Momentum is only as good as the next days starterin Richard Burns Rally 29.05.2019 14:25
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TORONTO - With 12 days to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and an injury-riddled team in freefall, general manager Alex Anthopoulos finds himself in an unenviable position: cash-strapped at a time when the American League East is ripe for the picking, struggling to balance a win now mentality while keeping an eye to the future, the need to preserve the top end of the clubs prospect pool. Most teams slot into one of two modus operandi. There are clubs in contention and they approach this time of year either satisfied with their roster or, more likely the case, with an eye toward solidifying areas of need for the playoff push. The Blue Jays, despite having lost 24 of 35 games entering Saturdays action, are in contention, four games back of first place Baltimore in the division and two and a half games behind Seattle for the final wild card spot. They are a team with numerous holes, factoring in more than just the raft of injuries. When Brett Lawrie returns from a fractured right index finger, which cant happen soon enough, itd be nice if he has a positional home. Juan Francisco isnt hitting anybody and Steve Tolleson isnt an everyday option because hes strong against left-handed pitching (.988 OPS) but weak against right-handed pitching (.340 OPS). Its gotten to the point in the bullpen where Todd Redmond is ahead of Sergio Santos on the depth chart. Torontos relief corps has issued 129 walks, tied for fourth most in baseball. Its 4.36 ERA is fifth worst in the game. A reinforcement or two is needed. While the starting staff has acquitted itself nicely, few teams would decline an acquisition to improve its rotation. The Blue Jays are no different. Quietly, players will tell you the club is in need of upgrade and their hope is that ownership will show a commitment to winning this season. To a man, those with whom TSN.ca has spoken are withholding judgment until the deadline has passed. Remember, too, trades can be made in August but only after players clear waivers, which often happens. Manager John Gibbons doesnt want his players consuming themselves with deadline-related rumours and wishlists. "Every year you get to this time of year, I can remember back to as long as Ive been around this place, anytime that deadline is coming up and they know theres going to be moves going to be made, guys are always wondering whats going to happen," said Gibbons. "Some of them are thinking, Am I out of here? or one of those kind of deals, Am I going to be traded? Thats always happened. But understand this is our team right now and you cant always make something happen. Sometimes things never happen. If you get caught up in that youre in trouble anyway." Contrary to the go-for-it approach is the look-to-the-future strategy, commonly referred to as the "rebuild." Its happening in Chicago with the Cubs and, believe it or not, it can be exciting, especially when it nears the fruit bearing stage. Anthony Rizzo lost two valuable teammates, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, in a blockbuster trade with Oakland earlier this month. The Cubs received one of baseballs top prospects, shortstop Addison Russell, in the return package. Chicagos minor league system is loaded, reinforced over three seasons by president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer. Some have opined its the greatest collection of prospect talent ever. The Cubs plan is obvious and for that reason, Rizzo was intrigued by the deal. "For the first time that Ive been here, Ive finally had that feeling that its really, really close," Rizzo told TSN.ca during last weeks All-Star festivities. "And I think I can speak on behalf of the organization that we all know its really close. So, I mean, we have what, three or four of the top 10 prospects in baseball. Thats somewhat unheard of so obviously, hopefully they all pan out. You can never have too much talent. These guys all seem like the real deal so keep moving in the right direction." So, whats the plan in Toronto? Where do the Blue Jays slot? The team, with its current roster, is positioned to win now. That was the point of the Marlins and Mets trades two off-seasons ago. The division hasnt been more available since the heady days of the early 1990s. Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind will eventually return. Now isnt the time to pinch pennies, regardless of whether theres a new CEO and a multi-billion dollar investment in another sports property. Blue Jays players dont care about that and neither does a fanbase starved for a winner. If now isnt the time, then why waste any more of Bautistas prime years? He wants to win before its too late. Hell be 34 in October and wont be the player three years from now that he is today. Dont make him tread water any longer. Encarnacion is one of the sports premier sluggers. Why waste his talent if now isnt the time? Dont make him tread water any longer. The Blue Jays also have crucial offseason decisions to make on impending free agents like Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera. If the club issues them qualifying offers, likely in the neighbourhood of $14-million, and the player accepts, that could skew the books. Neglect to offer either player a qualifying offer and both walk without so much as a compensatory draft pick in return. Torontos problem is solved, in part, by getting healthy and playing better baseball, contending deep into September and possibly securing a playoff spot. The club needs external help, via trade or with the late-season emergence of, say, Aaron Sanchez, to accomplish the goal. Youre either going for it or youre not. Existing in the mushy middle shouldnt be any franchises MO. Authentic Cleveland Browns Jerseys . -- Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe scored in the second half to lead the New England Revolution to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinals series on Saturday night. Stitched Cleveland Browns Jerseys . “Momentum is only as good as the next days starter,” the long-time Baltimore Orioles manager famously quipped. http://www.cheapbrowns.com/90u-cheap-greedy-williams-jersey-browns.html . Although Spain could still advance out of the group stage, the game may have signalled the end of the run by a generation of Spanish stars whose quick passing, "tiki-taka" style delighted the world and helped them win the last three major tournaments. Cleveland Browns Jerseys China . Speaking with TSN 1050 following Brendan Shanahans introductory press conference, the Leafs GM also addressed the clubs perceived leadership issues and the type of working relationship that can be expected within Torontos front office. Custom Browns Jerseys . -- Howie Kendrick had a two-run single in his first game batting leadoff this season, Chris Iannetta hit a pair of RBI singles and the Los Angeles Angels beat Cleveland 6-4 Tuesday night, sending the Indians to their fifth straight defeat.A group of prominent international players led by U.S. forward Abby Wambach has withdrawn a complaint over artificial turf fields at this years Womens World Cup in Canada.The artificial turf became a contentious issue with the players, who filed a complaint in Canada last fall that claimed the plan amounted to gender discrimination because the mens World Cup is held on grass.Our legal action has ended. But I am hopeful that the players willingness to contest the unequal playing fields — and the tremendous public support we received during the effort — marks the start of even greater activism to ensure fair treatment when it comes to womens sports, Wambach said in a statement Thursday.The players complaint was filed last fall with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. It named FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, and the Canadian Soccer Association. But neither organization budged in reconsidering the planned surface for the event.The Womens World Cup will be played in six Canadian cities starting in June, with an expanded field of 24 teams. The final is scheduled for July 5 at Vancouvers BC Place.The players are doing what FIFA and CSA have proven incapable of: putting the sport of soccer first, said attorney Hampton Dellinger.FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.FIFAs head of womens competitions, Tatjana Haenni, spoke at an event promoting womens soccer in Philadelphia last week and reiterated FIFAs coontention that the event would go on as planned.ddddddddddddHowever, she acknowledged concerns about the turf at BC Place, and plans have since emerged to upgrade the surface before the event.Wambach was joined in the complaint by several other top players, including U.S. striker Alex Morgan, Germanys Nadine Angerer and Spains Veronica Boquete.The athletes have claimed that artificial turf is less forgiving than natural grass, and it impacts their play because of concerns about injury. They also claim that balls travel and bounce differently on fake grass, which also affects the game.But the overriding issue for the players was equity: No mens World Cup has been played on artificial turf.Even actor Tom Hanks took up the players cause, going to Twitter last year to say: Opinion: Womens World Cup is the best Soccer of the year. Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod. Hanx.Lakers guard Kobe Bryant also took to social media to post a photo of Sydney Lerouxs battered legs after a match on artificial turf.FIFA changed its rules in 2004 to allow sanctioned matches on certain artificial surfaces. A few games at the 2010 mens World Cup in South Africa were played on grass that had been reinforced by artificial fibers.FIFA rules also state that all matches and practices for the World Cup must be held on the same surface. Canadas bid for the event stipulated that the final be played on the artificial field at BC Place, which seats 55,000. 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