Under a system that could put any two teams in the Stanley Cup final,

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Under a system that could put any two teams in the Stanley Cup final,

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MINNEAPOLIS - J. Paul Hornung .A. Happ returned to the Blue Jays in time for the clubs three-game series against the Twins. Hell be a long reliever for the foreseeable future, something with which hes not thrilled. "Its not necessarily what I prepared to do but if the phone rings and its me Im going to try and get guys out and take it from there," said Happ. "Other than that, I dont have a lot to say about the bullpen role." Happ entered spring training with a spot in the starting rotation. He pitched his way out of it, posting a 20.57 ERA in four appearances, battling inflammation in his back through most of March. After two poor outings, Happ was away from the club for two days, March 7-8, on what the Blue Jays termed "doctors orders" to remain off his feet. Happ returned and was no better in final two starts. The back issues, deemed to be a non-issue after Happs final appearance in a 22-5 loss to the Pirates on March 25, were the cause of his being placed on the disabled list the very next day. Happ made two rehab starts, one for Single-A Dunedin, the other for Triple-A Buffalo. With the Bisons, Happ struck out six hitters in 4 2/3 innings. The arrival of Happ, coupled with the optioning of catcher Erik Kratz to the Bisons, puts the Blue Jays back into an eight-man bullpen, three-man bench scenario. Another pitching decision is on the horizon with the impending return of closer Casey Janssen. Neil Wagner, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond and Happ are the four who could be realistically considered on the bubble. Both Rogers and Redmond are out of options. On merit, Redmonds earned the right to remain with the club. Happ has an option remaining but because he has more than five years of major league service time, he has the right to refuse assignment to the minor leagues. Rogers has given up four home runs in 8 1/3 innings of predominantly low leverage relief. However, he carries a $1.85-million ticket and is, indirectly, the asset the Blue Jays have from the John Farrell "trade" to Boston. Rogers was acquired from Cleveland for Mike Aviles, whom the Jays got from the Red Sox for Farrell, and Yan Gomes. Gomes, by the way, just signed a six-year extension with the Indians for $23-million. Or, the Blue Jays could simply option Neil Wagner back to Triple-A Buffalo, although that would fly in the face of any claim to stick with the best 25-man active roster. Manager John Gibbons trusts Wagner in high leverage, late-game situations but when Janssen is back, right-handers Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos will fill that role. The bullpen is, once again, a crowded place, and now includes a member who doesnt want to be there. "I see myself as a starter," said Happ. "I dont think thats any secret. I want to be a starter in the major leagues. Thats that." RASMUS PROGNOSIS GOOD Colby Rasmus wasnt in Tuesdays starting lineup, resting his left hamstring, which he tweaked in the fifth inning of Sundays win in Baltimore. "Im hoping to be in there (Wednesday,)" said Rasmus. "Come in (Wednesday) and see how it is. Got some good treatment in today and just going to go from there." The timing is unfortunate considering Rasmus recent offensive production. He hit home runs in both Saturdays and Sundays games and went 4-12 with three runs scored in the series with the Orioles. "I definitely feel much better today," said Rasmus. "I feel good about it. I dont feel like its something thats going to carry over. Just one day to get it right and hopefully (Wednesday) it will be good." REYES AND JANSSEN PLAY FOR DUNEDIN Jose Reyes and Casey Janssen made their first appearances for Single-A Dunedin on Tuesday night, the next step in their respective rehabilitation assignments. Reyes, coming back from a strained left hamstring, went hitless in four plate appearances but drew a walk, scored a run and drove in a run. He will play for Dunedin, again, on Wednesday and is expected to return to the Blue Jays on Friday, in time for a three-game weekend series in Cleveland. Janssen pitched the first inning, allowing a hit and striking out one batter. Theres no timetable set for Janssens return from an abdominal strain. Hell have at least one more appearance for Dunedin; then, maybe another. The Blue Jays are waiting to see how the injured area responds before determining how to proceed. WEATHER PROBLEMS Minnesotans are bracing for a rain-snow mix on Wednesday, which could threaten the second game of the series. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays. The Twins are to send right-hander Mike Pelfrey to the mound. Thursdays getaway day game is scheduled for 1:10 eastern time. This is the Jays only scheduled visit to Minnesota this season so if Wednesdays game is postponed it stands to reason the teams would play a doubleheader on Thursday. Jarrett Boykin . - Eries top line of Dane Fox, Connor Brown and Connor McDavid combined for six goals and 14 points as the Otters crushed the visiting Windsor Spitfires 9-0 on Sunday in Ontario Hockey League play. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix . Showing more spark after not taking enough challenging shots on goal in their 1-0 loss Friday night, the Bruins had 18 shots in the first period after managing just 25 in the entire opener. Luke Glendening cut Bostons lead to 2-1 at 13:20 of the second period before Milan Lucic scored late in the second and Zdeno Chara added a power-play goal early in the third.1) Play the first round as currently devised.2) Re-seed, according to regular-season points, the four first-round winners in each conference, and conduct the second round to create four Stanley Cup semi-finalists. Notice I didnt say four "conference winners". Thats because the conferences cease to exist at this stage.3) The third round will feature Stanley Cup semi-final matchups that are determined, once again, by re-seeding the four remaining teams according to their regular-season points. Obviously, then, teams from different conferences could be playing each other in round three, and just as obviously, two teams from the same conference could be the semi-final winners.4) Voila! A Stanley Cup final that could bring together any two of the 30 NHL teams.The Stanley Cup final should be the NHLs best attraction. It has the built-in difficulty of June dates that make it too easy for hockey fans of 28 other teams to ignore the two that are still playing, especially when those two are not rivals in any other sense. Davante Adams Jersey Green Bay Packers. So forgive me when I say that Los Angeles/New Jersey (2012) and Anaheim/Ottawa (2007) and Carolina/Edmonton (2006) were not what wed call "marquee matchups". Under a system that could put any two teams in the Stanley Cup final, such matchups could occur again. But they wouldnt occur as often if their odds of meeting were reduced by 50 per cent, and the introduction of odds allowing for an all-East or all-West Stanley Cup final would inject the playoffs with a difference that could be felt where it matters most—in the last series.If you like the idea, PASS IT ON! Meanwhile, heres David Bowie with "CHANGES". cheap jerseys cheap jerseys from china ' ' '

Posted by ldh2013

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