July 2014

Blue Jays closer Janssen speaks out

On the deadline…
“For us not to do anything, most of us had some ideas that we were going to
improve this club a little bit. It’s unfortunate we didn’t. At the same time, we just have to do what we have to do to win games and try to find ways to get into the playoffs. Yes, it was frustrating but we have to play tonight and (inaubible)…”

Beside the big names, are missing out on Martin Prado and guys like that even more frustrating?
“I just think from an overall perspective of all these teams getting better, we know it’s going to be a tough time for us. One that isn’t impossible but we’re going to have to do everything right. Obviously, we value our prospects, we value our players, I’m sure the other teams do as well. Maybe they just value the player or the opportunity to get into the playoffs more. It takes something to get something and congratulations to those teams that got those guys.”

On this being first opportunity to contend…
“We’ve heard ’92, 93 and I think we’re tired of hearing it. We want to put our stamp on Toronto and across baseball. For me in my eight years here, I’ve never been this close, never had such an opportunity to make it into the playoffs and I think that’s where this excitement level for this trade deadline was. It’s finally our time, it’s finally beating down the door and we wanted to come on the scene as strong as we can. Like I said, it didn’t happen, we just have to regroup and go about our business again.”

(more…)

Anthopoulos address lack of activity at deadline

Here is a partial transcript of today’s conference call with Alex Anthopoulos. There is plenty more to come but I have some more work to do in the clubhouse. Will finish this before tonight’s game vs the Astros.

Anthopoulos:

On the deadline…
“It’s been similar every year. It’s not like today was the only day that we were talking to teams. It’s just a continuation. Obviously it comes to an end at four, without having to expose players to waivers. Really, it has been steady, maybe a little more intense the last day. But really, the last few days, you’re on the phone a lot, back and forth, proposals, counteroffers, ideas, things like that. So very similar to years past. Obviously, now with the deadline having passed, the dynamic changes with having to put guys through trade waivers and we’ll see how that develops.”

Disappointing on not getting a deal done especially considering rivals added pieces…
“You’re always trying to get better. We weren’t going to do deals we didn’t think were going to make us better. Ultimately, if the deals had been there for us, we would have done them. But we didn’t line up on any deals that we thought were going to improve the clubs.”

(more…)

Valencia officially joins Blue Jays

Here’s a transcript of today’s media scrum with recently acquired infielder Danny Valencia. On the main bluejays.com site you’ll find the notebook with more on Valencia, plus Gibbons’ approach to the Trade Deadline and Rasmussen getting sent to the Minors:

On going from the AL Central race to one in the AL East…
“It’s a great opportunity here. Obviously this is a tough division, teams that are always really, really tough. I was fortunate enough to play in this division last year with Baltimore and see it on the other side, it’s definitely going to be a fun time and I think this team is going to be great. Im looking forward to helping the Toronto Blue Jays win.”

On traditionally hitting much better vs lefties…
“I was never able to really pinpoint the reasoning why I hit left-handers better. Traditionally your splits should be better against left-handed pitching but I can’t really pinpoint anything. Obviously I feel comfortable in there but it’s one of those things that I carved something out for myself. You want to be able to hit lefties and righties and I feel I can do that pretty well.”

On playing for five organizations in five years…
“The first trade was definitely the toughest to understand because you’re being traded from the organization that you came up with. I’ve been a little surprised to move around as much as I have, obviously everybody wants to stay in one spot and really dig down some roots in one particular place. I’m hoping Toronto is that spot. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a lot of great places and play on some good teams and I’m really looking forward to this experience.”

On being surprised about the deal…
“We had something good going in Kansas City but I’m happy to be on a team that’s also in a playoff race, it’s always nice to play meaningful games as the year goes on and I’m really, really excited to be here.”

On familiar faces on the Blue Jays…
“I know a good bunch of guys. I played against some coming up, a couple of these guys have been teammates of mine in the past, so I know a pretty good handful and it’s a great bunch of guys and I’m fortunate to come to a team like this.”

On roles in the team…
“We went over it briefly. I’m sure I’ll probably play against left-handed pitching, certainly probably play third base, maybe some first, some DH, I played a little bit during this year at second. Wherever he wants me I’m going to be willing to go.”

Comfort at first?
“I feel fine over there, I’ve played some games at first base before, in the minor leagues I played first base, in college I played first base. I would feel more comfortable maybe playing shortstop.
Transition to platoon? “It’s obviously tough, everybody’s goal is play every single day but at the same time you want to help teams win and you want to be part of teams trying to win World Series. If they need you to do something specific, so be it.”

On the left-hand injury he dealt with earlier this year…
“I took a funny swing at the end of May in Anaheim that sprained my hand a little bit. It was starting to die down a little bit, then I got hit by a pitch in Chicago and it flared up a little bit. I’ve been dealing with it all year, it’s nothing that holds me back or restricts me, but it’s definitely something in the back of my mind, and it’s nothing that’s going to stop me from playing.”

Bautista speaks out

Jose Bautista has never been known to keep his feelings about umpires to himself but he took it to a whole new level following Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to the A’s. Bautista was upset that a call involving Melky Cabrera at home plate wasn’t overturned in Toronto’s favor.

There will be more coverage on this, plus news on Edwin Encarnacion who felt a pop in his right leg on Saturday, up soon on bluejays.com. But in the meantime, here are Bautista’s comments in their entirety:

Bautista:

“He missed him by a good foot or two. I don’t really know which replay they were looking at but clearly they must have had a different video feed than the one we had. It’s pretty frustrating for you to battle as a team, keep the game close, for our pitchers to be doing what they’re doing, for us to keep grinding through games, and facing some touch pitching, and somehow be able to get an opportunity to tie the game in the eighth inning, it all goes down the drain because somebody first, initially, made a bad call to begin with. And then it gets upheld by god knows who, in some room in New York supposedly.

“This whole replay thing has become a joke in my eyes. I think they should just ban it, they should just get rid of it, I don’t really understand the purpose of it, but getting the right call on the field is not the purpose. That’s pretty obvious and evident. I don’t know what kind of agenda the people that are doing the replays are on, what their plan is, what their purpose is, who they’re looking after. But obviously getting the right call on the field is not what they’re doing.

“Not only the one tonight, for us, that have gone against us when they had a chance to get the right call and reverse a bad one that has been made on the field. I can remember another one in Baltimore, another one or two in Baltimore, that same thing, to tie or go ahead in the game like that when you’re on the road, I don’t see the point of having this replay system that doesn’t work.”

This was what you were visibly angry about in the dugout? Not over something else?
“It was over this. It’s not frustration over anything else, that situation, that moment. I feel like there was a chance for Adam Lind to tie the game in the eighth inning was taken away from us. Man on second, two outs, 3-2 ballgame, we were right in it. Unfortunately some people, I don’t know what the right word is, lack of integrity, lack of accountability, or some really good comraderie that are looking after eachother, are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Because getting the right call on the field, which is why instant replay was instituted, is not the purpose of what’s happening. The best evidence is what happened today.”

Are you hearing this from other players around the league too…
“I have no idea what other people think or want to say, or anything. That’s my opinion. That’s it.”

Edwin’s injury…
“I know his leg is hurting but that’s about it. I don’t know much other than that.”

So many injuries on the team…
“Losing Edwin in any lineup, on any team, would be tough. It’s for some short period of time, or considerable period of time, which we don’t know what will happen yet, he’s got to get an MRI and see what they say. I don’t think the fact that a couple of us are hurting right now makes it any worse. Losing him with everybody healthy would still be bad for us. As a winning team, you have to figure out how to win and that’s what we have to do.”

Playing the field on Sunday…
“I might be able to do it. First, third, outfield, whatever he needs. We didn’t know Edwin was going to be out, so there’s more holes to be filled now. There’s a couple of us that are banged out. I’m sure they’re going to try to decide the best combination of players, where everybody plays, is going to be for us.”

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