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DUNEDIN, Florida – If Jose Bautista ends the season on the baseball field, itll mark the first time since 2011 but the Blue Jays slugger bristles at the suggestion he isnt a durable ballplayer. "Its not because I was neglecting my training regime or anything like that," Bautista said of his injuries. "It is disappointing and it is upsetting that I dont get to go out there and finish the season with the team and finish strong. Thats been the case in the last two years so hopefully it doesnt happen again." Bautista tore the tendon sheath in his wrist while taking a swing in a game at Yankee Stadium on July 16, 2012. The injury essentially cost him the remainder of the season, save for five plate appearances over two games in late August. Last year, Bautista jammed his hip while running the bases in July. He played with pain for about a month and then removed himself from a game at Yankee Stadium on August 20. He wouldnt set foot on the field for the rest of the year. Bautista continues to hit home runs at a prodigious pace. He went deep on 6.2 per cent of his at-bats in 2013, a trend that has steadily declined since his career-high 54 home run breakout season in 2010 (8.4 per cent in 2011, 8.1 per cent in 2012) when he rounded the bases in 9.5 per cent of his at-bats. Considering he was recovering from serious wrist surgery, a body part that when injured can sap sluggers of their power, his numbers remain impressive. The 33-year-old describes as "great" his just-getting-to-know-you relationship with new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. The two have spoken briefly in Dunedin and had a couple of phone conversations during the offseason. Broadly put, Seitzers modus operandi is to encourage his hitters to use the entire field. Bautista is among a number of Jays, Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus included, who are almost dead pull hitters. "You just watch the way they throw the shift on him," said manager John Gibbons. "They leave some big holes (on the right side) for him. There are some cheap RBIs that way. I mean, the way I look at it, you get 500 at-bats in a season and say you hit 50 home runs, which is an unbelievable year. Thats still a lot of at-bats without home runs. If youre more of a complete hitter and youll take some hits (to the right side) to get a rally going or drive in a big run or something, that can only help." Leadership and its role on a baseball team continue to be topics of debate among those who follow the game closely. The consensus amongst players is that winning breeds camaraderie, something directly reflected in the success of last years world champion Boston Red Sox. The Jays buried themselves with a 10-17 April last season, injuries mounted and not even an 11-game winning streak in June could salvage the year. As a result, the clubhouse, while it didnt have any crippling divisions, wasnt a tight-knit unit. Players on winning teams, with something to play for, may be more willing to push a single through the opposite side to score a run instead of being concerned primarily with their own stats. "I think if everybody does as well as theyre capable of doing, with some leadership – and hopefully I get to help out in that area – I think we can be a much better team than we were last year and a closer team than we showed last year that we were," said Bautista. The slugger doesnt share fans angst over Torontos relatively quiet offseason. "Not at all," said Bautista. "I think we have a good group of guys. Were very competitive. Were really talented and I think if we remain healthy and everybody plays up to their capabilities, nobody needs to go do anything outstanding or hit 60 home runs or have a sub-1.00 ERA, we just need to play up to our capabilities." Pitching Depth The Blue Jays announced on Friday theyve claimed RHP Liam Hendriks off waivers from Baltimore. To make room for Hendriks on the 40-man roster, the team designated infielder Brent Morel for assignment. Hendriks, 25, was born and raised in Perth, Australia. Hes struggled in limited big league action over three seasons, all with Minnesota, compiling a record of 2-13, an ERA of 6.06 and a WHIP of 1.590. Morel is a former third round pick of the White Sox, selected off waivers from Chicago on December 23. A right-handed bat, there was thought that Morel would compete for a job off the bench. Understanding the Business Reliever Neil Wagner, 30, is caught in the middle of a numbers game and he knows it. "Taken in the 21st round in the middle of nowhere, youre forced to prove yourself and thats how Ive done it my whole career," said Wagner. "I plan on doing that in camp as well." The Blue Jays will consider going with an eight-man bullpen out of camp but that still wont guarantee Wagner a big league job. Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup and Steve Delabar are guaranteed spots. Dustin McGowan will be stretched out this spring but it seems more likely he will be a reliever. Wagner has an option remaining, whereas Jeremy Jeffress, Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond do not, which doesnt bode well for his chances to make the team. "They havent told me anything," said Wagner. "Im expecting that Ill be here until Im not. I plan on going out and pitching well and pitching my way onto the team and if things dont work out that way, then Ill go down to Buffalo and do the same thing." Wagner has a live arm, his fastball routinely clocking in the mid to high 90s and can touch 100 miles per hour. He allowed only one run, earned, in his first 12 appearances with the Blue Jays last season. He ended the season with a 3.79 ERA over 36 appearances, striking out 7.8 batters over nine innings while walking 3.1 hitters per nine innings. He had a 1.368 WHIP over what, to this point, was his longest stint in the majors. "I feel like I proved that I can pitch at the big league level but in this game, nothing is given to you, nothings owed to you, so anything could happen at any time and Im perfectly okay with that." Nickeas Cant Lose Catcher Mike Nickeas kept an eye on the Canada-USA semi-final hockey game in Sochi. "Im a winner today, either way," he joked in passing. Nickeas was born in Vancouver in 1983, while his father, whos English, was playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the now-defunct North American Soccer League. His mother is American and Nickeas grew up in California, which explains his allegiances to both sides. Guess is hell be cheering for Canada in Sundays gold medal game against Sweden. Gibbons Talks Haircuts Manager John Gibbons, himself sporting a new, shorter haircut this spring, didnt appreciate my efforts to update my do. "It looks like a ducks ass," Gibbons joked before starting his daily scrum with the media. Well, I cant change the haircut now. My pride wont allow it. Breeland Speaks Jersey . Wade is posting a short film on his website next week, with a sneak preview scheduled to come out Wednesday. Dorian ODaniel Chiefs Jersey .com) - Guard Greivis Vasquez and forward Patrick Patterson, two key pieces to the Toronto Raptors run to an Atlantic Division title in 2013-14, were both given qualifying offers by the team on Saturday. http://www.chiefsstoreauthentic.com/aut ... ersey/.The long-haired pivot, who joined the Alouettes midway through the CFL season and put up a 9-3 record as a starter, will be listed as the top quarterback in training camp next spring.With a full training camp under his belt, the Alouettes will see if he has what it takes to get them back to the Grey Cup game after a four-year absence. Anthony Hitchens Chiefs Jersey . Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. Armani Watts Jersey . Infante hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and had an RBI single in a four-run fifth against former teammate Justin Verlander, helping the Kansas City Royals beat the Tigers 11-8 Monday night.NEW YORK -- Canadas Frank Dancevic fought for more than three and a half hours before losing a marathon to Joao Sousa 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2) to exit in his opening match at the U.S. Open on Wednesday. It was the first five-set match for the Niagara Falls, Ont. native since 2011 Wimbledon. "It was a heartbreaker, its tough losing matches like that," said Dancevic, who played with a new racquet model for the first time during the match, "It could have gone either way. It was one of those that came down to a few points." Portugals Sousa, ranked 38th, finally moved into the second round in the final-set tiebreaker, as he smashed back a weak Dancevic defensive lob to secure the win. An exhausted Dancevic, ranked 135th, finished the battle with 50 winners and 51 unforced errors, pounding down 17 aces and converting on four of 14 break chances. "When I was down 5-2 in the fifth set it looked like he was getting tight when he served for it at 5-3. I got back into the match but not quite enough. "We played really good tennis. Its unfortunate that I lost, but I feel really good about my game. ... I feel good physically. If I keep this level up I can do some damage the rest of the year." The Dancevic defeat leaves fifth seed Milos Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont..dddddddddddd, as the last Canadian left in the mens competition. Wimbledon finalist and seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., is into the second round in the womens draw. Dancevic had chances to seize the early lead at the end of the opening set, when he found himself with five set points. But Sousa chipped away at the deficit to eventually win it. The 29-year-old stepped up his game to claim the second set, but then lost the third to trail two sets to one. In the fourth, Dancevic regained the momentum -- losing a break for 4-4 but getting it back a game later to lead 5-4. He squared the match at two sets each with a backhand pass. The fifth set provided the most dramatics as Dancevic fought back from down 2-5, forcing another tiebreaker. But luck ran out for the Canadian as Sousa found a finishing burst to advance. Dancevic said that he had to modify his strategy during the match as he had only two frames of the new racquet at his disposal. "I made the chance a few days ago, I think I played exceptionally well considering it was a new racquet and completely new strings. For me its a whole new approach to the game. "Ive trained well with it but I was unsure in some key moments. I like it though and will stick with it until the end of the year." Cheap Chargers Hoodies Cheap Browns Hoodies Cheap Texans Hoodies Cheap Ravens Hoodies Cheap Panthers Hoodies Cheap Jets Hoodies Cheap Titans Hoodies Cheap Chiefs Hoodies Cheap Bills Hoodies Cheap Colts Hoodies Cheap Cardinals Hoodies Cheap Buccaneers Hoodies Cheap Rams Hoodies Cheap Jaguars Hoodies Cheap Falcons Hoodies Cheap Bengals Hoodies ' ' '


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