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They wore black armbands to honour Gyorgy Kolonics

David Carroll – TSN. Hakeem Nicks Jersey .ca We had a lot of replies to the question and some good answers. Kirk Gibson got got some love as did Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield. There were a few big trade ideas and more than one thought on front office moves. Ill say sorry in advance as some of the comments had to be edited down a little.   Anyway, heres some of what we were sent. Thanks DC The Blue jays should stand pat for now. Its too early to panic. However letting Reed Johnson go and keeping Eckstein over McDonald could hurt in the long run – big mistake. Johnson is twice the sparkplug Eckstein is and twice the fielder that Lind or Stewart are – not too mention a better clutch hitter than all of the above. Look at his stats from 06 when he was healthy. However the core of this tean remains strong. Pitching is carrying them as expected, perhaps even deeper than expected with the emergence of Carlson and the return of Ryan. The return of Scott Rolen has added a solid veteran bat and a huge upgrade on defence over Glaus. Vernan Wells and his big contract remain the key to success as I see it for the Jays. As he goes so do the Jays. The Hills and Rioss will always hit… but Vernon needs to become THE MAN much like Manny or Ortiz in Boston or A-Rod in New York. Clutch hits and big hits = big contract. Earn your money Vernon … consistently please … and no more of the lacksadaisical shrugging of the shoulders and the “thats baseball” crap. Show some grit and lead this team or hand back the $126 million. This team has the potential, I believe in the Rolens and Halladays who give you everything the got every time the lace up – they call that being a professional, lets hope that Vernon can wake up and regain some of his lost spark and help push this team to the next level. Dale Linseman – Kitchener, ON I truly think Barry Bonds can do a lot of good things for the Blue Jays. He will bring a lot of fans to the stadium to watch and also help them climb their way in the standings. Barry is the most exciting player to watch play. In many peoples opinion he is the best player to play the game and can still hit the ball out of the park like a 20-year-old. Toronto is a great fit for Barry because in Canadian we believe in innocent until proven guilty and it is about time someone gives him a break. If Barry becomes a Blue Jay I will be watching every game! Jamie Matthews To me the answer is pretty simple – they need someone to hit the ball, preferably with runners in scoring position. We can pitch, defense is good and we even seem to get on base fairly often but we leave them stranded more often then not. Matt Stairs is pretty good but a DH? Probably not. Barry Bonds? Who knows? Maybe sitting out the first part of the season has made him hungry enough to be the player the Jays need. Is the chance that he will hit 30+ home runs worth the baggage? But is there anyone else around to fill the role? Denny My solution is fire the manager John Gibbons and move Ernie Whitt into that position. He is a proven go getter, he had success with Canadas National Team, he was a good agent for the team as catcher. Why look around? The man is in your back yard. He has fire to motivate. This is a team that lacks drive and motivation. Hire a coach from within that could add that flair. Don You look at this team and they are not an 11-17 team. No way. The ingredients are fine, its the cook that needs changing. Buck Showalter isnt the worst idea. Ditch Riccardis buddy Gibbons NOW before the 11-17 turns into 15-30 and theyre 13 games out, or more. Gibbons has had a pretty good squad all these years and the results have been “okay”. Time for managerial change. Raymond – Mississauga, ON To fix the Jays, Id put in place a face of the franchise/Captain/Leader, whatever you want to call him that has been there before. He would have won it all before bringing playoff/championship experience to carry the team on his back. The Jays have some good players/personnel but not the kind or enough of them that have won big time before. The ones they have are there as supporting cast to the “faces of the Jays” like Rios, Halladay, Wells, etc. Maybe it has to start with Gibby. Maybe he doesnt know what it takes to win in this league. Maybe JP doesnt know what mix of players can bring home a World Series title. Maybe JPs leash is too long and its time to reel him in. Maybe Bonds isnt that bad of an idea to take the spotlight away from the other players so they can concentrate on playing baseball and leave the rumors and speculation to fall on someone that has dealt with it pretty much his whole career. And we all know he can perform under pressure so this could breed confidence in the Jays clubhouse. Rod Lentino – Milton, ON The Jays need to sign Barry Bonds – plain and simple. We all know the cons to signing Barry – his attitude (even though you would rarely hear his teammates say anything bad about him), questionable health, the media circus, etc. But look at the pros. Hes arguably the best hitter of all time, hes a left-handed bat (which they need desperately), hes a power bat (which they need desperately), and maybe most importantly — he has some PERSONALITY. Some would say he has a bad personality. But hey … at least its different. When I look at this Jays team, I see the same laid-back, quiet personality with almost all of their players. Im not saying that is a bad thing on an individual basis, but a team needs variety. A team needs some guys who are vocal. If there is one thing we know about Barry, its that he is vocal.This guy is just too good of a hitter to sit here and not at least take a chance on him. If he doesnt work out, then he doesnt work out. At least you could say that you tried. Joey Schurman Lets start with Riccardi. We need a GM who doesnt interfere in daily stuff. That is for the manager to do. In my opinion, it may be wrong but I think Riccardi is calling all the shots and Gibbons is in the back seat. We should get rid of Gibbons, he has no backbone. Although he does get in the occasional fight with his players. Put Ernie in there, he is a proven winner with Canada in the World Baseball Classic. When you beat a dream team like the U.S. you are a proven winner. I also think we need a big bat or big name (Bonds). A big name would make everyone around them better. Thomas did it, I think we cut him loose too early. Even though he wasnt hitting the ball, his name is enough to scare most pitchers into not giving him too much to hit.We should go back to small ball, Im seeing a bit more this year, but not enough. Should be more bunting, more hit and runs, stealing, and so on. Not only does that create scoring chances, but also it drives the pitcher crazy, I do know this for I pitched for a long time. Aaron – Halifax, NS There is an expression that seems to have been reversed in the minds of the Blue Jays. It is go where I lead, not where I point. The key word “lead” appears to have evaporated right from Ricciardis office to the players themselves.We can ask ourselves, how much leadership does someone who is making in excess of $5-million a year need. Certainly there is some intrinsic responsibility that comes with such a lofty pay cheque. But perhaps that only holds true in an individual sport such as tennis where one only has themselves to look after.This however is a team sport and someone has to grab this group by the throat and shake them out of their collective doldrums. Obviously, Gibbons cant do it.There is certainly enough talent on this team and the addition of Bonds is not the answer. That would be the equivalent of torpedoing the Titanic on its way to the bottom.Gibbons needs to be replaced, as does the hitting coach. Pitching is not the problem.Generating runs is. Someone needs to bring an entirely new approach to this team and if players dont respond, bench them or trade them. Even Wells and Rios have to realize that trying to pull an 0 and 2 count with runners on is not acceptable Murray Pope – Windsor ON A certain sense of irony comes to mind in dubbing the 08 Jays up as J.P.s “dream team.” Who knew that it would be a nightmarishly bad dream, courtesy of an anemic offence which has provided more poo than pop through its collectively silenced bats. What this team lacks in offence it more than makes up for in the excuses department. The only one we havent heard is that the “team dog ate our homework.”Its time for everyone to quit pointing fingers and take a good, hard look in the mirror in terms of leading by example on the field.Truth be told, this team is in a fragile and rattled state, which is clearly supported by its dismal slide into the basement of the AL East standings. That in itself may be an indication that the Jays have lost confidence in their skipper John Gibbons and his often questionable wishy-washy game plan.And we all know what that will likely mean… a pink slip for Gibby! Kevin Laliberte – McLennan, AB Thirty games into the season with poor results after such a promising start indicates that the manager is not controlling the teams output. Gibbons needs to go or quickly change his style, far too often am I watching chances to run or hit a ball right down the middle of the plate and nothing happens except a called strike.Further down the road, JP needs to be replaced as well, he is now passed his five year plan. Stuart Sim The Jays have tried all types of player changes and they have not worked. Some of the changes they made worked out well for the teams where the players went. I believe it is time to change the coaching and managing people. Doug The excuse has been injuries. Well, everyone is healthy. There needs to be a BIG shake-up.Everyone says Gibby is the best to get along with. Well, Rios just flied out with the bases loaded. Does the manager say nice try, getm next time? Or does he say I want you at the park three hours earlier for practice? Maybe hate buys 10 more wins? The salaries JP has given out some players is wrong. Wells is a good player but really only had 2-3 “good” years. If these guys go 0-4, they still get paid. Some players bleed the game and would do it for free. Some are corporations. The comment coming out of the players mouths are “Were just going though a bad patch”. Every game is the playoff in the east. I view my life in two time frames. Before the trade and after. The Carter/Alomar was a shocking trade but Pat was 100% right to make it. The team needed to change. Id hate to see Halladay go but we could get any player in the game for him. Wells, Rios, Overbay, Burnett and some other starters need to be packaged. We need more Canadians on the team. Francis, Bay, Martin, Morneau even Bedard is possible. If you had 3-4 Canadians in the clubhouse who can take a leadership role you have the Molitor, Winfield effect. You cant tell me Stairs doesnt try harder now that hes playing in Canada. Bill – Sydney, Australia The problem is obvious, the President, GM and manager must go. Terrible decisions have been made (one example being signing Frank Thomas to a big contract when he was clearly beyond his prime then releasing him to return to his old team for a pittance of what the Jays were paying him). There are countless other stupid decisions but knowledgeable baseball fans know what they were. The Jays record over the past five years indicates their mediocre talent which is directly attributable to the stupid administrative decisions that have been made by the front office. Until Mr. Rogers realizes that no one in the upper echelons of the Jays organization understand the first thing about baseball, the Jays will not see a playoff game. They will be competing with the Leafs for the crown of high priced mediocrity. The Raptors at least have an astute GM in Brian Colangelo and therefore have a great chance to claim an NBA title within 5 years. M. Hatheway To start: 1 Get rid of Gibbons. He has been out-managed for too long. I think he has a chip on his shoulder.2. Get rid of JP. Simply for the Big Hurt era. If that was all he could do – bringing in a one-dimensional player3. Look to trade Wells. He is not the same player post big contract that he was pre big contract. Look to get some prospects.4. Look to trade Halladay. See if they can get some more prospects. George They should fire Gibbons. He seems way to relaxed and laid back, especially after a loss. How many more post game interviews do we have to see what Gibby is laid back in a recliner after a loss and he looks like hes half alseep and doesnt seem worried? Its time for a Manager change. Maybe give Whitt a chance, or how about calling up Cito? I also wouldnt rule out a block buster trade like they did in 1990. I would select Vernon for nomination. Great player but reminds me of Vince Carter in the NBA as far as what he brings to a team in terms of team success. Im sick and tired of the Jays losing! Its time for a big change! Jason Hardy – New Glasgow, NS I strongly feel that Gibbons should be replaced. I say that not to agree with most of the people on line or on the radio; I say it because a change of focus or philosophy is obviously needed for this offence. There is too much talent here that needs a spark to bring the offence to its potential.The best hitting instructor the Jays have had was Cito Gaston, but for some reason he is out of favour with Jays fans. The pitching is great, but will not win too many 1-0 or 2-1 games, as was evidenced in Boston.Situational hitting is one of the hardest things to do in baseball, but these highly talented (and highly paid) athletes can do it. Mike G. – Kingston, ON While Gibbons is not solely responsible for the losing streak, he certainly started it. He did not always put his best line up on the field. Continuing to play the woeful Scutaro who wasnt hitting, and was a defensive liability made no sense.His constant toying with the lineup early on and giving the likes of Rios, Wells and to a lesser extent Stairs nights off when in need of offence is mind boggling. Gibbons I think over the years has proved he is not good enough to be a winner. With that he should be replaced. Maybe a Buck Showalter? And maybe someone like Paul Molitor as a hitting coach or even the Manager, although the latter would be a huge risk. And as much as it pains me to say it. Sign Bonds. With the departure and the horrible handling of the Thomas situation, the Jays need a DH. Their line up should be; 1 Eckstein, 2 Rios, 3 Rolen, 4 Bonds, 5 Wells, 6 Hill, 7 Overbay, 8 Stairs, 9 Zaun Jason 1) Fire Gibbons. He has a sub-500 record during his career with a team that should be well over the break even mark. I dont care if he is a good guy and a players manager. Get rid of him.2) Overbay may be a fine fellow, but first base should be occupied by a power hitter. He isnt. Good bye, Lyle. Id rather see Stairs in there.3) Drop Wells down to sixth or seventh in the order … if you cant trade him. The promise of a few years ago has evaporated with a big contract. Too bad.4) Hit and run, try stealing some bases and BUNT runners over to second when youre a run down in the late innings to try and manufacture a run. Hell, do it early in the game too. Gibbons started out the year doing that and they were winning. What happened? Its time to stop sitting on the three-run homer that never comes.5) Somebody must sit down and tell most of these players that if they really want to win, they have to sacrifice themselves. Except for a few, they dont seem to be doing that and they really dont seem to care. They better. The fans, myself included, will only carry the Blue Jay blind love for so long. Robert Drop Gibbons! Hes had five years to make the Jays a winner and is still two games under five hundred over that time. There is a lot of skill on their team and Gibbons is not getting the most out of them. The Jays need a shake up, and Gibbons should be the first to go! Pat What to do? Or not to do! Not really sure, but what I do know is that this team has been mismanaged from the top down! How do you go and give a ludicrous contract to Vernon Wells, a proven stat contributor but a horrible clutch hitter if you are JP Riccardi. Contracts like that go to people like A-Rod, Bonds, Ramirez, etc. Guys that have won and proven to be stat contributors in the clutch where it counts. Another thing I dont understand is how Rios got $9-million a year when he is not even proven yet. They suck in clutch hitting anyways, so why didnt they trade him for a solid young arm with Cy Young potential to complete the five man rotation. He had market value for a solid prospect. Kenny Lofton is still out there? Use A.J. and a prospect for Michael Young from Texas to fill in a true leadoff hitter void. As far as Gibbons goes, I dont think he is a good manager, but with that being said I think that he is not the problem this year. JP has not been measured on success otherwise he would be gone. How can you not realize Vernon Wells is not a clutch hitter as a GM when I knew it from day one? JP needs to go let the politics go! Tom Get rid of JP. HOW DOES HE STILL HAVE A JOB? Dennis The major problem with the Jays is no burning passion for a championship. You hit the nail right on the head – Kirk Gibson – he was a catalyst. He was very focused and was hungry. There is no hunger in that Jays dressing room. They need a wake up call. I think Vernon Wells is a great person but should be traded for a hungry big bopper. Pete – Newmarket, ON Lets start with Vernon Wells. Although a good player he is the most overrated player in the game. So, Wells and Halladay for Granderson and Verlander. I bet the Tigers would do this and the Jays save money and have better upside. Rios and Rolen to the line-up less Giants for Tim Lincecum and finally Burnett and Overbay for Loney and Andre Ethier in Dodgerville. Let the team grow together and spend all the money when they get close Mark Bench Vernon Wells indefinitely, demote Shannon Stewart, move Rios into centre, move Matt Stairs to right, Make Barahas the DH, and bring up a young catcher from Triple-A.Wells obviously does not want to play for any coach, so bench him until he understands that in spite of his big paycheck, which is grossly oversized, the manager is the BOSS. Cyril The pitching has been great. What I think we need is maybe to bring up some guys from Triple A. Right now, no one is there to push the regulars for jobs. Players are chasing pitches, not hitting in the clutch and our bats have gone cold. With someone pushing the Jays regulars, it may allow them to work that much harder at bat and in practice. I love Matt Stairs, but I think we need another DH. When pitchers look at Stairs, he isnt too scary of a DH to be worried about. You look at teams like Boston where they have Ortiz, pitchers are afraid. We need that type of presence for the DH spot and Barry Bonds is not the answer. Brian Chik – Toronto, ON Here is what I would do for the Jays: Trade Vernon Wells for whatever you can get. The team will not win with him in centrefield or batting in the middle of the order. Failing that, embarrass him by batting him eighth or playing him in left and maybe he stops being the class clown and actually starts caring about winning.Fire Riccardi whose terrible signing of Wells for ridiculous money makes the above very difficult. The draft picks under Riccardi may have left this team with the weakest minor league system in baseball.Unless you can find a Joe Torre out there keep Gibbons. I watch every Blue Jay game and yes you can always second guess a manager if pitching moves, etc. go poorly but I believe he is a good manager. If you really want to see poor managing watch Girardi with the Yankees this year. I really respect Dave Eckstien for the person he is but put John McDonald back at short. Lorne Carmichael – Charlottetown, PEI If I were JP I would address the biggest problem right now which is offense. Most positions are pretty well set on this time and it is mostly a case of underachieving, e.g. Wells, Hill, Overbay, etc. One position which isnt is left field. JP made a blunder by letting go of Reed Johnson. Shannon Stewart seems to have run out of gas and can we afford to wait for Lind to develop into a Major Leaguer? Big Hurt left a right-handed power hitting gap. So JP should trade for an established righty power hitting left fielder. With Brian Wolfe soon coming back, the emergence of Jesse Carlson and David Purceys emergence, JP will have an excess of pitchers. He can afford to trade Tallett and good lefties are always in demand. Throw in a prospect from the minors and he should be able to come up with a credible left fielder that can hit. Ron Basch – Victoria, BC Its often said that hitting is contagious – the team needs to start feeding off what Stairs, Rolen and Hill are doing – maybe more lineup juggling is required to get the right balance. But, likely the biggest change still to be made – as you point out – has to be in the clubhouse atmosphere.And why not get back to the gritty, run-manufacturing style they started the season with? Theyve gradually moved away from that and the losses are piling up, when the hitters are not coming up with the extra base hits (or any hits) to drive people in from first or 2nd. They need a change in “modus operandi” – and Gibbons needs to get support for this from the top, so the players will buy in all the time – JP has never really shown a willingness to work this style of play, and probably never will, even though the club is now built for it. I say start there, before drastic personnel moves – but if JP is unwilling to resist trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, then perhaps it is he (and not Gibbons) that needs to move on. He did, after all, tell us to blame him. Corey Perrin – Bermuda These are my potential line ups: SS Eckstein, 3B Rolen, RF Rios, LF Lind, CF Wells, 1B Overbay, DH Stairs, 2B Hill, C BarajasAnd line-up 2: SS Eckstein, LF Lind, 3B Rolen, CF Wells, DH Stairs, RF Rios, 1B Overbay, C Zaun, 2B McDonald Felix I would move Eckstien to the ninth position and Overbay to lead off. Stairs to clean up, Rolen to the third batting position. Hill to bat second, Well in sixth. Also, Id play John McDonald every 7th 8th and 9th inning that they have the lead.Play Lind every day left field, against righties and stewart against lefties. Garnet Wheadon – West Gore, NS LeGarrette Blount Jersey . Craig Gentry turned a spot start into a tiebreaking hit and the Rangers avoided a four-game sweep in a matchup of AL division leaders, rallying past the New York Yankees 10-6 Thursday. Josh Freeman Jersey . The upstate New York natives bonded and trained together at an elite mixed martial arts camp in Albuquerque, N. Michael Floyd Jersey . Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. Delfino played last season in Russia with BC Khimky Moscow in the Russia-A Superleague. Clay Matthews Jersey . [Agencies] DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Three Pakistani intelligence officials say that Pakistans Taliban chief has been killed in a CIA missile strike and his body buried. Tony Gonzalez Womens Jersey . The Canucks lead the entire NHL with 64 points this season and Alain Vigneaults club has 19 wins over its last 24 games, dating back to late- November. Vancouver also has just one regulation loss over its last 19 games, posting a 15-1-3 record over that span.BEIJING – Canadians Andrew Russell and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny were sixth in the mens C-2 1,000-metre canoe race Friday at the Beijing Olympics. Russell, from Dartmouth, N.S., and Beauchesne-Sevigny, from Trois-Rivieres, Que., finished in a time of three minutes 41.165 seconds, well off the pace. Brothers Andrei and Aliaksandr Bahdanovich of Belarus won gold in 3:36:365, storming from behind to nip Germany in a thrilling finish. They were nearly one second behind with 250 metrees to go, then furiously paddled their way to the front just before the finish. Sam Bradford Jersey. The German pair of Christian Gille and Thomasz Wynlenzek settled for silver in 3:36.588 after leading for most of Fridays race. Gyorgy Kozmann and Tamas Kiss won bronze in 3:40.258. They wore black armbands to honour Gyorgy Kolonics, a canoeing gold medallist at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics who died last month after collapsing in his canoe while training for the Beijing Games. ‘ ‘ ‘