The latest from the Dunedin renovation

They might just have thought of everything during the reconstruction of Dunedin Stadium at Grant Field spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays.  This photo shows the construction of a rest stop on the walkway halfway  between the foul poles located behind the stadium’s batter’s eye.  Hopefully no one will have any problems seeking relief  as they use the facilities in front of a seated crowd of possibly over five thousand. –-PHOTO AND TEXT FROM EDDIE MICHELS.

Blue Jays Smoak, Buchholz among 131 free agents.

For Immediate Release 

131 Players Become XXB Free Agents

https://www.mlbplayers.com/2019-xxb-free-agents

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 — Here is a list of 131 XX B free agent players. Additional players may become eligible for free agency pending option decisions in their Uniform Player Contracts.

Arizona Diamondbacks (4): Alex Avila, Jarrod Dyson, Yoshihisa Hirano, Adam Jones

Atlanta Braves (11): Jerry Blevins, Francisco Cervelli, Joshua Donaldson, Adeiny Hechavarria, Matthew Joyce, Dallas Keuchel, Christopher Martin, Brian McCann, Darren O’Day, Anthony Swarzak, Joshua Tomlin

Baltimore Orioles (1): Mark Trumbo

Boston Red Sox (6): Andrew Cashner, Jhoulys Chacín, Brock Holt, Mitchell Moreland, Steve Pearce, Rick Porcello

Chicago Cubs (8): Nick Castellanos, Xavier Cedeno, Steven Cishek, Cole Hamels, Brandon Kintzler, Jonathan Lucroy, Pedro Strop, Ben Zobrist

Chicago White Sox (5): Jose Abreu, Ross Detwiler, Jonathan Jay, Ivan Nova, Hector Santiago 

Cincinnati Reds (2): Jose Iglesias, Alex Wood       

Cleveland Indians (3): Tyler Clippard, Ryan Flaherty, Yasiel Puig

Colorado Rockies (2): Yonder Alonso, Drew Butera

Detroit Tigers (5): Gordon Beckham, Edwin Jackson, Jordy Mercer, Matthew Moore, Tyson Ross 

Houston Astros (8): Robinson Chirinos, Gerrit Cole, William Harris, Martin Maldonado, Collin McHugh, Wade Miley, Hector Rondon, Joe Smith

Kansas City Royals (0):

Los Angeles Angels (1): Trevor Cahill

Los Angeles Dodgers (4): David Freese, Richard Hill, Russell Martin, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Miami Marlins (3): Curtis Granderson, Martin Prado, Neil Walker

Milwaukee Brewers (5): Matt Albers, Gio González, Jay Jackson, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz

Minnesota Twins (6): Jason Castro, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Sergio Romo, Jonathan Schoop

New York Mets (6): Luis Avilan, Brad Brach, Rajai Davis, Todd Frazier, Rene Rivera, Zack Wheeler

New York Yankees (7): Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner, Cory Gearrin, Didi Gregorius, Cameron Maybin, Austin Romine, CC Sabathia

Oakland A’s (3): Brett Anderson, Homer Bailey, Tanner Roark

Philadelphia Phillies (8): Corey Dickerson, Tommy Hunter, Bradley Miller, Logan Morrison, Juan Nicasio, Sean Rodriguez, Drew Smyly, Nick Vincent

Pittsburgh Pirates (3): Melky Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, Francisco Liriano

St. Louis Cardinals (5): Anthony Cingrani, Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha, Adam Wainwright, Matt Wieters           

San Diego Padres (1): Craig Stammen

San Francisco Giants (4): Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval, Will Smith, Stephen Vogt

Seattle Mariners (3): Felix Hernandez, Tommy Milone, Arodys Vizcaino

Tampa Bay Rays (3): Travis d’Arnaud, Avisail Garcia, Eric Sogard

Texas Rangers (3): Logan Forsythe, Hunter Pence, Edinson Volquez

Toronto Blue Jays (2): Clay Buchholz, Justin Smoak

Washington Nationals (9): Asdrubal Cabrera, Brian Dozier, Jeremy Hellickson, Daniel Hudson, Howard Kendrick, Gerardo Parra, Anthony Rendon, Fernando Rodney, Jonny Venters

—30—

DWANE CASEY: “Our individual defense was lacking. Any time you have team shooting 59 percent, I don’t care if it’s Pascal (Siakam) or whoever is out there, you aren’t doing your job. Then on top of it you turn the ball over 20 times for 20 points, that’s the ball game. Pascal had a heckuva game tonight. Their offense is playing at a high level with a lot of confidence.”

(2-3) DETROIT PISTONS, 113 VS. (4-1) TORONTO RAPTORS, 125

SCOTIABANK ARENA WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2019

DETROIT PISTONS QUOTES

DWANE CASEY (HEAD COACH)

On the game… Our individual defense was lacking. Any time you have team shooting 59 percent, I don’t care if it’s Pascal or whoever is out there, you aren’t doing your job. Then on top of it you turn the ball over 20 times for 20 points, that’s the ball game. Pascal had a heckuva game tonight. Their offense is playing at a high level with a lot of confidence. That being said, you have got to go out there and compete and not wait to attack. I thought they attacked us. Our transition defense was not resilient.

On the Raptors’ defense … Well again, they blitzed us. Derek’s hamstring got sore so we had to get him out. Again, we shot 46 percent from three. If you do that, it’s pretty good. It doesn’t matter who is scoring, we have got to move around. We had 30 assists. Again, it all goes back to the defense.

THON MAKER (Eight points, three rebounds) Was there a communication issue on defense or was it a matter of not sprinting back? It was a mixture of both. We’ve made it a point of emphasis on sprinting back, especially on the breaks and when a shooter is going up for a shot, guys that are not crashing for the boards gotta get back and help those guys out. Teams are getting faster and faster.

On playing in Toronto … It’s pretty special being able to see family and friends, so anytime I can come back here it’s a great feeling.

What is the scouting report on a guy like Siakam coming into the game? It’s gotta be solid. We want to hold him to his weak spots and trust the defense behind you. He continues to grow and expand his game. He makes everyone more dangerous.

SVI MYKHAILUK (Nine points, one rebound)

What makes the Raptors so difficult to defend? It’s a good team. We didn’t really play great on defense. When we started catching up it was too late.

On (Pascal) Siakam … It’s hard to stop him. Once he’s confident and he gets going- I feel like any player who gets confidence and gets it going, they’re going to keep getting more opportunities to score.

“That one I wish common sense prevails. Because I actually side with (Trea) Turner on this one, that I didn’t think that he was getting in the way of anything. It was an errant throw.” –AJ HINCH.

Q. Would you like to see the base running rule altered, changed? It caused a lot of talk around it.
AJ HINCH: I know there is a lot of talk around it. And I understand the dilemma that everybody is in. Like anything, the whole basis of the replay system or when you start changing rules, is to try to get it right. And it’s hard. We get so many different looks at it nowadays in video and replay and high definition. The umpires are making a call right at the moment. And when they’re not reviewable — I don’t know if he would change his mind if he had it to do over again.

But anything that’s gray area is tough to get on board with. We want this black-and-white decision-making process. Whether that’s about the computerized strike zone or whether it’s about rules or whether it’s about the base running, I can see where it’s at.

That one I wish common sense prevails. Because I actually side with Turner on this one, that I didn’t think that he was getting in the way of anything. It was an errant throw.

The process of trying to get it right I think we can always sharpen.

“I’m so proud of all these guys and what they’ve done. I’ve asked them to do things that they, I’m sure, are not comfortable, and they did them, no questions asked. Corbin being one of them. Corbin pitched out of the bullpen. Today we were thinking he would get one inning. He went out for one inning, we asked him if he could go out another inning, he said, yeah. Asked him again if he could go out for a third inning, he says, Whatever you need. After the third inning I said, I think we got you covered. Great job. That’s what I get with that bunch of guys.” — DAVE MARTINEZ.

October 30, 2019
Dave Martinez
Houston, Texas – postgame 7

Washington – 6, Houston – 2

Q. If you could, I asked you a few minutes ago, if you can answer in English and Spanish, what it means to you to be the second Puerto Rican manager in a row to win a World Series.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Just overall just to be a manager who gets an opportunity to even play in the World Series, and now to win it, what an unbelievable feeling. Honestly, it still hasn’t hit me yet, but I can tell you I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling a whole lot different.

(Answer in Spanish.)

MODERATOR: Congratulations on bringing home the first World Series title to Washington since 1924. Amazing.

DAVE MARTINEZ: Thank you.

Q. For both Rendon and Kendrick, what has enabled them to time after time come through this month in the key situations?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, you know, there’s guys in a big moment you want up there. And those are two guys that when a big moment arises, you want them up there. And they’ve come through all year long for us in big ways. They have the knack to just stay calm and do what they need to do. And you saw that tonight.

Q. How close was Max to being his usual stuff? It looks like he was moving sort of uncomfortably out there, missing a little going inside-outside?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Hey, Max is a bulldog. We saw him earlier. His location wasn’t as crisp as he wanted it to be. He fought through some unbelievable innings and he kept us in the ball game. That’s all we can ask from Max.

He had 102 pitches. He said, Hey, I’ll give you another inning if you need me. I said, Max, you did a great job, you kept us in the ball game. We’ll get this, we’ll figure it out. We’re going to win this game.

But what a fantastic job he did.

Q. Just to follow up on what makes Soto and Rendon so great under pressure. What is it about them personally that sort of keeps the ice water in the veins? Is that at all times or is it in clutch moments?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, there’s two different sides of the spectrum. You look at Rendon who has no heartbeat. He’s just the same guy every day, every play, every second. And then you look at Soto, who’s a 20-year-old — well, a 21-year-old now, he had his first beer tonight, which is kind of nice (laughter). But you look at a 21-year-old kid that’s just out there having fun like he’s playing stick ball in the backyard. That’s who he is. He loves the moments. He loves going up there and picking up his teammates.

Like I said, you add Howie in there, you add — even Zimm, you know, who missed all this year and all of a sudden he comes back and we’re playing for something and he’s just part of it. He just stepped up and wanted to be a part of it and came up with some big hits of his own.

I’m so proud of all these guys and what they’ve done. I’ve asked them to do things that they, I’m sure, are not comfortable, and they did them, no questions asked. Corbin being one of them. Corbin pitched out of the bullpen. Today we were thinking he would get one inning. He went out for one inning, we asked him if he could go out another inning, he said, yeah. Asked him again if he could go out for a third inning, he says, Whatever you need. After the third inning I said, I think we got you covered. Great job.

That’s what I get with that bunch of guys.

Q. Soto’s walk was really a pivotal point in that seventh inning. Can you talk about how Greinke looked to you up to that point and were you glad to get him out of the game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Greinke is an unbelievable pitcher. I’ve seen him, I’ve been on other teams where we had to face him. It’s not an easy at-bat. He throws strikes, he throws strikes with all his pitches.

When I played and faced guys like that, I would always call them a comfortable 0-4. Because you think you’re going to be on him, and you hit a ball and you don’t really get any good wood. And Soto getting the walk, but then Anthony hitting a big home run, I think that was, to me, that was the key. I mean, he really opened it up right there. I saw the guys, they felt like they had life, we’re down 1. We still got a lot of game to play, and then you saw their bats getting better.

But Greinke, man, he was incredible. Not only this time but the outing before he was really good.

Q. 19-31 start, 5-0 in elimination games, winning every game on the road in the World Series. Has this got to be the craziest route to the World Series title? And how do you feel about that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: This year, I can honestly say nothing would have surprised me. I mean, from where we started, traveling “boos,” you name it, we’ve been through a lot.

But like I said before, these guys, we stuck together. They believed in each other. I believed in them. And I told them before the game, I said, Hey, I want you guys to just treat this as just another game, it’s Game 184, which is hard to do. I said, But we made it this far, just play one more game. One more 1-0, and they did that tonight.

Q. On Howie, when he gets hurt last year, at his age a lot of people wouldn’t come back anywhere nearly what they were. But he always had the sunny disposition, worked hard. Did you have any doubts that he’d be even better than he was before?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, I saw him last year, he came in last year, he knew he was out for the year. This guy worked unbelievably last year to get back and then come to Spring Training. When he showed up at Spring Training we thought he wasn’t going to be able to do much. He played. He was ready to play from day one. He was ready to go and I had to kind of ease his way, to say, Hey, look, one, you’re not a spring chicken anymore. And two, We’ve got to ease your way back. We want you for the duration of the year.

A testament to how hard he worked. Howie is a true professional. You see him on the field what he does, but what he does in that clubhouse with those guys is unbelievable. And you can’t replace that. You really can’t. He’s been one of the heart and souls of this team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




“Let’s be honest, there’s 28 other teams that would love to have our misery today. We play to get here. We play to have an opportunity to win it all. And I just told our team, it’s hard to put into words and remember all the good that happened because right now we feel as bad as you can possibly feel.” — AJ HINCH.

October 30, 2019

AJ Hinch

Houston, Texas – postgame 7

Washington 6, Houston 2

Q. You took the lead against Max but so many hard-hit balls went right to gloves. Was there any feeling of frustration at that point, that maybe you had squandered something there?
AJ HINCH: We don’t have time in Game 7 of the World Series to be frustrated. I think — I said this a number of times this series, you just give yourself as many opportunities as you can. If you give yourself enough you’re going to find your way out of it a little bit.

I thought when Carlos hit the ball down the line that was like that exhale moment where you’re, Man, we finally got one. But it clearly wasn’t enough.

You give yourself enough — especially with a guy like Max who’s given everything he can on the mound. We left multiple base runners on every inning it felt like. I don’t know.

It never got frustrating because you don’t have time. You can’t allow yourself to get caught up in that. But we were pretty upbeat obviously until the latter third of the game.

Q. Can you talk about Zack’s performance and what he gave you today?
AJ HINCH: He was incredible. Absolutely incredible. I thought he came into the game and got through the first, and that was good. I think he did everything we could have asked for and more. He executed pitches. He was in complete control of the game. He made very few mistakes. At the end, the home run to walk was really the only threat. He fielded his position incredibly well. He controlled contact.

It’s just a super performance by him.

Q. Would you have left Zack in if he had gotten Soto out and not walked him?
AJ HINCH: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t leave him in. But I’m not sure what I would have done. There’s no real what-ifs and things like that.

Q. We saw Gerrit up and tossing a couple of times in the bullpen. Was he available tonight?
AJ HINCH: Obviously, yeah. He’s not throwing a bullpen.

Q. I guess what made you go with the guys you went with as opposed to him?
AJ HINCH: I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead. He was going to help us win. He was available, and I felt it was a game that he was going to come in had we tied it or taken the lead. He was going to close the game in the 9th after I brought Osuna in had we kept the lead.

Q. The bullpen seemed a little bit weak tonight. Do you have —
AJ HINCH: It wasn’t weak. I’d change your word in whatever you’re going to do.

Q. Sorry. Do you have any prospects you were looking at for pitching?
AJ HINCH: Prospects?

Q. Prospects you’re looking at for recruiting the farm system.
AJ HINCH: We’ll see. I’m not sure. We’ll get into that in the offseason.

Q. Just wanted to get a little bit more clarity on why you decided to take Greinke out so early. Was it the Rendon home run?
AJ HINCH: I’m not sure it was early. It was in the 7th inning and he was getting up into the 80s. We asked him to do more today than he had done, and pitched deeper into the game more than he had done in the entire month of October. I wanted to take him out — a bat or two early rather than a bat or two late.

Kendrick and Cabrera was where I had really focused on Will Harris at that point. Will has been tremendous for us. I knew I had Osuna, I knew I had Gerrit if need be. Will coming in to spin the breaking ball, he got the swing and miss, then he hit a ball off the foul pole in the right field and off they go.

It’s a decision I’ll have to live with. I’ll think about it. And I don’t know what would have happened had I left him in. But that was kind of where I targeted based on where the game was going and what we had available to us.

Q. You guys have been so good in this ballpark the whole season, for years, really. How hard is it to believe that you were not able to win a home game in the World Series?
AJ HINCH: It’s easy to me. I just lived it. It’s not that hard for me. I just lived it.

The Nats are really good. Congratulations to them. Rizz and Davey and the coaching staff, the players. This is about the Nationals. So this isn’t about not performing at home or anything that we didn’t do. I come away incredibly impressed by the team that we played and got beat by.

Q. Just in terms of Gerrit Cole, he’s a pending free agent, just looking back on the two years that you were with him, what will you remember the most about him and how kind of sad is tonight for you in regards to that?
AJ HINCH: You know, I think it’s hard to kind of fast-forward. Seasons end really fast. I don’t care if you get all the way to the 7th game of the World Series. It’s all of a sudden, boom, it’s over.

I’ve got a group of heartbroken men in there that did everything they could to try to bring a World Series championship to this city. And we fell one win shy.

I’m not sure I’ve had the time to really think about it other than Gerrit is one of my favorite players I’ve ever been around. The way — his dominance, how he prepares, how he cares. Wanting to do anything tonight. With all that was on the line, he and I had an incredible conversation about what he was willing to do to win the World Series. And that means a lot to me, it means a lot to this team, and he’s meant a lot to this franchise.

Q. Obviously not the outcome that you wanted, but what can you say to the fans that came here and gave you all the energy they could?
AJ HINCH: Our fans were incredible, all the way to the end they were trying to give us a little shot in the arm there as we fell behind and stay with it. This has turned into an incredible place to play, to manage, to come to a game, to be around the ballpark here. I think the fans did everything that we could ask and more. They were incredible throughout this entire postseason of us trying to bring a championship to them.

Q. You talked a lot about Will this series, what he means to you and how well he’s pitched. How hard was it to watch him go through that and sit in the dugout, obviously a lot going through his head at that point?
AJ HINCH: I’ll try to find some time to spend with him. Because I hate that for him and for us that his last feeling this season is about as low as you can feel coming out of Game 7 of the World Series.

He’s answered the bell so many times, he’s gotten us out of so many jams. He’s been a go-to guy. He’s a stand-up guy. He’s somebody that you can certainly be proud. If you ever want to wear his jersey, you ever want to collect his baseball card, you ever want to go somewhere where he’s doing something good in the community, then you’re absolutely on the right track.

Q. You guys had moments this season, even in Nationals Park, where men on base, runners in scoring position was a huge strength. Here tonight again it was an issue. Is there anything recurring you saw or facing that Nats pitching staff?
AJ HINCH: Yeah, a little bit of everything. There were times — it’s hard, I don’t want to give you the standard answer, but there’s times where it was chasing out of the zone, there was times where we hit the ball really hard. There were times where they beat us. There’s times where we could have been trying to do too much. Across the gamut of reasons.

But it’s just our reality. That’s how it was. You go through stretches like that during the season and it kind of gets looked past. But you go through it in the World Series… Now, I would rather have the opportunity and fail than never have anybody on base, and we’re talking about pure dominance by their pitching staff. You’ve got to keep trying to give yourself opportunities. It doesn’t feel good when you leave all those guys on base.

That was a big difference in the World Series.

Q. Obviously only at the end of the season one team is really happy, the one that wins it all. Can you talk about, I know it just ended, just this season and the fact you fell short, but what it meant?
AJ HINCH: Let’s be honest, there’s 28 other teams that would love to have our misery today. We play to get here. We play to have an opportunity to win it all. And I just told our team, it’s hard to put into words and remember all the good that happened because right now we feel as bad as you can possibly feel.

I’m proud of these guys. I’m proud of the season. It’s impossible to call a season in which you reach Game 7 of the World Series and have the lead going into the 7th inning as not good. It was an incredible season for us.

It feels really bad. This is going to sting for a really long time, and it should. But when everything, the dust settles, we’ll be very proud of the season we had, albeit one win short.

Q. I wanted to ask your thoughts on Max Scherzer pitching in stressful moments.
AJ HINCH: We put a lot of heat on him. We made him work. He had almost 20 pitches an inning. We had guys on base. We hit the ball hard. We didn’t chase that much. There was a lot of good that we — almost similar to how we were in Game 1 against him where we just made him earn every out that he got.

I’ve always been impressed by Max Scherzer from the day that I first met him back when we were both in Arizona. Congratulations to him on being a World Series Champion.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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