Nov 20, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (left) shakes hands with general manager Alex Anthopoulos after Martin was introduced at a press conference at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
“How can you not be romantic about baseball?”
Alex Anthopoulos has endured plenty in his time as the General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. It started with the dealing of club ace Roy Halladay and extended to consecutive losing seasons in 2012 and 2013, along the way making blockbuster trades aimed at reshaping this team for playoff baseball.
So when the Jays clinched the American League East for the first time in 22 years Wednesday night, you finally saw emotion out of the man who constructed baseball’s top team in the American League.
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While the atmosphere at Camden Yards was not the same as it would have been in a clinching victory at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, the Jays dominated the Baltimore Orioles in game one of the doubleheader. They took the game by a final score of 15-2 in the offensive heavy fashion they’ve commanded all season.
On March 12th, Marcus Stroman tweeted, “the return shall be legendary,” days after undergoing what could have been season ending surgery on his torn ACL.
Indeed, the return was legendary Mr. Stroman. Since coming back, he has mastered the New York Yankees twice, the Boston Red Sox once and now the Orioles.
Wednesday, in what was likely the most momentous game of his career, Stroman stepped up with an eight-inning performance, allowing only one run on five hits, while striking out eight and walking two.
Although the Jays will almost surely pitch ace David Price in game one of the playoffs, Stroman’s four starts culminating in a 1.67 earned run average gives fans ample faith in the hopes of a deep October drive.