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Our only goal will be the western shore.
So now you’d better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day
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The Jays are back at square one. After being swept in Toronto, the D-Rays swept the hapless Royals, gaining 2 games in the standingsto lead the fifth place Blue Jays by 4 games.

Tampa Bay outscored Kansas City 18 to 3 over the three games. Tall lefthanded Mark Hendrickson tossed a 4-hit shutout, allowed but one unearned run. Rob Bell and 3 relievers combined on a 4-hit shutout to complete the sweep.

Josh Towers and John Halama are the scheduled starters.
A four day homestand, featuring two day games, and one of them is on a holiday!
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In a rather dismal season for the Blue Jays, many of us have taken a keener interest in the minor leagues. As my own knowledge of Blue Jays prospects has increased, so has my interest in the context of the stats being compiled by The Future.
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Is there any better kind of science?
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Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who's right and who's wrong
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A new Hall of Names today - this time, we're going with all-animal names. I won't restrict anyone in coming up with Hall of Names teams with an animal theme, but I will start us off with an all-dog-nickname team...

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Sometimes I feel so clear
Just like the way we always were
So young and free from fear
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So who was that bright spark who was talking about a sweep of the Yankees just two days ago? Tonight, the Blue Jays will try to avoid being swept themselves, as veteran anchor Miguel Batista faces off against resuscitated ex-Cub Jon Lieber. But in truth, the Jays could have won both of these past games: a comeback and extra-inning squeaker that could've gone either way on Monday, and a combination of no RISP hits and poor relief pitching last night. Moral victories, unfortunately, don't register in the W column. Interesting note: Alex Rios leads off tonight, as Reed Johnson moves down to the 6th spot. Rios is not a good long-term bet to bat leadoff, but as a hot hitter with wheels, he makes as much sense as anyone right now.
With the MLB trading deadline just days away (midnight on July 31st), there's a wide range of players rumoured to be on the move, though the talent level thins rapidly past the top few. From the almost certain (Randy Johnson) to the highly unlikely (Carlos Delgado), there are enough rumours to keep the hardest of die-hard trade junkies close to their computers for the next few days. This thread will be the catch-all Batter's Box place to discuss rumours, report on deals, and calculate winners and losers.
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Oh God said to Abraham, “kill me a son”
Abe says, “man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “no.” Abe say, “what?”
God say, “you can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me coming you better run”
Well Abe says, “where do want this killin’
God says, “out on Highway 61.”

-Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited

Well, for me it was the Interstate 95, rather than Highway 61, which was the route to my crisis of faith.

I must preface all of this by saying that I have always been a Toronto Blue Jays fan. I was first introduced to baseball as a young child in, say, 1986 or 1987, and the rabidity of my Jays fanship has never before wavered.
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And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know
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Game Two of the Yankees series sets up a rematch of last week's scoreless battle in New York, as Ted Lillly and Orlando Hernandez try to repeat their sterling performances. Here's betting that El Duque can't find another 10 Ks to hang on the Jays this time around. One hundred games into the season, Toronto is reduced to playing spoiler against the best teams; after last night's near-miss, they have a pretty good chance of succeeding in that role tonight.
Okay, so I'm in some rough shape this week.
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To have you knock me back down again and again!
And when I ask you to explain, you say
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