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St. Louis Cardinals turn first triple play since 2005 (Video)

The Toronto Blue Jays are 19-4 in their last 23 games and the way things have been going lately it’s tough to imagine them on the wrong side of a highlight. However, that’s what happened during Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jose Bautista was at the plate with the bases loaded. More often than not, you would probably expect the Jays slugger to deliver in that situation.

cardinals-triple-playThis wasn’t one of those times. Bautista hit a line drive that was caught by Daniel Descalso, who flipped to Jhonny Peralta for the second out. Peralta then threw to Allen Craig before Melky Cabrera was able to return for the third and final out.

The result was the first triple play turned by the Cardinals since 2005 and the first the Jays have hit into since 2008.

What shouldn’t go unmentioned is the effort by second base umpire Manny Gonzalez to avoid being hit by the ball. Those were some pretty good reflexes.

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Police officer rips Toronto Blue Jays in hilarious indicent report

Jays-fan-arrestedMore than a handful of fans per MLB season make the idiotic decision to to hop the barrier that separates spectators from the field. In most cases, this results in a hefty fan and a night in a local jail. The risk is obviously worth the reward for some people.

We’re glad one Toronto Blue Jays fan decided to take the plunge on May 5, because it led to one of the most hilarious police reports you will ever read. The officer who wrote the arrest report did more than just outline Joseph’s charge of willfully interfering with the use, enjoyment or operation of property. He also took the opportunity to blast the Blue Jays for sucking.

Funny-Jays-police-report

The report, which was uncovered by the guys at Drunk Jays Fans, read as follows:

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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

Lou Piniella: Blue Jays raped the Marlins in blockbuster trade over the winter

Lou-PiniellaRetired MLB manager Lou Piniella signed a deal to work as a commentator for the YES Network this year. The regular season has yet to begin, but on Wednesday we got a taste of why someone who is a little rough around the edges like Piniella may be better off in the dugout than the broadcaster’s booth.

During the third inning of a spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the subject of how much the Toronto Blue Jays improved over the offseason came up. Like most of us, Piniella feels that the Blue Jays got the best of the blockbuster deal that brought them Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. Lou just needs to learn how to appropriately express himself.

“Well they just, I don’t want to use the word ‘raped,’ but they basically took a lot of talent from the Miami Marlins,” Piniella said. “Toronto will probably be picked to win the (AL East) by a lot of people.”

Yikes. It was smart of Piniella to not want to use the word “raped,” but the not using it part is more important than the thought itself. If “Talladega Nights” taught us anything, it’s that you can’t just whatever you want simply because you lead into by saying “with all due respect.”

We love you, Lou. We loved your managing style and your uncanny ability to fly off the handle. But the next time your instinct tells you not to say something, it’s probably best to just bite your tongue.

For audio of Piniella’s slip-up, click here.

Anthopoulos: Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista can be like our Manny, Ortiz

Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has been as busy as any executive in baseball this offseason. Anthopoulos signed Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal, and he completed a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins that should make Toronto a real contender in the AL.

The Jays GM joined WEEI radio in Boston to discuss his team’s offseason, and he helped explain the thinking behind the Marlins trade. He believes the team has some offensive cornerstones that he wants to build around.

“I think two key players for us are Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, they’re two guys that are 30 and 31 years old. They’re in the prime of their career. I don’t know the next time if ever that as a GM I’m going to have two 40-home run hitters in the middle of a lineup,” Anthopoulos said on WEEI’s Hot Stove Show Thursday.

“They’re both under control for the next four years in the prime of their careers. We have to take advantage of that. As great as some of these young players are, I don’t know that they’re going to get up here and be impactful big league players in time to take advantage of those guys being in their primes. If it’s three or four years from now, they’re already gone. We’ve got to take advantage of having two premium middle-of-the-order power hitters. They’re so hard to find. I think of obviously Manny (Ramirez) and (David) Ortiz all those years in the AL East. That was an incredible combo, and I think Bautista and Encarnacion have a chance to be comparable to those two.”

Encarnacion blossomed in his third full season with the team. The 29-year-old bashed 42 home runs and is signed through 2015 (with an option for 2016). Bautista had back-to-back 40-plus home run seasons, and hit 27 home runs in 92 games last season. He is 32 years old, coming off a wrist injury, and is signed through 2015 with an option for 2016.

Though Bautista has been a slugger on the level of Manny and Ortiz the past few years, Encarnacion has only posted one season of that caliber, so I have some reservations about that comparison. Still, Anthopoulos’ point is well taken. Anthopoulos believes the Jays’ window to win is now. The team is coming off a 73-89 season and is due for a major improvement. Not only will they have Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Melky Cabrera, but hopefully Bautista and pitcher Ricky Romero will return to form. They certainly have the makings of a 90-win team.

Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, reportedly traded to Blue Jays

Less than a year after making a huge splash in free agency, the Miami Marlins reportedly are dismantling their team and sending some of their best — and most expensive — players to the Toronto Blue Jays.

FOXSports.com reporters Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal say that pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle are being traded from the Marlins to the Blue Jays as part of a blockbuster deal. They say shortstop Jose Reyes, who signed a six-year, $106 million deal last offseason, is also part of the trade. Catcher John Buck and utility man Emilio Bonifacio reportedly are also being sent to Toronto. The five players mentioned in the trade are owed nearly $165 million.

The Marlins reportedly are getting back shortstop Yunel Escobar, pitcher Henderson Alvarez, and catcher Jeff Mathis, who all have major league experience. They’re also reportedly receiving infielder Adeiny Hechevarria, left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino, and outfielder Jacob Marisnik, who are all prospects. Alvarez went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA last season for Toronto. Escobar is coming off the worst season of his career — he had a .644 OPS and career-low 1.8 WAR.

The Marlins began the process of dismantling their new-look team — which included a new stadium, new uniforms, and new team name — after the season ended. They fired manager Ozzie Guillen, and traded high-priced relief pitcher Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks. It looks like they’re in full-on rebuilding mode after going a disappointing 69-93 last season, which has left stud outfielder Giancarlo Stanton “pissed” in his words. The Blue Jays are hoping the additions will help them compete in the challenging AL East.

The Marlins already did not include no-trade clauses in contracts for players, which made them less attractive as a destination for free agents. After seeing the team give up on high-priced players after one year, who would be willing to sign with them in the future?

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Rabbi Zev Icyk legitimately wants to manage the Toronto Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox finally managed to pry John Farrell away from the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, which means the boys from the north are in need of a new manager. A 25-year-old rabbi named Zev Icyk believes he is the man for the job.

In a recent email to the Toronto Sun, the lifelong Blue Jays fan made his pitch to the team’s front office. And he wasn’t joking.

“I have drive, motivation, experience and personality to take the Jays where Alex Anthopoulos wants them to go,” Icyk wrote. “The Jays would be the most aggressive and exciting team in the bigs. I am the only rabbi in the world with the ability to manage in the majors.”

After receiving the email, the Sun’s Bob Elliott called the phone number provided and Icyk, who is currently studying at Rabbinical College of America in New Jersey, gladly elaborated on the reasons why he believes he is the perfect candidate to manage a team of professional ballplayers — many of whom are significantly older than him.

“I just got married,” he said. “My wife Sara asked, ‘Why devote your life to baseball since you were three years old and not apply?’ If I can get an interview with Mr. Alex Anthopoulos, I’ll be on a plane to Toronto the next day.

“The Jays need life, they had no bunting, no stealing this year. The Jays were sleeping on the field, like pieces of wood. When there is a person fit for the job it doesn’t matter whether he’s 40, 50 60, or 25 like me. I know how to motivate. I like to think everyone would respect me.”

Then came the most true statement of all.

“One thing is for sure, if a Chabad rabbi is the manager, the Jays will be the most hyped team in 2013,” Icyk said. “The hype paired with the young talent-filled roster that the Jays already have could be something very special. What do they have to lose?”

How can you not like this guy? Get it done, Anthopoulos. Either that, or spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been.

H/T Big League Stew