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Автор Тема: TORONTO - Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista spent part of the off-season in Mexico  (Прочитано 43 раз)


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TORONTO - Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista spent part of the off-season in Mexico, went to the Dominican Republic for the New Years holiday and was home in Tampa for the last two weeks to begin training for the 2015 season. Nike Air Max 95 Outlet .He kept the shorts and sunscreen at home for his latest trip, a venture north to his summer stomping grounds for the Blue Jays annual Winter Tour.It was a different look for Bautista on Friday as he sported a thick, hooded winter jacket during a media availability at Rogers Centre. The different look of the team he anchors was one of the main topics of conversation.Were not that far away, Bautista said. We were very close last season. At the (trade) deadline, two games out of first place. Youre talking about minimal changes that can have a great effect and weve had some great moves so far already that can make us better. I truly feel like we have a contender.I felt that way two years ago, last year and again this year. I feel like we have a better roster now than we did a few years ago.After a disappointing third-place finish in the American League East last season, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos quickly went to work. Canadian catcher Russell Martin was signed to a lucrative long-term deal and third baseman Josh Donaldson, pitcher Marco Estrada and Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders were acquired via trade. Pitcher J.A. Happ and infielders Adam Lind and Canadian Brett Lawrie were shipped out.There is more work to be done. The bullpen needs to be shored up and the team could use an upgrade at second base.But the upgrades have been significant. Martin gives the team a big defensive boost behind the plate and Donaldson is considered one of the best third basemen in the major leagues.The way I hope that they impact the team is by doing what theyve done in the past with other clubs and doing it here, Bautista said. Just by doing that, it will be a huge influence I believe on wins and losses at the end of the season.Toronto played a solid first half last season but faded after the all-star break, winding up with a mediocre 83-79 record. Bautista again posted big numbers with 35 homers and 103 RBIs but the team was essentially out of the playoff hunt in early September.There are some exciting young players on the roster but the teams core is built to win now.Bautista, for one, is 34 and entering the last guaranteed year of his contract. However, those factors — along with the teams long post-season drought — are not something that affects his preparation.Theres no urgency on my end in any aspect, Bautista said. The thing that Im focused on is figuring out how to help to win more games and winning more games and making it to the playoffs. Because we have such a good core and such a good team, I dont feel any sense of urgency.Joining Bautista for the Winter Tour kickoff were Canadian outfielder Dalton Pompey and pitchers R.A. Dickey, Todd Redmond and Aaron Loup. Other players are tabbed to participate in events next week in Calgary, Banff and Vancouver.Dickey, the 40-year-old knuckleballer, also felt that the off-season moves will help the team.Its nice to look on paper and see some names there throughout the lineup that you know are going to be special players, he said. Its comforting is what it is. Im trying to hold back my expectation until we get rolling but its nice to see those names for sure.Martin has expressed an interest in learning how to catch Dickeys knuckleball, a floating, tricky pitch thats difficult for all backstops to handle. Dickey has primarily worked with Josh Thole but hes looking forward to developing a rapport with Martin as well.Ive thrown 75 or 80 per cent of my starts since 2010 to Josh Thole and I love him like a brother, Dickey said. But to have a guy who can step in there and do it as well is a nice commodity.Also Friday, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Estrada and Saunders by agreeing to terms on one-year contracts. Estradas deal is worth US$3.9 million while Saunders will earn $2.875 million.Toronto also signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training and outrighted right-hander Cory Burns to triple-A Buffalo.Pitchers and catchers will begin working out at spring training on Feb. 23. The Blue Jays will kick off the regular season April 6 at New York.———Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Wholesale Air Max 95 China . "Uuufff," was all shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria could come up with after Stantons latest mammoth shot. Discount Air Max 95 Online . Chelsea took until the second half to trouble the leagues bottom team, but Schuerrle then ripped through the defence with ease at Craven Cottage to keep Jose Mourinhos side on track for the title. http://www.cheapairmax95.com/ .C. -- Authorities say the brother of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been shot and killed outside a South Carolina nightclub.NEW YORK -- His name is already on the ball. Now Adam Silver can put his stamp on the NBA. On All-Star Saturday in New Orleans, Silver will deliver his first state of the league press conference as commissioner, a chance to tell a worldwide viewing audience how he plans to make the NBA bigger and better than it was under David Stern. Dont expect anything major. After working so closely with Stern during his 22 years at the league, Silvers fingerprints were already all over the $5.5 billion business long before he became in charge of it 10 days ago. "Im not coming in with a five-point plan," Silver told The Associated Press during an interview in his office at NBA headquarters. "Im not an outsider coming into the league. Ive been part of this league for a long time and if there was something that I thought shouldve been done markedly different than the way its done now, I think David and I would have pushed each other to do it. "My priority is the game and thats what Ill be telling people next Saturday." He has been at the NBA since 1992, overseeing the leagues entertainment empire, helping negotiate collective bargaining agreements, and on Feb. 1, he replaced Stern. He is liked by owners and respected by players, all believing Silver is the person to continue the massive growth the league saw under Stern. "Hes someone who has the same kind of feel that we have, in the sense of how can we make this pie bigger? How can we make this game bigger? Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade said. "Hes going to be a good commissioner I believe. Strong in what he believes in. He was in the (CBA) meetings as well, so we know what kind of guy he is and we respect him." Silver, 51, ended up at taking Sterns old job after ignoring his advice early in his career. He laughs now when recalling the path that led to him becoming the NBA commissioner. "It never even was a consideration of working at the NBA," Silver said. "I dont think I understood what that meant. I truly stumbled into working at the NBA." Silver began his career in the legal field but was interested in transitioning to business, the same move Stern had so successfully made. So he wrote to Stern, who had worked at the same firm where Silvers father, Edward, was a lawyer. Silver had handled some media cases and was aware of Sterns accomplishments in negotiating cable TV deals. Stern gave him the number of someone to call, but the job was outside New York. Silveer wasnt interested in moving, which he explained to Stern when they spoke again. Clearance Air Max 95. "He said, Why didnt you tell me? Ive got some other ideas," Silver said. "It was happenstance," he added. "I dont think I quite understood what I was getting into at the time." He doesnt plan on changing much, insisting that he and Stern would have already made whatever changes they felt necessary. But while the NBAs international growth is frequently considered Sterns greatest achievement, Silver seems focused on boosting the games popularity in the United States. Silver has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to basketball. He attended Duke in the early 1980s before the Blue Devils became a powerhouse, when nobody camped out outside Cameron Indoor Stadium because you could just get into games with a student ID. He moved to Chicago to attend law school and began going to games with friends in the early days of Michael Jordan, before the Bulls became the biggest thing in basketball. Now Silver is following one of sports greatest commissioners. He acknowledges there will be times it will feel "lonely" without Stern there to face big decisions together, but Silver has worked so closely with Stern and been involved in so many aspects of the league that the transition should be a natural one. "Adam has been preparing for the job for a long time, he understands the business and I dont see him having much difficulty shifting into the role of commissioner," former NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said. But Silver, designated as Sterns successor in October 2012, knows that doesnt mean it will always be easy. "I didnt have the same appreciation for what he was going through on a daily basis as the commissioner until I really thought about, What if that were I and I had to make that decision?" Silver said. "And its very different being sort of the voice in the ear of the guy making the decision as opposed to the guy making the decision." Nonetheless, he believes the league is in a good place and ready to grow. He met with executives from Facebook and Twitter while visiting Sacramento and Golden State during his first week as commissioner, seeking ways to bring the NBA to a larger audience than ever. "To me," Silver said, "the game is fantastic. The challenge is to use these new technologies and platforms to help more fans discover the game." Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '