaining outfield genetic freak prospect, Mike Taylor, for Wallace. Taylor had just become a Blue jay days before this deal ,as he was a part of the squirrelly Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee trade.Being involved in a deal with two Cy Young Award winners, should speak for it self, but here is Taylors 2009 in fast forward. At 6-6 250 Taylor has a unique blend of speed and pop. In 2009 he compiled at double A and triple A a criminal record of 21 steals in 26 attempts. He then killed pitchers by posting a .320 average, 20 homers and 84 RBI's. Not overly gaudy numbers, some might even call them pedestrian until you add in his 48 walks and 33 other extra base hits which shot his OBP up to .977. .850 is great 900 is remarkable, 977 is God -like. Now im not saying that this kid is omni-potent, and I am not saying that this kid is the next in a long line of Oakland Rookie of the years. I am simply pointing out that this guy has scouts around the league calling him major league ready, and will push the kids that have had a chance like Travis buck, Aaron Cunningham, and Tommy Everidge for a spot. If these once heralded prospects don't step up for the millionth time, it could be waivers for these guys. This is also guys like Sweeney , Davis and Scott Hairston's chance to show that they can be reliable and healthy an entire campaign as well. Add in the fact that the Oakland A's also traded for stud OF/IF Jake Fox from the Chicago Cubs, and you can see that the A's don't even know how the roster will end up. Fox is a average outfielder at best but his bat is definitlywhat the team needs. Then there is the Desme factor. Grant Desme just finished Arizona Fall league where he hit ten homers in ten games. So again Athletic nation, I ask you. What does the signing of another outfielder, mean for the A's? Well it isn't to add pop to an already anemic offense. CoCo isn't exactly Matt Holiday ya know. So could it be to get some of his family ties into the stands, to help the ticket sales, that match last years team offense? They also got Antioch, California native Aaron Miles in the Fox deal, who can play any position on the field, so maybe his and crisp family can help fill some seats? Well I think the true reason and history with this ball club states the same, is so the A's can play "Billy Ball" as they always do and trade for more prospects. Sure guys like Crisp, Scott Hairston and Ryan Sweeney wont net Holiday caliber prospects but it will help with their already great farm system by adding more prospects and hopefully put a few more fans in the seats.

Continue reading "Another Defensive Outfielder for Oakland"

Toronto Blue Jays News

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Joe Maddon says he's not looking to follow Andrew Friedman to Los Angeles (Big League Stew)

Before the news that Andrew Friedman was leaving his post as executive vice president and general manager with the Tampa Bay Rays to become team president of the Los Angeles Dodgers could even settle in on Tuesday, speculation was already running wild over what this might mean for current Rays manager Joe Maddon. Maddon, who's widely regarded as one of the game's top skippers and smartest baseball minds, has worked along sideFriedman for the past nine years. Together, they've done a job no one person could do alone. Together, they've help piece together and guide the small-market Rays to the postseason four times, including a World Series appearance in 2008, without ever having to truly rebuild along the way. It's a relationship that's led to sustained success in a market and division not built for it. Not with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays all able to outspend them three, sometimes four times over. With that against-the-odds success in mind, it's only natural to put two and two together and assume Friedman would at least explore the possibility of continuing that relationship in a situation far more conducive to short and long term success. But based on Maddon's comments on Tuesday, we shouldn't look for that to happen any time soon.   From the Los Angeles Times:   However, Maddon said Tuesday that he expects to discuss a contract extension with the Rays this winter. "I want to continue to be a Ray, absolutely," Maddon said. "They have to want me to be a Ray too." Maddon said he and his wife recently moved into a Tampa home once owned by former USC and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach John McKay. "I'm really embedded here pretty well," he said. "The roots are pretty strong. We have a great infrastructure here. We have a great operation. We have great people. Maddon's contract, which is set to expire following the 2015 season, obviously complicates things. At this point, if Friedman wanted him he'd have to seek permission to speak with Maddon from replacement Matt Silverman and likely put together a compensation package to complete an agreement. Seeing as both sides are going through a transition period, it might take awhile for that to be sorted out anyway, leaving Friedman in a position where retaining Don Mattingly might make the most sense regardless of future possibilities.   And yes, that's also a factor here. Mattingly is under contract to the Dodgers through the 2016 season, so Friedman can use 2015 as an evaluation period. If it goes well, there may be no need to make a switch. if not, then he can take a good look at his options.  At the end of the day, though, this could all come down to what Maddon wants, or more likely how much he perceives the Rays want him.  "There's so much to like. There's only one negative. That's the ballpark. It's a big negative. But that's about it." That was a not-so-hint about the stadium, but it's anybody's guess if that would be a game-changer in a possible decision. Only Joe Maddon knows for sure, though it sounds like the rest of us should have a pretty good idea what he's thinking by the time the Rays report to spring training.   More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Mississippi backup safety turns focus to baseball (Yahoo Sports)

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi sophomore Anthony Alford has left the football program to pursue a professional baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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