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Some good pitching, not nearly enough good hitting, and 3 wins in 7 tries down on the farm on a night when "promotions" were the key word -- and not the kind where the first 500 fans get free passes to see Catwoman at the Plaza Theatre.
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And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought Id got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
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Part 7: Current Score - Mercenaries 5, Blue Jays 1
And the grass is green
Under the three feet of the snow, I mean
This is a day when it's hard to wear a frown

Unless you're Kerry Ligtenberg, of course, who wound up wearing the goat horns in yesterday's 6-3 loss to Cleveland. Ligtenberg, to his credit, refused to use the excuse that the handling of the bullpen, as well as the left-handed nature of the batters he was asked to face, represented questionable decision-making. Still, it would be nice not to have to hear stoic acceptances of responsibility for losses so often. Here are the game reports:
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The Blue Jays traded Josh Phelps to the Indians for AAA 1B Eric Crozier (.297, 20 HR, 53 RBI).

Gabe Gross has been recalled to fill the roster spot.
Scott Carson has just reported that:
    "Josh Phelps has been traded to the Cleveland Indians for AAA 1B Eric Crozier (.297, 20 HR, 53 RBI)...Gabe Gross has been recalled..."

More details will be added when they come in. This hasn't shown up anywhere else yet. Thanks for the heads up Scott!
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Part 6. Current score: Mercenaries 4, Blue Jays 1
Talent abounds in the Jay minor league system, from mostly raw talents drafted in 1999-2001 by the Ash/Wilken team to more finished products chosen in 2002-2004 by Ricciardi and his team. This is the first year of Rule 5 eligibility for the 2002 college drafts. Some of the earlier drafts have made big leaps this year. Keeping as much as possible of this talent through the Rule 5 draft is a challenge. Here's an early look at some of the decisions that will have to made by the team.
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It's David Bush against Cleveland's Chad Durbin in a rare mid-season Thursday afternoon game at the Dome. Equally unusual occurrences: Josh Phelps gets a start at 1B, Kevin Cash starts at catcher, and Chris Woodward starts, period. Reed Johnson returns to left field, but not to leadoff: that position is occupied today by Frank Menechino. This isn't the strongest defensive alignment the Jays could field, so if Bush gets his usual assortment of grounders, he may have to record a few four-out innings. Enjoy the game.
Break out the sunscreen, unfold the lawn chair in the backyard, and settle down to some heavy summertime reading. The July Blue Jays Farm Report all 11,000 words of it is here.
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Swallowed up in symbols
Wanting what I don't need
If sympathy's the answer
I'll have temporary cancer
But that's not what I'll have you believe

The Indians finally found their can-opener, and were therefore able to open that vacuum-sealed tin of whup-ass on the Blue Jays last night. With Pat Hentgen's retirement, Josh Towers has seemingly taken over the role of dispensing refreshingly candid assessments of his bad performances. To wit:
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The heat of the long summer has got too many people hot and bothered. Couldn't you use a little ice-cold amusement? Wouldn't you like to vent your frustrations by using a large club to hammer a defenceless penguin into the stratosphere? Of course you would! If you haven't yet experienced the joy of YetiSports, click to their home page and start with "Stage 1: Pengu Throw." My personal best is 319.1 metres; can you top it? And while you're at it, find out just how poorly you'd do against major-league pitching by stepping into a whole other kind of batter's box. And if anyone has links to other good online baseball diversions, please add them here. Enjoy.
All the world is Babylon
And all the love and everyone
A ship of fools sailing on

So, was it ball four or strike three? Frank Menechino thought it was low, and the umpire agreed, and the Jays caught a break for once this season. But the credit for last night's win should be spread evenly throughout the lineup, including Carlos Delgado's clutch, game-tying two-run homer. Read all about it, and more:
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The Blue Jays will be going for the sweep tonight, but they could be in tough. The Indians are sending Jake Westbrook, one of their most consistent starters (8-5, 3.18) against Josh Towers, who went 4-0, 2.60 in July but who is always around the plate -- not necessarily a good thing against this powerful Cleveland lineup that loves to swing the bat.

To pass the time till the game starts: let's say that Ted Rogers has bought Skydome and put you in charge of making this stadium as fan- and baseball-friendly as possible. Your budget is limited. While there are certain things (installing grass, for instance) that you can't do, virtually everything else -- music, concessions, ushers, entertainment, Jumbotron, etc. -- is at your disposal. We often complain about the Dome hereabouts -- how would you make it better?
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me

Like Rasputin, these Jays don't give up so easily. A thumping good time at Skydome yesterday as the Boys in White and Grey knocked off the Indians 6-1. Get all the details from:
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