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文章發表於 : 週四 11月 15, 2018 1:25 pm 
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VANCOUVER -- Alex Anthopoulos was a busy man last off-season. The Toronto Blue Jays general manager made a series of bold moves that reshaped the club ahead of what would turn out to be a disastrous 2013 campaign. The lead-up to the 2014 season has been relatively quiet in comparison, with the Blue Jays biggest splash coming when they cut ties with catcher J.P Arencibia and replaced him with free-agent Dioner Navarro. While that deal wasnt not on the same level as the headline-grabbing acquisitions of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, Anthopoulos says he wont be adding any pieces through trade or free agency unless it fits into the teams model. "We made a lot of big moves early last off-season. It wasnt by design, it just worked out that way," Anthopoulos said Friday. "Weve had a lot of dialogue. Theres still a lot of players out there, just havent been able to line up with respect to a price, whether its trade or free-agent cost. "We do have the ability on some trade fronts to just say Yes. We know what the asking prices are -- just not willing to pay that price. From a free-agent standpoint ... we have been given a price and we just dont necessarily see the value right now." The starting rotation continues to be a point of emphasis after a miserable 2013 that saw Toronto finish last in the American League East after starting the season as World Series favourites. Free agent starters Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez are still on the open market, but Anthopoulos said theres a chance that the rotation could be filled out from within. "We have a lot of candidates and a lot of options. Someone like Brandon Morrow coming back (from injury) is a huge boost for us, some of our young kids that are coming back are certainly going help," he said. "We still have dialogue and try to upgrade but we do have some upside to some of the guys that are coming back." Anthopoulos, who was in town for a luncheon with the single-A Vancouver Canadians, also touched on the New York Yankees signing of Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka earlier this week. The 25-year-old right-hander inked a seven-year deal worth $155 million dollars with Torontos AL East rivals that also includes a $20-million dollar payment to his club team. The Blue Jays, who have an internal policy of not signing player contracts longer than five years, were rumoured to be in the running for Tanakas services early on in the process. "Obviously hes a great starter and there was a lot speculation on where the dollars would go just based on the previous two Japanese starters (Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish)," said Anthopoulos. "I think it was expected that he would go north of (their price tags) -- $175 million, I dont know if anybody predicted that. "Hes very talented and the Yankees certainly got better." Anthopoulos said the Blue Jays use the five-year limit on contracts as "a guideline" but tend to shy away from longer-term deals because they offer clubs very little wiggle room. "Weve held firm on our five-year policy in terms of contracts. When free agents are signing for seven, eight years, then normally thats where we tap out," he said. "We definitely have the resources financially in terms of annual value and salaries and things like that. I think weve proven that with some of the players we have acquired. But just the length of term -- very rarely do those seven-, eight-year deals work out." Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons will be feeling the heat if the Blue Jays stumble out of the gate as the they did in 2013. Fans flocked to Rogers Centre with dreams of a return to the teams glory years of the early 1990s that included two World Series titles, but were instead bitterly disappointed with the product on the field. With pitchers and catchers set to report for spring training on Feb. 17, a repeat in 2014 surely wont fly. "Youre always anxious to try to improve the club and to add to it, but you dont necessarily have to guard against it when you know theres a deal that just doesnt make any sense," said Anthopoulos. "We just dont want to force a deal and do it for the sake of doing it. "We want to make moves that we think are going to help the club. If we have to go more years and dollars than we believe in, people might get excited now but a few months into it we may be regretting that deal and be hamstrung with a contract that we dont want." Blue Jays Devon Travis Jersey .A. Happ? Happs seven wins are second on the staff to Mark Buehrles 10. Win-loss record is an antiquated stat, sure, but win total is generally an indication of a pitchers ability to work deep into games, enough to be personally affected by the result. Blue Jays Rhiner Cruz Jersey . The moves were the first punitive steps taken by the Dolphins since a report on the NFLs investigation of the case was released last week. Investigators found that guard Richie Incognito and two teammates engaged in persistent harassment directed at tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. http://www.cheapbluejaysjerseysauthenti ... nes-jersey. The Union looked to have grabbed a big win in the 88th minute when Amobi Okugo finally put the hosts in front. But a terrible giveaway by Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi handed Earnshaw the equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time, keeping the Union two points back of fifth-place Red Bull New York for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Wholesale Blue Jays Jerseys . The Rays hope to stay alive for the postseason and salvage the finale of this series Sunday at Rogers Centre, where they dropped a 7-2 decision Saturday. Chris Archer lasted 2 1/3 innings in the no-decision, charged with a run and five hits, and Alex Torres suffered the loss in relief. Blue Jays Yangervis Solarte Jersey . The game marks the rare occasion when two homegrown running backs, Jon Cornish of the Calgary Stampeders and Andrew Harris of the B.C. Lions, will start in the West Divisions battle for a Grey Cup berth.MINSK, Belarus -- Three-thousand kilometres from where he grew up in Toronto, Geoff Platt couldnt have felt more at home. Moments after scoring and setting off another wild celebration at Minsk arena, Platt leapt into the arms of Belarusian captain Alexei Kalyuzhny. Not long after, fans were chanting his name. "Its an emotion that Im not sure Ive achieved ever in my career, just because of the atmosphere and the electricity in the building," Platt said. "It just runs through your veins and grabs a hold of you." Along with goaltender Kevin Lalande, Platt is one of two Canadian-born players representing host Belarus at the world hockey championship and playing major roles in what might be the best international showing in the countrys history. Led by Canadian-born coach Glen Hanlon, Belarus is in the quarter-finals for just the third time and the first since 2009. This is the biggest event Belarus has ever hosted, so Minsk has been partying for two weeks. And this team is giving locals another reason to celebrate. "You have to understand the magnitude (of) what this means to them," Hanlon said. "Its bigger than just a game. This is their chance to show everybody." By show everybody, Hanlon means the city, which is decked out in IIHF signs welcoming the world and reminding them in the form of giant bison mascots that hockey is happening here. Inside the 15,000-seat Minsk Arena, home of the KHLs Dynamo Minsk, good hockey has been happening for Belarus. Lalande, a native of Ottawa who plays for Dynamo and gained citizenship, has been stellar and Platt has added timely offence. But the Canadian imports want the credit to go to leading scorers Mikhail Grabovski and Sergei Kostitsyn. "Players are playing for this symbol, and it means a lot more to them to represent their country than probably a National Hockey League team or any club team around the world," Platt said, pointing to the Belarusian coat of arms on his chest. "Youre seeing that with Sergei Kostitsyn, Mikhail Grabovski just really taking their game to a level Im sure theyve almost never played at." Grabovski beamed with pride when talking about what this tournament means to him. Hes showing that to Hanlon, who first coached him as a 21-year-old at the world championships in Vienna in 2005. The Grabovski at this tournament is an other-worldly player. "I dont even look at Mikhail anymore because I know hes going to play great," Hanlon said. "I never get tired of saying, Good game, Mikhail." Hanlon is limited in what he can say to some of his players because of the language barrier. He understands Russian and Belarusian and is trying to learn to speak both languages, even though he doesnt have to. The former Washington Capitals coach and longtime NHL goaltender, whos in his second stint as coach of the Belarusian national team, has someone with him at almost all times who speaks English. At his news conferences with local media, the Brandon, Man., native answers in English, occasionally splicing in Belarusian words and pausing to let the interpreter next to him do his work. "Ive taken lessons, Ive done all of it," Hanlon said. "I have a better handle on it. Ive gone home here after every friendly tournament, so I take all my books, put them in my backpack like the college student on spring break and I end up dealing with my 12-year-old son and my wife and I sort of break away from it for a couple weeks." Hanlons wife and son still live in Vancouver, and because shes a teacher and hes a skier and hockey player they dont accompany him to Europe. "Hed rather play his own hockey than watch me coach," Hanlon said. Everyone in Belarus is watching Hanlon coach with keen interest. In Minsk, televisions all over the city have tournament games on, whether Belarus is playing or not. Inside Minsk Arena, one section is full of fans jumping up and down and doing chants normally reserved for soccer matches. Others whistle and fill the building with the kind of noise Lalande and Platt have no comparison for and Hanlon can only relate to the old Chicago Stadium. "When you go into somewhere like Beell Centre or Madison Square Garden, its pretty loud but it dies off after a while," Hanlon said.dddddddddddd "Here its sustained for the whole 2 1/2 hours of the game. Im not kidding: You cant hear a word down there. Im screaming and Im yelling at my players whos up and everything. "From before the game starts till after its over, its like a festival." Its a festival thats special to the Belarusian players, whether theyre from Novopolotsk in the north like Dmitry Korobov, or Ontario like Lalande and Platt. How they got here wasnt a matter of having Belarusian ancestry. Anyone who plays for Dynamo Minsk for two seasons is eligible for citizenship. "I got to keep my Canadian citizenship, so there wasnt really any downside," said Lalande, who began the tournament as a backup but has played too well for Hanlon not to start him. "At first it just made the travelling a lot easier in Russia, I didnt need a visa and saved a couple pages in my Canadian passport. But when Glen was named the head coach, we had a couple conversations together. He made it clear from the start that he wanted me to be a part of this." "Whether Id play or not he didnt know, but hes been very supportive. I owe everything to him for this chance." Lalande and Platt each praised the local players for accepting them while also noting theres a comfort level in having each other and an English-speaking coach around for this run. But Hanlon, who previously coached the Slovak national team, learned from his season with Jokerit in Finland that having Canadians on his team isnt easy. "Being an import coach you want to go out of your way so that the Canadians are respected," he said. "The last thing you want to do is look like youre favouring them." "So you want them to work for everything that they get, and I try to keep my space from them. I dont want to give anybody any reason to think that these players are going to get special treatment from me." No special treatment, but this experience has been special for Platt and Lalande, even though theyre not playing for their home country. Platt, who played 46 NHL games for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks, won a gold medal for Canada at the under-18 world championships in 2003. Platt hasnt represented Canada since and has moved on. "Not putting on the Canadian jersey now is just a chapter that sits in the past in my career," the 28-year-old said. "I was very fortunate to wear the Canadian jersey and win a gold medal at the under-18 level, and now this is a realistic goal to be playing with Belarus and to be competing at this level. Its really fun when were successful." Belarus was plenty successful in the preliminary round, going 4-3 to finish third in its group, ahead of Finland, Switzerland and Latvia and set up a quarter-final game against Sweden on Thursday night. Even if Sweden ends Belaruss run, the host teams performance wont be forgotten any time soon. When a victory over Latvia clinched a spot in the quarter-finals, Platt called it a "very rare opportunity for Belarusian ice hockey" that his teammates capitalized on. Lalande couldnt come up with words to describe his emotions. "We did it for ourselves because we believed," Lalande said, crediting fans who made a real impact on the team. "I think all of the Minsk and the whole countrys behind us right now. ... Were playing for us and were playing for them and its a tremendous feeling to be able to win in this fashion for them." Thats Hanlons priority, too. More than six years after being fired by the Capitals on U.S. Thanksgiving Day, he has no plans to return to coaching in the NHL and has invested a lot of time and energy on European hockey. Hanlon still keeps track of whats going on in North America and watches games because hes interested, but now the 57-year-old also checks on scores from leagues around Europe. Hes still a Canadian citizen, but the prospect of playing his native country doesnt mean anything to him anymore. "Whats special for me is winning for Belarus," Hanlon said. "Thats whats special." 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