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  • Nov 8
    TORONTO – The Blue Jays recent stretch of winning baseball has fans thinking of the possibilities, dreaming big, about the summer – perhaps the autumn – thats to come. [b]Stephen Hauschka Jersey[/b] . It was difficult, watching Royals ace and long-time Toronto tormentor James Shields work on Thursday night, not to consider how good he would look as a front-end of the rotation rental for the playoff push about which the organization, its players and its supporters has long dreamed. Using a July acquisition of Shields as a hypothetical example, nothing more, the Blue Jays would have to take on the pro-rated portion of his $13.5-million. If the club, say, was to acquire Shields on July 31, it would be on the hook for approximately $4.5-million. What isnt clear is whether the money would be available. "We have a number that we work with and I always have the ability to have that conversation," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "We came into the season at the number we expected to be at and as the year goes on, we have needs. Depending on how were playing and whats available, if we have a need come the trade deadline, I have every confidence well have the resources to do that. I have no doubts about that at all." Shields is exactly what Toronto needs. He has an expiring contract and would test the free agency waters for the first time in his career this winter. He has won at least 11 games in seven-straight seasons and pitched no fewer than 203 1/3 innings in each year of that span. Hes pitched in the playoffs three times, for the Rays each year from 2008 to 2010 and is notorious for his work ethic. Ownership stepping up in response to a group of players that have given the city its first tangible hope of watching a Major League Baseball playoff game live for the first time in more than two decades surely wouldnt go unnoticed in the clubhouse, either. This run of nine consecutive wins and 17 in 22 games has helped in more than just the standings. On some occasions, the home run has been the difference. On others, speed and defence. The starting pitching and vastly improved bullpen have been major contributors. Put together, it has created belief in a clubhouse a year removed from stunning disappointment. "Its just being a complete baseball team," pitcher Drew Hutchison told TSN.ca. "We can do the little things. You can do everything. You can beat them with speed. We saw that so much with Reyes scoring from second. Youve got a guy like Gose putting down bunts and making diving catches. Youve got the power of Eddie and Francisco and Bautista. There are so many ways, the way this team is, we can beat you." According to baseball-reference.com, the Blue Jays have $134.4-million committed to player payroll for 2014. Earlier this season, Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal reported that a group of high-salaried Blue Jays had agreed to defer salary in order to allow for the club to sign then-free agent pitcher Ervin Santana. When the deal fell through, Santana signed with the Braves, the National Posts John Lott reported that five players – Mark Buehrle, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey – had pooled together $14-million in the failed bid to bring Santana aboard. Last week, Peter Gammons reported on his website, gammonsdaily.com, quoted Anthopoulos suggesting the payroll was maxed out. One would infer there isnt much wiggle room for a payroll increase; that a dollar in, dollar out scenario would be most likely in any deal. "Were at a number to start the year. I think thats fair. I dont think it varies from anything weve ever said. Its always fluid," said Anthopoulos. "Even when we did the deals last year, we were supposed to be in an area and then something came up." With the annual June draft set to begin next Thursday night, trade talk is virtually non-existent. Consider, too, that with the two wild card system in each league there arent many teams that believe themselves to be completely out of contention at the moment. "We are having no dialogue whatsoever," said Anthopoulos. "If there is any (rumours) out there that were engaged with players, were not having any active talks at all. Were really immersed in the draft right now. I expect that when that draft is over, the Monday after, thats when everyone is going to start making their calls again." [b]Wholesale Bills Jerseys China[/b] . "Canada," Bolland said with a smile. "Is that a question?" One day earlier, though, fellow Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri wasnt so sure his home and native land could pull off the win against the United States in the semi-finals of the Olympic hockey tournament. [b]Deon Lacey Jersey[/b] . Redden played a total of 1,023 regular-season games with Ottawa, the New York Rangers, St. Louis and Boston. He finished with 457 points (109 goals, 348 assists) and a plus-160 rating over his career.Andy Murray is now Britain’s greatest ever sportsman after he won the ATP World Tour Finals to end the year as world No 1, according to Mark Petchey. The Scots former coach told Sky Sports News HQ recently that if Murray could overhaul long-time rival Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings then he should be recognised as Great Britains ultimate sportsman.Murray guaranteed that he would hold on to his recently acquired No 1 spot going into the end of the season on Sunday as he beat Djokovic in straight sets to claim his first World Tour Finals title and Petchey stands by his earlier assessment. Andy Murray is now Britains greatest sportsman according to Mark Petchey Its probably going to be a good pub chat, a lot of people are going to have different views on who should be and who shouldnt be, he told Sky Sports News HQ. Every day I walk past Daley Thompsons gym - there will be a lot of people who think he was one of the greatest sports people.I just think for Andy in terms of the fact that his opponents can impact his performance, the things he has to do in terms of overcoming them tactically, you saw it this week the different styles of players, the different surfaces he has to play on, criss-crossing the globe the way he does.For me he is [Britains greatest ever sportsman] but there will be others that definitely disagree. Highlights of the final of the ATP World Tour Finals between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic from the O2 Arena, London Murray won his second Wimbledon title this year and defended his Olympic gold medal, but in order to maintain his new ranking he had to better Djokovics tournament in London, which meant he could not afford to slip up.There was no room for error. He was one point away from not making it. Milos [Raonic] takes the match point in the semi-final and thats it, so he could not afford to lose one single match in the entire period. He has been blemish-free, perfection personified throughout that run, Petchey said.Also, just the quality of opponents he beat at the World Tour Finals. There was a debate going about the validity of it all because Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] werent playing and he hadnt played Novak since the French Open. I didnt really agree with it so Im delighted for him when you look at the rankings that he beat that he couldnt have done it any harder. Murray won his second Wimbledon title earlier this year Petchey thinks it was important that Murray beat Djokovic in the final to cement his current status as the best player on the planet and stop any potential detractors from questioning the rankings. It was huge, I think had he not beaten Novak in the final it would have been somebody else, he hadnt played Novakk in this tournament, he said. [b]Cheap Bills Jerseys Free Shipping[/b]. I think people who like to look at the glass half empty would have pulled that one up and said he hasnt beaten Novak since the French and therefore it wouldnt have had the same authenticity to it that it does because he did. Petchey thinks it was important that Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the final Petchey believes becoming a father earlier this year has helped Murrays tennis and has allowed him to take some breaks from the sport where he would not have before. He also agrees with Djokovics assessment that his wife Kim deserves special praise.I think it has been a very settling thing for Andy, obviously it was an adjustment but it is incredible to look at how well he has performed within the lines. I think Novak was right; Kim has obviously done a fantastic job. She has managed to keep Andy in the place he can be to play the tennis. I think it has given him a focus away from tennis.Petchey revealed he took great pleasure in watching Murray rise to the top of the rankings after seeing him playing a Futures event for the first time at the age of 16 and he expects the 29-year-old to be as competitive as ever next season. Andy Murray says he hopes to stay as world No 1 after beating Novak Djokovic in the ATP World Tour final in London Each success brings another debate. You talk to great champions of the past - we were fortunate enough to have Mats Wilander in the Sky Sports studio at the O2 and he actually hated being No 1. He said he got more pleasure once he got there from mowing the grass, he said. Yet you speak to Ivan [Lendl] and he loved it - the best thing ever was being the best tennis player on the planet. So youve got two differing views there and it will be a change for Andy, this whole period where he goes into his off-season, he is the best player on the planet in 2016. Murray poses with the ATP Tour Finals trophy and the year end world No 1 trophy So it will be a little bit of an adjustment for him. To be honest, knowing him, he is the most competitive person you will ever come across so I dont have any doubt in my mind that he will have that mantle rest fairly lightly on his shoulders.To watch Andy invest as much as he has and the pure joy of working hard, I think he deserves everything he has got. Hes not been given it because he is talented; he has earned every single trophy and every single accolade that he has been given throughout his career so far. 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