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Mark DeRosa called players-only meeting to address Blue Jays struggles

Mark-DeRosa-Blue-JaysThe Toronto Blue Jays entered the season looking like a legitimate threat to win the AL East, but they are off to a horrendous start. Coming off a four-game series in which they were swept by the New York Yankees, the Blue Jays are 9-17 and already 9.5 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox. They lost every game to New York by two runs or less, but winning close games is the only way to stay in contention in a tough division.

Following Sunday’s 3-2 loss, veteran infielder Mark DeRosa reportedly called a players-only meeting to address some of the team’s growing concerns.

“There’s just a bad vibe creeping in here and we need to address it,” DeRosa said, via the NY Daily News. “It’s just weird after spring training when we had a swagger about us.”

The Blue Jays added a number of high-profile pieces over the offseason, and the results have been consistent with a common theme that is arising across sports. Spending money and making big moves doesn’t necessarily mean a team will click. For evidence of that, look no further than the 2011 and 2012 Red Sox or the Los Angeles Lakers that were just swept from the postseason.

Losing Jose Reyes has been a major blow, but Toronto has to find a way to remain in the hunt until its All-Star shortstop returns. Reyes is not expected back until sometime around the All-Star break, so that will be no easy task. The fact that DeRosa felt a players-only meeting was necessary before the first month of the season is not a great sign. Inking a deal with this team may not have been worth losing his Natitude card.

H/T Hardball Talk

Ian Desmond says Mark DeRosa lost his Natitude card for signing with Blue Jays

Mark-DeRosa-NationalsMark DeRosa has played 14 seasons in the major leagues and worn the uniform of seven different MLB teams. On Tuesday, the outfielder signed a $775,000 contract to play with his eighth team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Apparently this upset Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.

By signing with Toronto, Desmond says DeRosa gave up his “Natitude card.”

Such is the life of a 37-year-0ld journeyman. DeRosa hit a whopping .188 in 48 games for the Nationals last season, so I’m guessing teams weren’t lining up to make him an offer. When you get to the point in your career where you come down with an injury because of a high-five, teams tend to get skeptical. The Blue Jays probably made the best offer, not to mention they’ve assembled a pretty good team for the upcoming season and DeRosa could be playing for a contender. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions in your career — even if it means giving up your Natitude card.

H/T SbB Live

Mark DeRosa reportedly aggravated oblique injury high-fiving Bryce Harper

With the way things are going, they may have to consider outlawing high-fives in the MLB. Hearing about absurd injuries that baseball players suffer is nothing new, but I doubt there has ever been another time where two players were injured while giving a high-five in just over a one-week span. According to the Washington Post, the latest victim is Mark DeRosa, who aggravated an injury while high-fiving teammate Bryce Harper.

DeRosa was already nursing an oblique injury prior to Sunday’s game against the Phillies, and he tweaked it again giving Harper some enthusiastic praise after the rookie managed to steal home in the first inning.

“I don’t know if that set back the rehab or not,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “But I said, ‘Why didn’t use your (right) hand?’ He said it was spur of the moment.”

If you remember, Brian McCann — who has a history of eye problems — was poked in the eye by Braves outfielder Michael Bourn when the two missed with a high-five after McCann belted a grand slam a little more than a week ago. Somebody get these guys a plastic bubble.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE