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// DUNEDIN, Florida – For a guy with an uncertain future and a history of self doubt, Co
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13.03.2018, 09:00 (Uhr)
DUNEDIN, Florida – For a guy with an uncertain future and a history of self doubt, Colby Rasmus has arrived for his third spring training with the Blue Jays a relaxed and confident ballplayer. He eagerly relives the thrill of the Iron Bowl football victory in November, in which his beloved Auburn Tigers defeated the two-time defending NCAA champion Alabama Crimson Tide on a last second missed field goal returned for a touchdown. In the next breath, he laments Auburns loss to Florida State in the BCS title game. “Too many mistakes,” he said. Rasmus isnt a fan of American Idol. He watches only when his wife, Megan, has it on TV and admits to only passing interest in the success on the show of Dexter Roberts, a singer whos made it into this seasons final 13 contestants and who, through friends, performed at Rasmus New Years Eve bash. “I dont really know him. I only met him once,” he said. When it gets down to the business of baseball, Rasmus will attempt to control only what he can – his performance on the field. Signed for this year at $7-million, Rasmus will become a free agent for the first time in his career if he and the Blue Jays dont reach a contract extension before the end of the season. Hes not bothered that general manager Alex Anthopoulos hasnt approached him about a long-term deal, preferring instead to wait and, as Anthopooulos put it in December, “gather more information.” “Im given a chance to play again another year,” said Rasmus. “They didnt see fit to hold me for a long time and I have had some ups and downs and I get that. Im not really worried about it. Ive been given a chance to play another year so Im going to go out and play and let it all hang out and leave it all out there on the field.” Rasmus enjoyed a bounce back season in 2013. Limited to 118 games thanks to oblique and facial injuries, he authored a .276/.338/.501 slash line. His OPS of .840 looked more like the number in his 2010 breakout season in St. Louis (.859) than in either 2011 (.688) or 2012 (.689.) Despite missing 44 games, Rasmus hit 22 home runs, one off his career high. Prorate that number over a full season and he hits 30-plus home runs for the first time. At 27, Rasmus is entering his prime years. Hes maturing with time. “I guess everybody always said it comes with age or whatever,” said Rasmus. “I mean now that Ive got some time under my belt it definitely is easier. Looking back on how it was when I was younger I understand I had hard times with the older guys. I get it. But now, to be where Im at, Im just happy to be here and I look at it like that.” His manager sees all-star potential in Rasmus. “Last year was a big year for him,” said John Gibbons. “I think as the season went on he got much better. A lot of strikeouts early but he made some adjustments and when he puts the ball in play consistently, the ball goes a long way. Hes got a chance to be one of the premier power hitters in the league. He can do a lot of things.” Rasmus had a strong relationship with former hitting coach Chad Mottola. The two formed a quick bond, Mottola helping Rasmus with his mental approach to hitting. Now, as Rasmus gets to know his third hitting coach in as many seasons, hes willing to be patient as he adjusts to Kevin Seitzer. “Im not putting a rush on it,” said Rasmus. “Weve got a lot of time here in spring. I just try to get my thoughts together on what I think would help me and help him to make it a good flow and a good mix of what Im trying to do and what I need him to look for in me.” Seitzer knows Rasmus is a pull hitter who loves his fastballs – Rasmus believes hes evolved from being a dead pull hitter to someone willing to use all fields – and hes not coming in to overhaul the centerfielders swing. “Hitters have to be able to make adjustments from week to week, game to game, pitcher to pitcher, depending on the stuff theyre going to attack with,” said Seitzer. “Hes been around a long time and hes a smart hitter and hes very talented. You cant teach hand speed and hes got a lot of that. Well see how the process unfolds. “Youve got to be able to get in their head quick and find out how they tick and where their insecurities are, their points of concern in their swing with their mindset and all of that,” said Seitzer. “I get to know them pretty quick.” CECIL AND DELABAR ADJUST Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar were two important pieces of the Blue Jays stellar bullpen last season. Both missed time due to injury and while heavy workload would seem to be the obvious reason why, Delabar identified a different reason: He made a mechanical change to his delivery before the All-Star break, which led to shoulder inflammation and a month on the disabled list in August. “It caused me to put some stress in unneeded areas,” said Delabar. Delabar changed the positioning of his feet in an effort to be, as he describes it, more directional rather than rotational toward home plate. He was falling away on his pitches down and away to right-handed batters, likening the problem to a hitter with a persistently open stance who cant get to outside pitches. “I thought it would get me straight on line,” said Delabar. “It felt good to do it so I started playing catch with it, messing around with it and I got in a game and did it and I was like, ‘Hey, it feels pretty good. I just kept doing it, kept going with it and I didnt realize it was putting stress on my shoulder.” When Delabar returned from injury on September 2, he continued with his new delivery and with such little time left in the season, he didnt experience any more significant trouble. The plan is to use the adjusted delivery this season. Cecil appeared in 60 games in his first season as a full-time reliever. Not a lock to make the club out of spring training, Cecil took the ball whenever he was asked and was eager to put in extra work to prove he belonged. He was shut down on September 13 with elbow pain after only three appearances that month. With his role in the bullpen now firmly established, Cecil will focus on better monitoring his own workload this season. “Casey (Janssen) and Darren (Oliver) have been in this situation a lot longer than I have and they were telling me in April, you know, save your bullets. You may not feel like you need a day but if you pitch one day then use your better judgment,” said Cecil. “I told them in August, you guys were right, man. I was starting to feel like I was breaking down a little bit … Thats why you never stopped learning.” Cecil will better communicate with the training staff if hes not feeling 100 percent, but wants something in return – that the training staff doesnt raise any unnecessary red flags if he describes only simple soreness. Hes already adjusting. Cecil was given a 25-pitch cap for his bullpen session on Friday. He chose to throw only 20 pitches. Buffalo Bills Jerseys. Hoefl-Rieschs exit — from the downhill course into safety nets, then airlifted from the slope by helicopter — left Anna Fenninger of Austria favourite to win her first giant crystal trophy one month after becoming an Olympic champion. E.J. Gaines Jersey. Mauer struck out to end the inning, with a runner on third base in the seventh on Wednesday and the Twins trailing 1-0. Everybody does this, of course, in a sport with a 30 per cent success rate at the plate long proven to be a benchmark of excellence. . - The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned pitchers Kyle Drabek, Chad Jenkins and Sean Nolin to triple-A Buffalo. Leonard Johnson Jersey. -- Jerel Worthy and his Michigan State teammates charged across the field, holding four fingers in the air while celebrating another sweet victory over their biggest rival. Preston Brown Jersey. LOUIS -- When Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky backpedaled into shallow right field to catch the popup and Jason Heyward didnt arrive fast enough to take charge, Kolten Wong got the green light.Glendale, AZ ( - New Years Eve comes alive with three key bowl games, one of which is the Fiesta Bowl which featured 21st-ranked Boise State and the 12th-ranked Arizona Wildcats at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Wildcats, who are essentially playing in their own backyard, are led by coach Rich Rodriguez who is in his third year with the program. They finished atop the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference standings with a record of 7-2. The team lost just two games during the regular season, both in league action, versus USC and UCLA by a combined 12 points. Following the setback to the Bruins, the program ripped off four straight wins in order to capture the division crown. However, in the Pac-12 title game Arizona was thoroughly dominated by Oregon earlier this month, 51-13. Needless to say, the 51 points allowed were by far the most this season by the Wildcats. As for the Broncos, under new head coach Bryan Harsin who is both a former assistant coach and player for Boise State, the program got off to a bumpy start in late August as it kicked off the 2014 campaign with a 35-13 loss to Ole Miss in Atlanta. At the time the decision appeared detrimental to BSUs postseason pursuits, but the Rebels turned into one of the top programs in the nation and the Broncos more than responded in the weeks following. Under new leadership, the Broncos won 10 of their next 11 outings, the lone setback being a stunning loss at Air Force (28-14). Still, once the regular season wrapped up in late November, Boise State was still at the top of the Mountain Division standings of the Mountain West Conference, at 7-1, as it prepared for the MWC title game versus Fresno State. In a weakened West Division, the Bulldogs were just 6-6 entering the meeting with BSU and were lucky to stay within a pair of touchdowns (28-14) on Dec. 6 at Albertsons Stadium in Idaho. The goal from when we set out this season was to be in this game - and when we got into this game, the goal was to win this game, said Harsin after the win over FSU. To accomplish that goal is a credit to our approach to the game each and every week. As the top-ranked team residing outside of the power conferences, Boise State is back in the Fiesta Bowl for the first time since 2007 when the team stunned Oklahoma and the football world with a 43-42 overtime thriller in which the Broncos ran a successful hook-and-lateral play as well as a Statue of Liberty play in order to earn the unexpected victory. Boise State has a record of 9-5 in bowl games dating back to just 1999, although the Broncos did bow to Oregon State in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl, 38-23, snapping a four-game bowl win streak. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are back in this particular event for the first time since posting a 29-0 victory over Miami in 1994, and for the third time overall. Arizona, which is 8-9-1 in bowl outings -- starting with a 38-0 loss to Centre in the 1921 Christmas Classic -- has won two straight bowl contests, the latest being a 42-19 triumph over Boston College in the 2013 Advocare V100 Bowl. Somewhat surprisingly, this is actually the first-ever meeting between these two institutions on the football field. Harsin, one of five finalists for the Paul Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Award in just his first year at his alma mater, had his offense clicking on all cylinders almost the entire season, save for the two defeats in which the unit scored a combined 27 points. As of Christmas Day, the Broncos ranked ninth in the country in scoring with 39.8 ppg, thanks to an offense that produced a shade under 500 yards per contest. Grant Hedrick was tasked with handling the offense as he completed a stellar 70.9 percent of his pass attempts for 3,387 yards, but his 22 touchdowns were tempered by 13 interceptions on 381 tries. Shane Williams-Rhodes, a starter in nine of his 13 appearances, was responsible for a team-best 68 catcches and led the unit with seven TDs, yet he averaged a mere 8.dddddddddddd6 yards per grab. Thomas Sperbeck, who picked up some of the slack left when Matt Miller (28 receptions for 461 yards and three touchdowns) went on the shelf after just five games, finished with 39 catches for 678 yards and three TDs. But as well as some of those guys played, the main attraction for the Broncos on offense continues to be running back Jay Ajayi. The All-American was simply phenomenal as he took the ball a staggering 325 times in order to net 1,689 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground. As if that were not enough, Ajayi also made himself available for 45 receptions for 536 yards and another four TDs, making him one of the most accomplished offensive players in program history. With Ajayi as the not-so-secret weapon on offense, the Boise State defense didnt have to be as stout this time around, and while there were times when the unit struggled, it was again a very solid group that ranked 39th in the country with 366.5 ypg allowed. One of the biggest hitters for the Broncos was Tanner Vallejo who led the program with 86 tackles, of which 15 came behind the line of scrimmage. He also paced the program with three recovered fumbles. Just a sophomore, Kamalei Correa made a major impact with his 17 tackles for loss, including a team-best 10 sacks. Another all-conference performer was safety Darian Thompson who recorded seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Wyoming. Because of the efforts of Thompson, BSU has a turnover margin of plus-0.54 per game, which is 32nd in the nation. From a numbers perspective, the Broncos certainly appear stronger on paper than Arizona, but the Wildcats might just have better personnel overall. One of the top players on the defensive side of the ball for Arizona is linebacker Scooby Wright III who was not only named a Unanimous All-American, he was also named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which recognizes the nations top defensive player. Wright was all over the field for the Wildcats, making an incredible 153 tackles, of which 89 were solo efforts (more than all but one of his teammates had in all). But more than just a tackling machine, Wright made several stops in key situations, registering 28 TFLs and 14 sacks, both of which easily paced the program. Add to that six forced fumbles and one recovery and it is difficult to find another defender who exerted as much influence on games this season. Wright was also selected as the 2014 recipient of the Rotary Lombardi Award which honors the top linebacker or lineman in the nation. The Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nations most outstanding defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club, was also handed to Wright. Jared Tevis accounted for another 119 tackles, nine TFL and four sacks for a unit that still somehow surrendered 449.5 ypg to rank 103rd in the nation. The UA secondary was especially suspect as it gave up 279.1 ypg (117th nationally), the main reason why the program allowed 27.5 ppg. While Wright was standing in the spotlight the entire season for the Arizona defense, the other side of the ball saw the Wildcats gambling on a youngster at quarterback in Anu Solomon. The gunslinger lit up the air with 58.0 percent completions, en route to 3,458 yards and 27 touchdowns, against just seven interceptions on close to 500 attempts. Cayleb Jones was the primary target down the field for Solomon, as he caught 65 balls for 902 yards and nine touchdowns, although Austin Hill and Samajie Grant also served as key outlets as they combined for 86 grabs for 1,254 yards and nine scores. As one of the more productive running backs in the Pac-12, Nick Wilson churned out 1,289 yards and 15 TDs on 217 carries in order to take some of the pressure off Solomon from time to time for a unit that placed 25th nationally with 461.5 ypg. Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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