TORONTO - Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos reacted angrily this week to a false report that the Blue Jays had come to a secret agreement with first-round choice Tyler Beede before the draft, in contravention of baseball rules.
Anthopoulos is still seething, but he wishes he had just let the accusation roll off his back.
“I broke my own policy of commenting on rumours,” said Anthopoulos. “It was a momentary lapse of weakness for me. I pride myself on being able to take things in stride.
“But I don’t like the insinuation that we break rules. That’s where I felt the line was crossed. I just wish people would follow up a little bit more and be absolutely certain before they come out with these things.”
Armed with his new contract extension, Yunel Escobar returns for the first time to Atlanta where his penchant for playing the game with flair was not appreciated. In Toronto there has been no such tension, which has allowed him to achieve a comfort level with the Jays and they with him.
“It’s our job to understand what makes each individual tick,” said manager John Farrell. “You try to create the atmosphere that brings out the best in each guy. We’re reaping the benefits of a player who is feeling comfortable about himself.
“The one thing we have to be careful of is not to take the personality away from the player. We have to embrace that personality and yet find ways to meld it into the who makeup of the team.”
By opening his stance, Jose Molina has improved as a hitter, now batting over .300 with the occasional burst of power, such as Saturday night.
“When he’s in that open stance, seeing the pitcher with both eyes rather than just one, he’s become a threat with the bat,” said Farrell. “To his credit, he’s made himself into a much more productive hitter over the past two years.
“The one thing he shouldn’t do is sell himself short offensively because when you look at his last two years, he is a more valuable player and more than a traditional backup.”