Fanning the flames of nostalgia at Rogers Centre

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:37 PM ET

It was all about living in the past at the Rogers Centre Thursday.

First, former Expos manager Jim Fanning was kibitzing with media prior to the game. Fanning is filling in on Jays’ radio broadcasts for Alan Ashby.

George Bell showed up in shades to throw out the first pitch. A strike. “Better control than Kyle Drabek,” muttered a denizen of the press box.

Meantime, the dining room behind the press box got a facelift during the all-star break, with murals featuring headlines and reproductions of newspaper pages of the club’s greatest success.

There also was J.P. Arencibia wearing a platinum blonde wig with a pink headband as part of 1980s night.

BULLPEN BLUES

The whodunnit show that has been the Blue Jays’ closer situation continues with Jon Rauch now back in charge. “He will be our closer,” manager John Farrell said Thursday.

What Farrell says a week, a month, or a couple games from now has to be even a mystery to him. Toronto’s bullpen has blown 20 of 35 save chances entering play last night.

Eight pitchers have appeared in save situations but none have shown any consistency. Rauch has seven of 10 saves with Frank Francisco converting 10 of 14.

HELP AT HAND?

Casey Janssen could be back in the bullpen by next Tuesday. There even is some thinking he could eventually end up in the closer role. He converted his only chance before going on the DL with a strained right forearm.

Janssen will make back-to-back rehab appearances this weekend in Dunedin and if there’s no recurring physical problems he could be cleared to play.

Janssen has closer possibilities. In his first 22 outings, Janssen posted a 1.61 ERA and held opponents to a .200 batting average. It was only when his arm started bothering him that, in six June appearances, the ERA ballooned: 8.44 with opponents hitting .360.


Videos

Photos