Blue Jays Morning Brew: Hitting the homestretch


The Toronto Blue Jays return to divisional play this weekend with a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles, who have fallen 12.0 games back in the AL East. Toronto remains 1.5 games up on the New York Yankees, who still refuse to regress, as this morning marks one month of baseball remaining. Between now and October 4th, the Blue Jays can begin writing the final chapter in their storybook 2015. Let’s kick off your Friday with the Morning Brew!

Throwing back to Stieb  –  Chris Toman of Vice Sports brings us this great look back at Dave Stieb‘s finest hour. It was 25 years ago yesterday that Stieb finally completed the first no-hitter in Blue Jays history after falling just short multiple times. This day exists only through annual stories and highlight reels for the younger generation of Blue Jays fans like myself, but here’s hoping we get a modern repeat someday soon.

Confidence? Not an issue  –  Not only is this version of the Blue Jays talented, they know they’re talented. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet spoke to R.A. Dickey, Josh Donaldson and others regarding the confidence of this roster entering the stretch run. It’s a different tone from year’s past.

“I expect that from my teammates, too. I think for the most part they do that and there’s been times this year (with) myself or somebody else and that hasn’t happened and we’ve had a discussion about it because we expect that,” Donaldson told Nicholson-Smith. “We expect to go out there and we expect to play with intensity and play smart.”

Thumbs up for Shapiro  –  One of the news bits I missed while moving was the Blue Jays hiring a new president and CEO in Mark Shapiro of the Cleveland Indians. Minor detail, right!? Former Jays Sandy Alomar and John McDonald both crossed paths with Shapiro during their times with Cleveland, and both offered supportive words on the new boss.

“Mark has always been very genuine to me, always up-front,” Alomar told Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun. “You know, in all those years, I never saw him upset. He was always level-headed. We could be in the middle of a storm, he would made it feel like a hiccup.”

McDonald gave a shining review of Shapiro’s leadership.  “He’s not someone who claims to have all the answers. Mark is like ‘How can you help me grow?’ His approach is: ‘Let’s learn, let’s share ideas. How do we get better? The game is always changing and we have to make adjustments. Who can we talk to find out more information on that? How can we improve our organization. Those are all great leadership qualities.”

Next: Jays finally enjoying solidarity in the form of Goins, Travis

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