Jays From the Couch brings you the latest news and links about the Toronto Blue Jays. This time we get comments from Josh Donaldson, Mark Shapiro and more!
Well, has everyone recovered from their Blue Jays internet induced rage fest? It is funny what can happen if you just sit for a day and watch a story unfold. Parts of the story seem like they are the full story and folks react accordingly. The truth of the matter is that stories don’t finish; they evolve. While they do, let’s take a look at some news and links.
*At the National Post, Ken Fidlin brings us some interesting comments from the AL MVP, Josh Donaldson. He speaks about his famous “This is the get it done league” comment that many see as a spark in his club’s season.He says he wasn’t really trying to do that, he was just speaking his mind. But Fidlin credits him with sending a message that seems to have worked.
But, it wasn’t until the Trade Deadline that things took off for the Blue Jays. They were still well behind the Yankees at that point. But, apparently, what that phrase did do is shift the thinking of some of the players to an expectation of winning rather than just trying to win. That’s a big difference. It is a contagious attitude; one that helps clubhouse chemistry. Some would argue that that chemistry is what catapulted the Jays to the division title. If you compare the smiles, etc from the beginning of the year, there was a noticable difference. But, how much of that comes from simply winning?
*At Blue Jays From Away, Jay Blue had the opportunity to chat with Chris Rowley, who is not only a Blue Jays minor league pitcher, but a West Point graduate. And, after 2 years of service is now ready to further his pursuit of baseball. To read him talking about his military service and passion for baseball is very interesting.
*Melissa Couto of the Canadian Press (via Winnipeg Free Press) tells us how Donaldson and his fellow infielders will have to adjust to a new infield playing surface for the second season in a row. You’ll recall that in 2015, there was a new turf installed that garnered many a scowl from the likes of Orioles manager, Buck Showalter. Well, this season, the boys will be playing on a new dirt infield. But that is not worrying the Bringer of Rain. He doesn’t seem to care upon what he plays as long as he can hit. That’s good enough for me.
*At the Associated Press (via ESPN), we hear Drew Storen‘s comments about how he ended his 2015 season in Washington. Awkward would be the best way to describe it. After his club traded for Jonathan Papelbon, Storen says “I kind of felt like I had a couple heads walking in just because guys didn’t really know how I was going to handle it.” All of that uneasiness, combined with losing his job as a closer caused a shift in his performance. Storen insists that his late season struggles had more to do with the amount of innings he threw and that the struggles taught him how to overcome adversity. He says he’ll be back in form this season and that he doesn’t care what role he has. This Associated Press piece says that Roberto Osuna will take the job as the closer, but that is not a foregone conclusion. Regardless how it plays out, having an elite bullpen is necessary to winning. Storen will be a big part of that.
*Switching gears, over at Hum and Chuck, Joanna writes her thoughts on the whole insanity that has surrounded the recent contact situation that has consumed the internet. She brings up two very good points. Firstly, she asks why Toronto can’t seem to hold on to great players. She’s right. With Jose Bautista likely done this season, you might think back and recall Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay leaving. Why can’t we keep these stars for their whole career? Secondly, she points out what I’ve been mulling over for a couple days. If this is the last season we see Bautista in a Blue Jays uniform, why can’t we just enjoy it? Instead, many are showing their disgust for a player we idolized mere months ago. I guess, we’ve decided the bat flip and perennial All Star performances don’t mean as much now.
Joanna also brings us translations of two French articles written about Russell Martin. The first is about his long time friend who was also his PR person. The second is looking at Martin as a future manager. Many see him as a good fit in that role. He says he’s not ready…yet.
*Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for was rather anti-climactic. Mark Shapiro spoke to the media in response to the firestorm that Jose Bautista lit after commenting on his contract negotiations. On Sportsnet.ca, Shi Davidi shares the comments from the club president, but you’ll find them wanting if you are looking for juice. Instead, Shapiro says that anything he has to say about the contract, he’ll say to the player and/or his representatives. Boring! He also says that his focus is on winning a championship. Yes, a championship would be awesome, but that won’t happen until October. That’s not what the people want right now. We want to know dollars and cents.
Apparently, baseball can wait…
*Featured Image Credit: udo.d UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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