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(TORONTO) Growing up in Toronto, I am no stranger to sporting defeats. Whether it is the Raptors, Leafs, Blue Jays etc. I have seen every team in the city fail miserably.
From blowing a three goal lead in the third period (Leafs) to a single player scoring 81 points on a team in one game (Raptors), to having a 21-year playoff drought (Blue Jays), and being a franchise that no one wants to be in (All of them). Many sports fans in Toronto have been beaten down by Toronto teams so bad that fans tend to get excited easily.
However, Toronto sports fans are now allowed to get excited for good reason because along with Troy Tulowitzki being acquired by the Blue Jays on Monday night, David Price is now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays acquired David Price from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for three minor league pitchers in Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, And Jairo Labourt.
Any baseball fan can be excited about David Price being on their favorite team. He's a former Cy Young winner, historically pitches well in the Rogers Centre, and this year he has a ERA of 2.53 - 12th in all of baseball - and a whip of 1.11. In addition to that, this season Price is 4th in innings pitched, 9th in strikeouts, and has a 4.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Overall it is a good deal for the Blue Jays, however it is a risky deal as well, for one reason; David Price has an expiring contract which means the Blue Jays can only get 10 guaranteed starts out of Price and are most likely not re-signing him.
This deal can go one of two ways. One, David Price has no impact and the Blue Jays do not make the playoffs, as well as lose Price in the off-season plus the three prospects, one of which (Norris) looks very promising.
However their is the second way that this deal can go. Price can have a big impact and help lead the Blue Jays to the playoffs, from there only God knows what happens.
In either case, Price is most likely going to another team after this season but as fans we do not have to be concerned with that. As fans we can get excited that the Blue Jays on paper look posed to end their post season drought.
When you reach the professional ranks as an athlete, and is lucky enough to play multiple seasons for one city, you get the opportunity to adopt a new home.
Todd Frazier has become one of those lucky athletes.
Representing the hometown Reds, the New Jersey-born Frazier, defeated Joc Pedersen of the Dodgers, 15-14, in the final round, to become the 2015 Home Run Derby champ. To say that this was an entertaining duel would be an understatement.
The MLB implemented new rules into the Derby this year, giving batter 5 minutes to hit as many home runs as they can in that time span. Pedersen hit double digit home-runs in every round, his highest total coming in the finals. Frazier, using the momentum of the home town crowd, had 11 bombs at the 1 minute remaining.
At the 10 seconds mark, Frazier had tied it at 14, and on the final swing as time expired, his 15th just fell short of the wall, only making to the warning track.
Then he was blessed with 30 seconds of bonus time because of his 2 HRs that surpassed 425 feet, and that basically sealed it for him.
You didn't have to see whether or not Frazier hit a home run because the crowd would let you know when a ball was leaving the park.
In the final round, there were waves of eruptions after every swing.
The crowd became louder and louder until he finally hit that walk-off bomb, creating the loudest ovation in Great American Ball Park all season.
On his way to the Finals, Frazier defeated 2012 derby winner Prince Fielder in the first round with 14 dingers and Josh Donaldson in the semi-finals with 10, hitting the go-ahead home run in the final 10 seconds.
The 24-year old rookie, Pedersen, proved that he was a good selection for the Derby, defeating Manny Machado in the first round 13-12 and Albert Pujos 12-11.
Adding a time clock to the Derby was a great addition, primarily because it created suspense and excitement. I still appreciate the years where a batter would hit 15-20 home runs in 10 outs, but with the clock, it forced batters to swing almost every pitch. Even though they were competing to beat their opposition score, their main adversary was the clock.
Frazier's final round will go down in Derby history as one of the greatest moments ever. Before tonight, he was already a fan favorite in the city of Cincinnati, but tonight will elevate him to a new level. Frazier is the second player to win the Derby in his home park, Ryan Sanber of the Chicago Cubs winning at Wrigley Field 1990, one of the worst years in Derby history, only 5 total HRs from all contestants.
Frazier may not be the first to win it at home but he is the only one to win it in that fashion.
Frazier has cemented himself in Red's history. He'll have an opportunity to build his legend tomorrow night by winning All-Star Game MVP.
Corey Kluber finished the 2014 season as the American League Cy Young winner but in 2015 he has started the season 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA. He finally got his first win of the season in a dominant historical fashion.
Kluber struck out 18 batters in the Indians 2-0 victory over the Cardinals, who currently holds the leagues best record. Kluber only allowed one hit in 8 innings of work (113 pitches), a grounder single in the 7th inning to Jhonny Peralta. Ironically, Matt Holiday was the only batter who didn't strike out but he had to leave the game left after being hit by the first pitch he saw. Everyone else felt Kluber wrath.
It was only a matter of time before Kluber ended his slumped and I can't think of a better way to end it than with 18 stikeouts on the best team in the majors. In the process, he tied Cleveland legend, Bob Feller for most K's in a 9-inning game in Indains' franchise history. Even more Ironic, Feller was being honored than night with the opening of his exhibit, here is what Kluber had to say about tying the hall of famer,
The last time the Orioles played in front of a home crowd was April 26th. The last time they played at Camden Yards was April 29th before having to move their home series against the Rays to Tampa because of the unrest in Baltimore. Even though it has only been 2 weeks, it seem like forever since the Orioles has played at home in Camden Yards. I decided to attend “Re-Opening Day” and I can say that seeing the O's take the field gave me a sense of normalcy, which I think this entire city needed.
Ironically, the Orioles home opener this season was against the Blue Jays, Toronto winning 12-5, but tonight in “Re-Opening Day” the O's defeated the Blue Jays 5-2 for their 14th win of the season. Orioles currently sit 4th place in the AL East, 5.5 games behind the 1st place Yankees.
O's got off to a fast start thanks to Ubaldo Jimenez 1-2-3 inning, striking out the Blue Jays first three batters on 17 pitches. Jimenez was awarded the win and MVP honors for his performance, striking out 9 batters, and only allowing 2 earned runs in 7 innings of work. This was probably one of Ubaldo's best games as an Oriole, along with his performance in the “No Fans Game”. So far this season, Ubaldo 3-0 at Camden Yards with a sub-2.50 ERA, and 23 strikeouts in 21 innings. He hasn't lost at Camden Yards since June 13th 2014 against the Blue Jays.
The momentum continued into the bottom of the first, Orioles scoring 3 runs off of 2 long-balls. Manny Machado hit a leadoff home run (6th) to the bleachers and Chris Davis hit a 2-run bomb (8th) to the exact same area Manny hit his.
The Blue Jays would get on the board in the 6th and 7th inning, Ezequiel Carrera knocking in both RBIs off his 2 doubles. Baltimore enemy #1 Jose Bautista wasn't in the lineup tonight but he did pinch hit in the 9th inning but grounded out to end the game, Zach Britton claiming his 7 save of the season.
This was a necessary win for the O's, who are still sitting under .500 ball, not only because of their slow start but to give the fans of Baltimore some much needed positivity. Last time I attended an O's game, I sat in the press box but today I bought a ticket and it felt good to sit and watch the ballgame as a fan and native of Baltimore. Joining in on chants, cheering during full counts, just being an Orioles fan, something you can't really do sitting in the press box. It is a great luxury being in there and an honor that I will never take for granted if given another opportunity but it's nothing like sitting in the bleachers or standing above the bullpens.