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leaving general manager Alex Anthopoulos with an

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BRADENTON, Florida - J.A. Happ was pummeled by the Pirates on Tuesday, leaving general manager Alex Anthopoulos with an unappealing conundrum: its become easier for him to sell to the fan base the idea of having $12.7-million (Ricky Romeros and Happs combined 2014 salaries) of dead or differently-allocated money than it is to sell the fan base on including the left-hander in the opening day starting rotation. Happ faced 20 batters in three-plus innings. Twelve of them got hits, including Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez, who hit a wind-aided, opposite field, two-run home run to cap a four-run second inning. Rodriguez had never homered in 437 career major league at-bats. Happ allowed seven earned runs, bloating his springtime ERA over four starts to 20.57. The Blue Jays lost, wait for it, 22-5. "It wasnt a good day for anybody, really," said manager John Gibbons. "We got pounded pretty good. They werent missing em. We got hit around pretty good." Meanwhile, back in Dunedin, Dustin McGowan, the sudden favourite for the final available rotation job, threw four innings of scoreless baseball in a Triple-A game. His fastball was clocked in the mid-90s; McGowan hit the 62-pitch mark. "I thought he looked great," Anthopoulos told a pool reporter in Dunedin. "Its just trying to get him stretched out here. Every step is a step in the right direction, but well see how he feels tonight, tomorrow, all that kind of stuff. He got up to 62 today off of 48 the (outing) before. Well take it outing by outing at this point." The logical next step, provided McGowans wonky shoulder feels good on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, is to have the right-hander throw another minor league game in Florida on Sunday. "The big thing is that we dont get ahead of ourselves because we re-evaluate it almost daily to see how he feels," said Anthopoulos. "I always remind him as well, I keep reminding him that at any time any concerns, any tweaks, anything at all, he needs to tell us, and he said, Absolutely. Hes obviously a big part of wanting to do this as well. As I told him when were even exploring this, he needs to want to do this because we would never take chances with his career or with his health. Hes the one who knows how he feels. Hes been through this enough times. He has to communicate with us." Happ has had a puzzling spring. He arrived in Dunedin under the impression he had a spot in the starting rotation locked up. After poor starts on February 26 and March 3, he missed game action due to a bad back. His two appearances since his return, on March 19 and on Tuesday, have gone no better. "Yeah, thats not an issue," said Gibbons, when asked if Happs back was still a concern. Happ has an option remaining, meaning he could be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers. However, the fly in the ointment is significant: as a major league veteran with more than five years of service time, Happ has the right to refuse the assignment, at which point the Jays could keep him or release him while paying him full freight. Would Happ be willing to move to the bullpen? "Im not thinking about that," he said. "Ill answer that question if someone else, one of the bosses, decides they need to ask that. Well deal with that then. But thats not something thats on my mind." The Blue Jays still have not officially named Drew Hutchison to their starting rotation although its inconceivable he doesnt make the team. Hutchison has been the clubs best pitcher this spring and Anthopoulos is on the record as saying hes taking the best 25 players north. Assuming Hutchison joins R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow and Mark Buehrle in the rotation, Anthopoulos, Gibbons and pitching coach Pete Walker have to decide between McGowan, Happ and Todd Redmond for the final spot. The idea of piggybacking McGowan, that is starting him on a strict pitch count and backfilling with Redmond, Esmil Rogers, maybe even Happ, behind him has been bandied about. It likely will be revisited during internal meetings ahead of Sundays deadline to announce the opening day roster. "When we announce the team, everybody will know who it is," said Gibbons. REYES GOING TO MONTREAL? The Blue Jays are encouraged by the MRI results on Jose Reyes left hamstring, which revealed a minor strain. "Hopefully hes in there the next couple of days, maybe at DH," said manager John Gibbons. "Let him run half-speed, three-quarter-speed. It actually made us feel pretty good after we heard the results." When asked on Monday, before he had his MRI, whether he would play through the strain if the regular season already was underway, Reyes didnt answer. It behooves the Jays to be careful, though, especially considering the club plays 91 games (81 at home, 10 in Tampa Bay) of its 162 on artificial turf. "With baseball, too, there can be a lot of dead time too before you actually get a ball," said Gibbons. "That quick movement will sometimes get you. We feel good about it and you hope it doesnt turn into anything down the road either." Still, Gibbons says the plan is to bring Reyes to Montreal, where two games will be played on turf, if hes healthy enough to go. "Im sure everybody wants to see him play up there," said Gibbons. THE SECOND CATCHER R.A. Dickey is scheduled to start the Blue Jays final Grapefruit League home game on Wednesday. By game time, we should have a better idea of who will back up Dioner Navarro. "I would say the guy who catches him (Wednesday) will be the backup catcher," said Gibbons. "Ill leave it at that." Erik Kratz and Josh Thole are vying for the job. Gibbons has repeatedly said that effectively catching Dickey is the jobs number one priority. Thole, to the extent someone can be, is a master at it. Hes also got the most experience. Dickeys pitched 565 innings to Thole over their time together with the Mets and Blue Jays. Kratz, a 2002 Blue Jays draft pick, returned to the organization in an offseason trade with the Phillies. Hes a threat to hit a home run, having gone deep 18 times in 375 at-bats over the last two seasons. Thole posted a .175/.256/.242 line in limited action last season. If he makes the team it appears the club will have trouble generating offence from the eighth and ninth (Ryan Goins) spots in the lineup on the days he plays. Cheap Nike Jerseys . This is the final meeting of the season between these teams.? The Capitals were 5-4 winners in a shootout Oct. Black Friday Jerseys . Neither side would publicly confirm or deny any discussions were taking place, until the near unexpected happened. On Saturday night sources confirmed to TSN, the league and players agreed to terms on a new, tentative CBA, pending ratification by the unions players. A league source confirmed the CFLs board of governors must also ratify any potential agreement. https://www.fakejerseyswholesale.com/ . In an interview with La Presse this week, the five-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time NHL scoring leader specifically took aim at wingers Thomas Vanek and Max Pacioretty, saying they cant show up in a 7-4 win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final and come up empty in Game 6. Cheap Jerseys Fast Shipping . Nikolaos Kounenakis has been hired as an assistant coach, the team announced on Monday. Fake Jerseys From China .Y. -- The Detroit Red Wings had just enough time to salvage a point.MONTREAL -- Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard says she had no problem with a controversial question she fielded at last months Australian Open, moments after the biggest win of her career. The 19-year-old from Westmount, Que., had just become the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in 30 years when she was asked by an on-court female interviewer who she would like to date, if she could choose anyone in the world. Many observers quickly deemed the question sexist, with some asking whether a similar query would ever be put to a male athlete. The exchange attracted even more attention because Bouchard, apparently caught off guard by the question, blurted out an unexpected response on live TV: "Um, Justin Bieber?" Her reference to the Canadian pop star seemed to be tongue-in-cheek. Bouchard, who will represent Canada at this weekends Federation Cup in Montreal, said Wednesday she thought the question was all in good fun and she was happy to play along. "I think it was a fine question, you know, I think its entertainment for the fans," Bouchard said when asked at a Fed Cup news conference if she thought the Australian Open question was sexist. "It was actually a fan question, so at the end of the day, its for the fans and, if thats what theyre curious about, well thats fine by me." The No. 19-ranked Bouchard said she might like to know more herself about who, for example, a certain soccer player would want to date. Sometimes, she added, it can be fun to handle questions about something other than tennis because the answers might interest a broader audience. When asked if she thought a male athlete might receive a similar question, Bouchard didnt directly respond, saying the fact shes a younger player might explain why she got such a query. &qquot;You know, they wouldnt ask Roger Federer that question -- obviously, hes married and has kids," she said, referring to the 32-year-old Swiss tennis legend.dddddddddddd. "But I dont know, maybe, I think they should (ask) other single tennis players. Why not?" The question came after Bouchard, who was the 30th seed at the Australian Open, completed a stunning 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 upset of former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic. The victory made her the first Canadian to reach the semis at a Grand Slam since Carling Bassett-Seguso at the 1984 U.S. Open. Bouchards impressive run in Melbourne came to an end a couple of days later when she lost 6-2, 6-4 to fourth-seeded Li Na of China in the semifinal. But her accomplishments caught the attention of tennis fans in Canada and abroad, including a group of a dozen or so raucous Aussies who became her unofficial cheering section at every match. The group, which dubbed itself the "Genie Army," wore T-shirts that spelled her name, belted out cheers composed just for her and tossed stuffed animals to her on the court following each of her appearances. Bouchard was asked Wednesday about how much things have changed since her emergence at the Australian Open, where some commentators called her next big thing in womens tennis and a potential future Grand Slam tournament champion. "For sure theres been more attention and I think it comes with the job," said Bouchard, who added that more people now recognize her on the street. "It just shows, you know, if you have success on court, youll get attention off the court. But my first priority is tennis and I focus on that and make sure I get everything I need to do done. "And then if theres other attention off the court, well, thats a good thing." ' ' '

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