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he did at the end of
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As 2013 winds to a close, TSN.ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. TSN.cas writing staff reflects on the best baseball moments from the past 12 months including the Jays highs and lows, Ichiros moment in the sun, Todd Heltons farewell and more! Torontos Opening Day optimism vanishes in a hurry By: Barry Riz A winter unlike most in Blue Jays history had passed with some of the most dramatic player upgrades the franchise had ever seen. Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson were each star additions and made the Blue Jays a revitalized force in the AL East. Many prognosticators saw Toronto as a 95-win team, and Las Vegas sportsbooks had the Jays as World Series favourites. Opening Day is usually sold out in Toronto - but tickets to this one against Cleveland were tough to come by two months in advance. There was a buzz in the stadium, an expectation that had been building all winter. The road back to the postseason was going to start - and start in style - with defending NL Cy Young winner Dickey on the hill for the Blue Jays. Well for those who believe in signs, there were plenty to go around. Catcher J.P. Arencibia allowed three passed balls from the knuckleballer which led in part to Clevelands first two runs. Torontos newly potent offence was held to just four hits, with their sole run coming on a double play groundout. The Indians cruised to a 4-1 win. After months of winter build-up the aura of invincibility for Blue Jay fans was gone in a hurry. Ichiro joins baseballs elite By: Shane McNeil Baseball has had a pretty brutal couple decades from the 1994 players strike through to the Biogenesis bombshell of 2013, but Ichiro is the type of classic baseball player that performs at the most basic technical level in hugely entertaining fashion. I dont care that he has hit one home run for every 83 major league plate appearance, because theres no one else in the game Id rather see run as fast as they can from home to first. So when Ichiro joined Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only professional ball players to reach the 4,000 hit plateau on Aug. 21, it gave baseball fans a chance to respect a man who has excelled at the game on its most basic of levels. Some put an asterisk on the achievement due to his time in Japan, but there are many reasons why those people are wrong. Ichiro has played baseball in a beautiful and dignified way for the last 13 years in North America while countless other superstars have chosen not to. If we cant allow the man his one moment in the sun in what is likely the twilight of his MLB career, were doing something wrong. A quiet goodbye for a Hall-of-Famer By: Mike Beauvais The 2013 MLB season had some great storylines and it was one of the more compelling campaigns in recent memory including legendary New York Yankees reliever Mariano Riveras farewell tour. There was another significant retirement in 2013, but it certainly didnt receive the coverage that Riveras did. On Sept. 17, Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton announced that the 2013 season would be his last in the MLB. Only 11 days later, he would play his final game at Coors Field. There was a modest ceremony prior to the game and Helton would go on to close out his career in Denver with a home run and three RBI. Maybe Heltons retirement didnt merit the fanfare that came with Riveras, but Heltons played out much like the majority of his 17 seasons with the Rockies did â€" quietly and under the mainstream radar. If youre a casual baseball fan, you just might be taken aback by Heltons career numbers: .316 career batting average, top-10 all-time in OBP (.430,), only player in MLB history to have 10-consecutive seasons of 35 or more doubles as well as countless Rockies career records. Helton was never the sexy name that Derek Jeter was and never starred in the spotlight of the Bronx like Jeter and Rivera did, but Todd Helton was the Colorado Rockies talisman and worthy of Cooperstown consideration. In his final at bat on that cool, September night in Denver, Helton went out as unassumingly as you would think a player like Helton would: he struck out swinging before politely soaking in the standing ovation from the Coors Field crowd. "It goes by really quick," Helton said after the game of his career. "You blink and here you are." Brian McCann stands up for his principles By: Daan De Kerpel In a two week span in September, Brian McCann had confrontations with Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez followed by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez after they each admired a home run a little too long. On Sept. 11, Fernandez was making his last start of the season in Miami. In the sixth inning, he hit a home run and watched it a little too slowly for the Braves liking. As he rounded third, Fernandez made some gestures to the Braves bench, which didnt sit well with McCann, who immediately started talking to the 20-year-old. After the game, Fernandez told the media that he apologized to both McCann and Mike Minor, the pitcher who hit the home run off of. McCanns response: "Hey, man, youre a kid but youre in the big leagues. You need to do what big leaguers do." Perhaps taking a page out of Johnsons playbook, McCann was much more animated two weeks later when Gomez took Paul Maholm deep, watched the ball sail into the seats before running. After trading barbs with Braves players as he ran the bases, McCann stood in front of home plate and wouldnt let the Gomez pass. That led to the benches clearing and even punches being thrown. While no one is expecting McCann to display this type of fire all the time in the regular season, the fact that he can get that wound up in games against non-playoff teams in September, makes me wonder what hell be like in a rivalry game against the Red Sox. The infectious joy that is Munenori Kawasaki By: Sarah Zintel The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season may not have met their fans expectations but they certainly got lucky with the hilarious distraction that was Munenori Kawasaki. He stormed onto the Jays infield leaving everyone in stiches. The shortstop quickly became best known for his unorthodox stretching, unique dance moves, original handshakes with teammates, and most importantly his interview skills. The Japan natives most infamous interview was after his walk-off double for the win at home against the Orioles where he stole the show with his preplanned notes and poor English. The interview quickly went viral and most recently earned him the MLBs GIBBY Award for "Cut 4 Topic of the Year". Kawasakis positive and joyous attitude helped motivate not only the fans but also his teammates to come together and celebrate the Blue Jays, despite the team finishing last in the AL East. The team declined Kawasakis option for next season and the fans will surely miss his spirit. But one thing that will never be forgotten is: "My name is Munenori Kawasaki. I come from Japan. Im Japanese!" MLB strikes unlikely gold in Game 162 By: Shane McNeil So, were now two years into Major League Baseballs expanded playoff format and while nothing could replicate the insanity of the final day of the 2011 season, the extra playoff spot has at least provided meaningful games on the seasons final day with regularity. This season was no different, as the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians entered the final game vying for wild card spots. All three teams won their final game, setting up a one-game playoff between the Rangers and Rays to earn a spot in another one-game playoff with the Indians. But the highlight of the day would come not from the wild card chase but a meaningless game in Miami. Marlins hurler Henderson Alvarez no-hit the Detroit Tigers for nine innings, but his teammates were unable to get him a run through eight. The Marlins caught some fortuitous bounces in the ninth, including the wild pitch that would plate Giancarlo Stanton for the winning run. Immediately after Stanton crossed, the Marlins mobbed Alvarez â€" who was standing in the on-deck circle - to celebrate the achievement. When was the last time you saw a pitcher relish a no-no with a batters helmet on? Nike Air Max Shoes Wholesale . - Christophe Lalancette scored a third-period goal and added the shootout winner to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs to a 5-4 win over the Quebec Remparts in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play on Sunday. Cheap Air Max Wholesale . PETERSBURG, Fla. http://www.airmaxsalecheap.com/. The team made the announcement after Saturdays 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. RHP Kenny Giles will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill Adams spot on the roster. Cheap Nike Air Max For Sale Online . Carling Bassett-Seguso was a world No. 8 almost 30 years ago. Currently 13th, Bouchard is assured of equalling that when the next rankings are released Monday. Air Max Sale Cheap . -- Chad Labelle scored the winner 17:36 into the third period to give Medicine Hat a 2-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos on Sunday and lift the Tigers into the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Three members of the Big Four won second-round matches Wednesday at the 2015 Australian Open. Second-seeded former world No. 1 Roger Federer had to come from behind to beat Italian Simone Bolelli 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, while third-seeded former top- ranked star Rafael Nadal needed all five sets and survived cramps to hold off American Tim Smyczek 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 7-5 at Melbourne Park. The 2014 Wimbledon runner-up and 17-time Grand Slam king Federer owns four Aussie Open titles and was the 2009 runner-up here to Nadal. Federers next opponent will be Italian Andreas Seppi. Playing just his 10th tour-level match since July of last year, Nadal ground out a comeback victory against the world No. 112 Smyczek. I dont know what was going on, Nadal said in a courtside interview. There was imitation, I started to have cramps in different places. I was not in the perfect shape. The 14-time Grand Slam champ and reigning French Open titlist Nadal maintained his record of never losing to a qualifier at a Grand Slam championship, but his win kept fans at Rod Laver Arena on the edges of their seats. With Nadal serving at 6-5 in the fifth set, Smyczek gave the Spaniard a break. A fan shouted just as Nadal was about to strike his first serve, causing him to miss long. As Nadal glared into the stands, Smyczek motioned that he should retake the serve. Nadal did -- and won the point and the match. Smyczek won Nadals respect. Whatvthe fifth is just amazing, Nadal said. Very few players can do that after four hours something of a match, at 6-5, love-30. So I just will say thanks to him because hes a great example what he did today. The former Oz champ and two-time runner-up triumphed in 4 hours, 12 minutes to set up a third-round meeting with Israeli Dudi Sela. Nadal lost to Stan Wawrinka in last years finale in Melbourne. Meanwhile, sixth-seeded three-time Aussie Open runner-up Andy Murray eased past Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 on Day 3 at the fortnight.dddddddddddd The two-time Grand Slam champions third-round opponent will be Portuguese Joao Sousa. Seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych handled Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-2, while 10th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov got past Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-7 (10-12), 6-3, 6-3 and 14th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). In other action involving seeds, former Aussie runner-up Marcos Baghdatis upset No. 20 David Goffin 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0; Aussie Bernard Tomic took out No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5); rising Aussie Nick Kyrgios drove out No. 23 Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4; No. 24 Richard Gasquet grounded Aussie James Duckworth 6-2, 6-3, 7-5; last weeks Sydney champion Viktor Troicki of Serbia dismissed No. 26 Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0; the aforementioned Sela surprised No. 28 Lukas Rosol 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 7-5, 6-3; Seppi erased No. 29 Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; and Sousa bested No. 32 Martin Klizan 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 1-0, retired. Also advancing were Aussie Sam Groth and Tunisias Malek Jaziri. The second round is scheduled to conclude Thursday, including matches for top- seeded four-time Aussie champion Novak Djokovic and the fourth-seeded reigning titlist Wawrinka. The seven-time major winner Djokovic will take on Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, while Wawrinka will look to extend his Melbourne winning streak to nine matches with a meeting against Romanian Marius Copil. Also on the Day 4 schedule will be fifth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori, eighth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic, ninth-seeded David Ferrer, and former No. 1 and former Aussie runner-up Lleyton Hewitt. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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