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. Defence. Culture. Those are the three words which continue to be brought up in various conversations with players, both in formal and informal settings, around this American League Championship Series. Jonny Gomes, a member of the 2008 Rays club that emerged from the abyss to gain a spot in that seasons World Series and whos since played on contending teams in Cincinnati and Oakland before landing in Boston, has seen similar acts play out in different cities. “This is my fourth division title and my fourth team,” said Gomes. “Theyre all very similar. We pitch. We play defence. We play together. We situational hit. We create an identity and win and lose with that identity. “Youve got to have some guys on your team that will nip in the bud in April, in June, in July, when things roll, stop it now. Youve got to get out of the valley, get back up versus letting it play, riding it out.” Spending much of the last 48 hours around Fenway Park, in this atmosphere, around two successful organizations with, for the most part, annual expectations of excellence, its become clearer just how far away the 2013 Blue Jays were from being a playoff-calibre ballclub. It wasnt too long ago, prior to the end of the regular season, that veteran Mark DeRosa shared similar thoughts to Gomes. He would know, having come up in the winning Braves organization, followed by success with the Rangers, Cubs, Cardinals, Giants and Nationals. “I always go back to the first two weeks of the season,” DeRosa told TSN.ca from the visitors dugout, fittingly at Fenway Park, on September 20. “We got off so slow; just put ourselves in such a pessimistic-type attitude where we were expecting things to go wrong. Its just been the tale of many weeks for this team. Its had its moments of playing really great baseball and taking it to some of the best teams and best pitchers in the game and then weve had moments where weve rolled out there and done a lot of things fundamentally wrong and made mental errors that have cost us.” General manager Alex Anthopoulos has identified the need for starting pitching, constantly reminding that no team stands a chance to contend when its rotations ERA ranks second-worst in baseball (4.81,) better only than the dreadful Minnesota Twins and worse than the Houston Astros, essentially a Triple-A-calibre baseball team. Hes right. Nobody could have, or would have, predicted the respective demises of Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson to injury. But those two were pitching in April. So were R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and J.A. Happ and, as DeRosa alluded to, the Jays got off to a terrible start that set the tone for a terrible season. Nobody cried in Boston when Clay Buchholz missed three months with a neck injury before returning in early September. Remember, too, that John Lackeys bicep locked on him in Toronto in early April. At the time of the injury, the way he clenched his arm, onlookers were speculating hed torn his Tommy John-repaired ulnar elbow ligament. The Yankees finished above .500 with a plethora of injuries, seemingly turning to any available former Blue Jay in the process. This statistics-obsessed culture places zero value on cohesion, preferring to individualize each player and position as if he and it work mutually exclusive to all else. Its strange because when you talk to players whove won, in some cases won often, they preach about the importance of accountability and sacrifice for one another. No, there werent deep divisions in the clubhouse, but neither was there cohesion on the field on a consistent basis. Back in April, it was popular to slough off the mounting losses with the tired “Its early” mantra. There were musings about how the standings didnt matter until the seasons final day, when you hoped to be at least one game ahead of the team in second place. True, if not simplistic, but the public lack of concern over the slow start shouldnt be tolerated to the same degree if it repeats in 2014. Some teams dont recover from a bad first two or three weeks. Theres no place for Twitter drama and unnecessary sparring with the media. The pressure of playoff action, witnessed first hand in this ALCS, is no match for the psychologically fragile. The expectation, of course, should be to contend. Nothing less, although its difficult for fans to want to go there in their heads after the season they just witnessed. “They pitch. They play defense. Team chemistry. Situational hit,” repeated Gomes of championship-calibre teams. The strange firing of hitting coach Chad Mottola wont be the only move this winter and its a good thing because, hanging around Fenway Park in October for a couple of days, seeing the anticipation and the expectation and the camaraderie, the Blue Jays have a way to go to get here. Jameis Winston Buccaneers Jersey
.ca. Hey Kerry, Big fan of your column on TSN. It helps put things perspective from the official’s point of view. I was watching the game Tuesday night between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was hoping that you could shed some light as to why David Clarksons late goal was disallowed. Bryan Anger Buccaneers Jersey
.C. running back Stefan Logan was named CFL offensive player of the week Tuesday after rushing for a career-high 145 yards and scoring a touchdown in the Lions 33-17 victory over Toronto. http://www.thebuccaneersfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Vernon-Hargreaves-Iii-Jersey/
. Fielding questions after the announcement, Yzerman noted that the brain trust had to take a chance on Stamkos being healthy, since they would be unable to add him to the roster later on. "If hes healthy hes one of the 25 best players, obviously, in Canada," Yzerman said after the roster announcement.Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will skate with the team on Wednesday for the first time since being diagnosed with blood clots in the preseason. Vokoun has been off blood thinners for a week and, once his levels are normal, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma says he will be able to take shots. The 37-year-old Czech Republic native was acquired from the Washington Capitals prior to last season. Vokoun waas originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1994 but was claimed by the Nashville Predators in the Expansion Draft in 1998. Demar Dotson Buccaneers Jersey
. After a lengthy stay in Nashville, he was dealt to the Florida Panthers in 2007 before signing with the Capitals as a free agent. Over 700 career NHL games, Vokoun has 300 wins and 51 shutouts with a goals-against-average of 2.55 and a save percentage of .917. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China
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