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  Wed, September 8, 2004


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Crozier content to watch, learn
By MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

Eric Crozier's whirlwind season continues.

The slugging first baseman, obtained by the Blue Jays in last month's trade that sent Josh Phelps to the Cleveland Indians, has yet to start a game but has appeared in two since his September call-up.

While his first start should come against the Texas Rangers later this week in Arlington, Tex., Crozier, 26, is content to sit and watch Carlos Delgado.

With Delgado's future in Toronto uncertain, the temptation might be to look ahead to next season when Crozier has a realistic chance of being any every-day player.

But Crozier is concerned only about the present and absorbing all he can from Delgado, a soon-to-be free agent.

"I don't watch his situation," the soft-spoken Crozier said last night here in Anaheim, where the Jays began a six-game trip.

JOY TO WATCH

"I just watch him. He is a joy to watch. I told him the day I came up, 'Please don't get mad at me if I ask you a lot of questions.' He's one of the game's best and he has been willing to help whenever I ask him anything. So, I'm just watching him to learn. I really don't know what's going on (with his future in Toronto)."

The reality, though, is that Crozier's own opportunities are tied directly to Delgado.

FEELS WANTED

At least Crozier knows the Jays want him included in their future plans, which is a change from his time in Cleveland.

"How much of an opportunity, when the opportunity presents itself or even where it will come are still to be determined," Crozier said. "In Cleveland (with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons) I was hitting seventh and when I came over (joining triple-A Syracuse) I was immediately put in the four-hole. It just seemed like there were plans for me here.

"I really don't know if this opportunity (being a September callup) would have presented itself in Cleveland...It feels like (the Blue Jays) have a plan for me. It feels like they want me and it just makes you want to work that much harder for them."