TORONTO - First things first: Episode 3 of The Baseball Podcast is up for your listening pleasure. Toronto Star baseball columnist and TSN contributor Richard Griffin joins me for a half-hour of talk on manager John Gibbons strategy when it comes to his starting pitching and struggling bullpen, whether Brett Lawrie will see increased action at second base and Jose Bautistas great start to the season. Give it a listen here. GIBBONS LIKES HIS OFFENCE The Blue Jays entered Thursdays action with 166 runs scored in 34 games. Thats an average of almost 4.9 runs per game, good for fourth in the majors. Manager John Gibbons is in his seventh season, over two tenures skipping the Blue Jays. He believes this is the strongest offence hes had. "I would think this is probably the top," said Gibbons. "My last go around here we were really strong in the pitching department. We had some good offences but I dont think it equaled what we have here now. You need that in the American League. You need to be able to slug it out." Toronto boasts the league leader in on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) and walks. Hes Jose Bautista. Bautista and Colby Rasmus, with nine home runs each, are amongst the league leaders. Melky Cabreras 48 hits are the most in the sport this season. As a team, the Blue Jays rank second in home runs (44); second in slugging percentage (.432) and third in on-base plus slugging percentage (.761). ENCARNACION DISCUSSES FRANCISCO General manager Alex Anthopoulos has credited Edwin Encarnacion with helping to lure Juan Francisco to the Blue Jays. "Ive known Juan from a long time ago, he was playing with me in Cincinnati," said Encarnacion. "When he was young, I was older in here and hes one of my best friends. He had a couple of more (options) to go so I called him and asked him to come here because they can give him the opportunity to play here at this level." Francisco, 26, hit 18 home runs last season while playing with the Braves and Brewers but was cut by Milwaukee late in spring training. He signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays on April 2 and began the year at Triple-A Buffalo. His contract was selected on April 20 to replace Adam Lind, who went on the disabled list with a back injury. Aside from the opportunity the Blue Jays could afford him, Encarnacion was pressed Francisco to come to Toronto out of fear he would sign with another American League East team. The division, specifically the ballparks in the division, are friendly to power-hitting left-handed bats. "Thats why I dont want him to go to another team, like Tampa or another team," said Encarnacion. SANTOS STARTING FROM SCRATCH Sergio Santos pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesdays 10-0 win over the Phillies. Thanks to the big lead it was a pressure-free inning. After two-straight outings featuring blown saves and three on the season, Santos is in the process of rebuilding his confidence. "It was nice to execute on the things that I wanted to do as far as locating my fastball, moving it in and out," said Santos. "It was nice. Its a nice first step, hopefully in the right direction." His stuff is good. Santos has struck out 18 hitters in 10 1/3 innings. The problem is hes walked nine and of the 12 hits hes allowed, three have been home runs. Santos expects more of himself. "Hopefully I can build off what happened (Wednesday) night and never look back again," he said. LAWRIE UPDATE Brett Lawrie took part in batting practice and fielded ground balls before Thursdays game. He left the fourth inning of Monday nights game in Philadelphia with lingering tightness in his right hamstring. Fridays game against the Angels may be more hopeful than reality. Lawries more likely to return on the weekend. Miles Plumlee Jersey
. He made another correct read. The Browns, who have been shuttling quarterbacks on and off the field all season, finally got some good news on that front: Campbells ribs are only bruised. Taurean Prince Jersey
.J. -- The New Jersey Devils are so bad in shootouts, coach Pete DeBoer doesnt mind seeing his team take chances in the five-minute overtime. http://www.hawksteamproshop.com/Cheap-Spud-Webb-Hawks-Jersey/
. – Team Canadas Brooke Henderson carded a 4-under 67 at Craigowan Golf and Country Club to jump into the lead at the Canadian Womens Amateur Championship on Wednesday. Dominique Wilkins Jersey
. Its been a successful Games for Canada, which will finish near the top of the medal standings again. From repeat gold medal winners to multiple medal winners to undefeated teams to acts that define the Olympic spirit, there are many solid candidates who could be considered to receive the honour. John Collins Jersey
. The 30-year-old Texas native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 2001 amateur draft. Duke spent six years in Pittsburgh and also had stints with Arizona, Washington and Cincinnati.GLASGOW -- Kate Gillis says it was difficult to block out the noise. The energetic 24-year-old is the captain and inspirational leader of Canadas womens field hockey team at the Commonwealth Games. Shes also the daughter of former Vancouver Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis, who was fired in April after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Gillis and soon-to-be ousted head coach John Tortorella took most of the criticism for the Canucks struggles as media and fans alike dissected what had gone so horribly wrong for a team that came within a game of winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. Having your feet held to the fire is part of being an executive in professional sports, but that doesnt make it any easier for the families. Its something the younger Gillis learned first-hand this spring. "I think its always hard for people to say those things about your father. With the Internet these days, you can just have a free-for-all," she said this week. "Its tough to kind of differentiate between the truth and the fiction, but I just keep my head down. He definitely doesnt let us get affected, but in the long run its hard. "Its your dad." Kate Gillis grew up in Kingston, Ont., but moved to Vancouver after being scouted by the national team when she was still a teenager. That cross-country adventure was coincidentally part of the reason Mike Gillis, an NHL player agent at the time, was hired by the Canucks in the first place. "I was 17, finishing high school by correspondence and my parents didnt feel quite comfortable with me living out there by myself," said Gillis. "They moved just for the year until I went back to school, but ended up staying because my dad got a job." Despite all of the heartache in recent months, she said one of the positives of her father losing that job is that he can spend more time following her career. "It was definitely tough, but weve been able to spend so much more time together as a family," said Gillis, who has two brothers. "I actually just celebrated my 100th cap in England, which is a huge milestone, and my dad was able to be there. "He will be here for the whole tournament, and that normally doesnt happen because its (NHL) free agency, or the draft or pre-season or something. It was a very difficult circumstance when it happened but now were seeing him more relaxed, he has more time, and hes able to capitalize on these sort of events." Canadas womens field hockey team has not made the Olympics since 1992 and is using the Commonwealth Games in Scotland as a meeasuring stick ahead of next summers Pan American Games in Toronto, which will serve as the qualifying event for Rio 2016.dddddddddddd "Were a young team. Weve made lots of progress over 12 months and the opportunity to play in a tournament like this definitely gives us an idea of where were at," said Canadian head coach Ian Rutledge. "We want to make sure we give this event the respect it deserves. Were obviously looking to do our best and play as well as we can and finish as high as we can -- thats the objective. But thinking longer term its also an opportunity to gauge where were at ahead of Toronto 2015." Canada currently ranks 22nd in the world and has lost its two opening matches at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, 4-2 to No. 13 India on Thursday and 2-0 to No. 11 South Africa on Friday. Next up is No. 31 Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, and the biggest test of the group stage on Wednesday against fourth-ranked New Zealand. Meanwhile, the 16th-ranked Canadian men lost their opener 3-1 to No. 6 New Zealand on the first day of competition and will tackle No. 13 Malaysia on Saturday, No. 29 Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday and No. 5 England on Thursday. Rutledge said Gillis sets the tone for the countrys womens team with her passion and dedication to a sport that she hadnt even heard of until making her varsity team in Grade 9. "Her work rate is immense -- one of the best Ive seen from any athlete in the world," he said. "But more importantly its the quality she brings off the field. Shes a natural leader. Shes very aware of whats going on around the team and in the team. She backs up what she says. Her actions often speak louder than her words. "Shes the hardest trainer, the most committed, the most dedicated, and I think the rest of the team finds that inspiring. She sets standards. Its easy to talk a good game, but she shows what a good game looks like. Shes a fantastic role model." Gillis said she and her teammates want to help grow the sport in Canada, especially with the Pan Am Games on home soil just 12 months away. "What most people dont know is field hockey is so popular almost everywhere else," she said. "Were really looking forward to bringing our sport home and letting people see what we play and how intense our game is." And despite a trying couple of months for her family, Kate Gillis can still lose herself in the sport she has grown to love -- something she learned from her father. "Once you step onto that field nothing else matters," she said. "Thats what hes taught me." White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys
' ' '