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As several loyal Bauxites have pointed out, ESPN has reported the Jays hosted a private workout for Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman in their Dunedin spring training facility with both of his agents present. Despite saying earlier in the offseason that the team wouldnít be a player for Chapman, Anthopolous and the front office likely must have some genuine interest in Chapman in order for him to agree to the private throwing session.
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Yup, a former Cubs GM is now in the fold.
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What have we missed in the past few days? Well ...

  • Sorry, Rangers fans ... Mike Lowell isn't going anywhere (except maybe the hospital) ...
  • Nick Johnson has returned the Bronx, likely to DH and to hit second ...
  • Nothing official yet, but Coco Crisp appears headed to Oakland. Can we start the "Coco/Beane" pun contest yet?
  • Ex-Jay Scott Rolen restructured his deal with the Reds and will earn $6 million in 2010, plus a $5 million signing bonus ... The club, in return, extended Rolen's contract  through 2012. He will earn $6.5 million in each of those two seasons.
  • Mike Gonzalez got a two-year extenstion from the Orioles ... The Phillies exercised the 2011 club option on SS Jimmy Rollins ... Javier Lopez signed with the Pirates, LaTroy Hawkins with the Brewers, Juan Pierre with the White Sox and Hideki Matsui with the Angels ...
    What else did we miss? And what do you think of these or any other possible moves around the sport?
So, what else has been going on in baseball land while the most interesting trade in the last ten years for the Blue Jays was being finalized? Well, there is one piece of news that I havenít seen raised anywhere that affects the Jays. John Lackey signed a 5 year, $82.5 million deal with Boston. While that's been reported, what I haven't seen mentioned, unless Iím mistaken, is that this signing echoes AJ Burnettís in more than just the dollar value. Because Boston signed Lackey it means the compensation pick the Jays receive for Scutaro will now be Bostonís second rounder and not their first. Just like last year, Torontoís ďAĒ free agent will only net them a second round pick and a supplementary pick, as opposed to a first-rounder.
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This is NOT a repeat. You know the drill ...

First pitch is in a few hours. You know the players and all that's involved. So take a shot here -- who wins? Who stars? Who wears goat horns? What happens?

Wildest and most outlandish prediction (that doesn't involve a cuttlefish) wins a home edition of the coveted Batter's Box No-Prize!

Me? Well ...

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First pitch is in a few hours. You know the players and all that's involved. So take a shot here -- who wins? Who stars? Who wears goat horns? What happens?

Wildest and most outlandish prediction (that doesn't involve a cuttlefish) wins a home edition of the coveted Batter's Box No-Prize!

Me? Well ...

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The beginning of September is usually when I start paying close attention to division races and Wild Card standings.  In looking at where things stand this morning, there really isn't a whole lot to talk about, is there?
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Hey, gotta take the positive wherever you can these days!
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The Dome's pretty quiet at 5:15.
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The deadline approacheth, and there are  trades to report.

The Red Sox deal for Victor Martinez seems to be final - Cleveland is apparently to receive Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Brian Price. (this is via tweets from SI's Jon Heyman, who also says the Red Sox will send Adam LaRoche back to Atlanta to clear a spot for Martinez.)

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Just another fun day in the baseball world Monday night and the Jays had nothing to do with it as they enjoyed the day off.

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The Red Sox, even with "Rescue Me" star Daniel Sunjata in the house, were not able to extinguish the red-hot flames emanating from the right arm of Roy Halladay.  With trade rumors continuing to circulate, Doc may have filled out his final prescription in a Jays overcoat by going the distance in a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at the Rog Mahal.

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Congratulations to Marc Rzepczynski on earning his first major league win as the Blue Jays downed the BoSox 6-2 Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.  Hopefully, the young lefty will go on to win more games than the last guy who wore #34.
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It's always depressing when they can't even win when Doc is on the hill. Let's change the subject.

UPDATE! BREAKING NEWS! Eric Hinske traded to the Yankees!

Say it ain't so, Dude.
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The Yankees just completed a season of dominance in New York, taking the season series from the Mets, 6-0. In that last game, Mariano Rivera trotted out of the bullpen in the eighth inning to nail down his 110th career save of more than three outs -- and, oh by the way, the 500th save of his magnificent, Cooperstown-bound career.

So here's the question ... Trevor Hoffman is still the all-time saves leader. Rich Gossage and Rollie Fingers are already in the Hall for their work in what was a different era for closers. Bruce Sutter recently joined them, perhaps representing the first real one-inning closer, or at least the natural transition from Hoyt Wilhelm and the Goose to Dennis Eckersley and Lee Smith.

But Rivera has done it on the world's biggest stage for his entire career -- none of the others mentioned were one-team guys, much less New York guys. Rivera has done it in the post-season, arguably better than anyone else ever has (with a respectful nod to Luis Gonzalez, natch).

So there's your question ... Mariano Rivera ... the greatest closer (career, not just one season or we'll get lost in the minutiae of really-goods like John Hiller and remember-him?s like Bobby Thigpen)  in major league baseball history?

And if not him, who?

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