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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:22 am 
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The Blue Jays have had some great managers over their history. Cito Gaston led them to back-to-back World Series titles and one day will be in the Hall of Fame. Bobby Cox guided the Jays to their first American League East title and post-season appearance in 1985 and will be enshrined in Cooperstown this summer. Yet, if you ask Toronto media types of a certain vintage which manager was the most intriguing, challenging, but engaging to deal with, the answer is invariably Jim Fregosi. He was irascible, cantankerous, funny and, at times, profane. He was a walking encyclopedia of baseball stories, warm and generous and had a kind of charisma that made him the centre of attention whenever he walked into a room. Jim Fregosi, a baseball lifer, passed away in the wee, small hours of Friday morning in a Miami hospital after being removed from life support only hours earlier. He had suffered multiple strokes while on a baseball alumni fan cruise last weekend in the Bahamas. He was 71 years old. Fregosi came to the Blue Jays in the spring of 1999 under difficult circumstances. He was brought to restore credibility to an organization that had just fired skipper Tim Johnson during spring training after just one season on the job. Johnson, though keeping the team in contention for a playoff spot until the final couple of weeks in 1998, effectively "lost" the team after his stories of war heroism in Vietnam proved to be total fabrication. Fregosi was a no-nonsense skipper, who was also a players manager as he showed during his years with the Philadelphia Phillies that peaked with the World Series loss to the Blue Jays in 1993. What I loved about him was his ability to take and give shots in a good natured way without letting things develop into an adversarial situation. That spring of 1998, I left my tape recorder running after a brief interview, as I knew he would continue answering questions from the beat writers from the Toronto papers. It was old school to talk with the writers separately. Fregosi looked at me and asked what I was still doing with the microphone in his face. I jokingly said "Because you always give the best stuff to the writers after the recorders are shut off." He shot me a glance that made me think I had crossed a line, but after a short pause, he just laughed and kept on talking. We seemed to get along well partly because I enjoyed hearing stories from his playing days when he was a star with the expansion California Angels or just getting his take on certain current-day players or changes hed like to see in the game. One time after leaving what was then Skydome, I was making the trek back to a parking lot about a mile or so away. Suddenly, a car started honking at me. It was Fregosi, wanting to know if I wanted a ride. Though I was about halfway to where I was going and it wasnt raining or anything, I jumped right into his car, just for an opportunity to share one of those "real" moments. Another time in Spring Training, on a drive to Fort Myers, I was driving along the Interstate at a pretty good clip when another car passed me. It was Fregosi laughing and waving, having opted to take his own car on the trip that day rather than the team bus. He was just fun to be around. He told me once about his huge collection of baseball memorabillia. He told me he didnt even know how much he had, just that he often donated items to different charities to auction off. There was one point during that 1999 season that I thought I had upset Fregosi. His attitude towards me seemed to change. He wasnt laughing and joking with me as much and his answers became curt and serious. After a couple of weeks of this, I mustered up my courage and went to his office at the ballpark to find out what was wrong. After I stated my case, he got up out of his chair, put his arm around my shoulder, laughed and said "Nothing is wrong, I just like messing with people." Well, he put it in much more graphic language than that. I laughed, too, and felt an immense sense of relief. Though the Blue Jays only finished third in each of Fregosis seasons and their combined record was just 167-157, they were at least in the conversation about making the playoffs, especially in 1999. After the 2000 season, with Rogers coming in as owners, Jim Fregosi was fired. In later years, it kind of reminded me of the way MLSE got rid of Brian Burke. It was Jim Fregosis last job as a Big League skipper. Fregosi really had a remarkable career. He was a six-time All-Star third baseman with the Angels after being selected from the Boston in the expansion draft in 1960. He won a Gold Glove and, though ultimately becoming a journeyman bench player, he stuck it out in the Majors for 18 seasons. Fans voted him the greatest Angel of all-time in a poll conducted in conjunction with MLBs 100th anniversary. One day after the Pittsburgh Pirates released him in 1978, he was hired to manage the Angels by their owner, the legendary "Singing Cowboy," Gene Autry. With Fregosi at the helm, the Angels won their first division title in 1979. He also managed the Chicago White Sox, the Phllies and the Blue Jays. He had worked in the front office of the San Francisco Giants and for the past 13 years as an advisor to the general manager with the Atlanta Braves. It was a shame that, as a player, he was often defined by the trade that sent him from the Angels to the New York Mets on December 10, 1971. The Mets gave up four players in that swap. Three didnt really pan out, but the other, Nolan Ryan, turned into one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. But Fregosi could even joke about that in his self-deprecating way, saying he was the key player in the deal and actually, at the time, the Mets thought he was. Jim Fregosi was not a Hall of Fame player, but when you look at his entire body of work, as a player, a manager and a front office type, I believe one day he deserves to find a place in Cooperstown. Adrian Peterson Saints Jersey . Modin, 36, tallied seven goals and three assists in 36 games with the Thrashers this season. The Sundsvall, Sweden, native has posted 232 goals and 230 assists in 894 career NHL games with Toronto, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Los Angeles and Atlanta and has appeared in 57 post-season contests, helping the Lightning capture the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship. Marshon Lattimore Saints Jersey . To be fair, the celebrations are already anything but tame. Nerf ball tricks shots are just the tip of the iceberg for a group that has performed in zero gravity, faced pro-skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and an assembled team on the MTV series "Fantasy Factory", and even hit a basketball trick shot from a passing blimp. http://www.authoritysaintsshop.com/trey ... rsey-c-66/. The weekend at Oriole Park has been less kind, with three players suffering varying degrees of injury. The worst ailment of the three, at least optically, is the deep bone bruise suffered by Adam Lind when he fouled a pitch off the top of his right foot in the sixth inning of Saturdays game. Marshon Lattimore Womens Jersey .The 24-year-old quarterback spent four seasons at Northern Illinois and in 2013 was a finalist for the Heisman, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in U. Ryan Ramczyk Womens Jersey . -- A year ago, Flavia Pennetta was close to retiring from tennis. SAN FRANCISCO -- Mix Diskerud figures the whole honour of wearing No. 10 is only temporary. He fully expects to play alongside Landon Donovan again down the road with the U.S. national team. For one night at least, Diskerud did that jersey proud. Diskerud and Aron Johannsson, a pair of second-half substitutes raised in Scandinavia, scored to lift a heavy-legged United States over Azerbaijan 2-0 on Tuesday night in the first of three World Cup warmups for the Americans. "Its an honour. A lot of great players have been wearing that No. 10 for the U.S. previously," Diskerud said. "Ill enjoy it. When it comes to Landon, Im sure that were going to be playing together again someday, and of course he has more caps than me so Im just borrowing the uniform right now." The U.S. needed a boost from the bench after captain Clint Dempsey was scratched just before kickoff because of a sore left groin. But the 14th-ranked Americans had trouble breaking down No. 85 Azerbaijan. Diskerud, born in Oslo to a father from Norway and mother from Arizona who met in college, entered in the 71st and scored four minutes later off Brad Davis free kick. With the ball high in the box, Diskerud headed it down to Michael Bradley, whose shot was cleared off the goal line by Elvin Yunuszade. Diskerud then banged the ball in with a right-footed shot 6 yards for his third international goal. "It deflected, and then it was just an easy job for me to score," Diskerud said. "I got tackled exactly when I was going to shoot, and I was just laying down on the ground in agony." He was wearing the No. 10 freed up when Donovan was cut from the roster last Thursday. Johannsson, who was born in Mobile, Alabama, and moved to Iceland with his family when he was 3, entered in the 62nd and scored his second American goal in the 81st with an open header from the top of the 6-yard box off a corner kick by Davis, who replaced Graham Zusi at the start of the second half. "I think we can be very happy with this game," Johannsson said. "Weve been working ridiculously hard in training." Tim Howard, making his 98th international appearance, got his 53rd win to tie Kasey Kellers U.S. record. The Americans began their intense two-week training camp May 14 at nearby Stanford University, and there appeared to be tired legs. "It was exactly what we need at this point of our preparation after two fully loaded weeks," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It was a tricky game. You want to open it up with a goal, and it gets easier. You want to score a bit earlier. Next up is a match Sunday against Turkey at Harrison, New Jersey, followed by a game with Nigeria six days later in Jacksonville, Florida. Then the Americans head to Brazil for their seventh straight World Cup appearance and first-round matches against Ghana, Portugal and Germany. "Its good to finally get going. Now we can play hard, recover, travel and go again,"t; Howard said.dddddddddddd"I thought it was good. I thought tonight was what we probably expected." The Americans arrived in a red-white-and-blue bus sporting the teams slogan: "One Nation. One Team." The focus was on Klinsmann, who made the controversial decision to cut Donovan, the American career scoring leader. Dempsey, slated to start up top with Jozy Altidore in a 4-4-2, was an unexpected absence. "We dont want to risk here anything," said Klinsmann, who estimated Dempsey would heal in two-to-three days. "Its not serious at all." Chris Wondolowski, a local fan favourite of the San Jose Earthquakes inserted in place of Dempsey, was stopped twice early by goalkeeper Kamran Aghayev, the first with a knee on a diving header in the fifth minute. Wondolowskis header off a cross from Alejandro Bedoya in the 15th was parried over the bar. "You have to be ready at a moments notice," Wondolowski said. "Thats why I was a bit disappointed not to find the back of the net. I had a couple of great opportunities that I need to find the corner and hit the back of the net." Azerbaijan, coached by U.S. team adviser Berti Vogts, was outscored 5-0 in a pair of World Cup qualifiers by Portugal. With wind whipping the corner flags early and even the ball out of place during restarts, a new-look U.S. defence was hardly tested. Fabian Johnson started at right back, with Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron as the central defenders, picked over Omar Gonzalez, who replaced Cameron in the second half. DaMarcus Beasley, looking to become the first American to appear in four World Cups, was at left back. Besler and Cameron played together in the middle once previously, against Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier last October. For the first time since 1990, the Americans have no central defenders with previous World Cup experience. Johnson started three games at left back last year but just once on the right -- in the clinching World Cup qualifier against Mexico in September. Klinsmann used a midfield diamond for the second straight game, with Michael Bradley at the top, Jermaine Jones deep, Zusi on the right and Bedoya the left. This match became the true final football game at Candlestick, former home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers through last season and baseballs San Francisco Giants until after 1999. NOTES: A foul by Azerbaijan D Evlin Yunuszade on Davis early in the second half appeared to be inside the box but was called a free kick by Costa Rican referee Henry Bejarano. ... Timmy Chandler played left back in the second half for his first appearance with the U.S. since a World Cup qualifier at Honduras in February 2013. ... Donovan was named MLS Player of the Week for his two-goal performance with an assist for the LA Galaxy in Sundays 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. ... Injured American MF Stuart Holden attended the game ... A Nike ball was used rather than the Adidas World Cup model. 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