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Blue Jays introduce new general manager Ross Atkins

Posted by admin on 15/01/2019
Posted in 长沙楼凤 

TORONTO — Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro was the Cleveland Indians’ minor league director when he first met Ross Atkins about 20 years ago.

Shapiro was quite impressed by the young pitcher, who took a keen interest in what was happening on and off the field. Atkins moved into the Indians’ player development department in 2000 and both he and Shapiro would rise up the ranks of the team’s front office.

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READ MORE: Longtime Cleveland Indians executive Ross Atkins named Toronto Blue Jays GM

On Friday, they were reunited as Shapiro proudly introduced Atkins — his longtime colleague and good friend — as the seventh general manager in Blue Jays history.

“Ross is the best person to not just be general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, he’s the best person to lead this organization and build the organization,” Shapiro said.

Tony LaCava, who was also considered for the job and filled in as interim GM after the departure of Alex Anthopoulos, will return to his previous role as assistant general manager. He was also made the senior vice president of baseball operations when the Blue Jays announced the Atkins hiring on Thursday night.

WATCH: Shapiro explains his decision to choose Atkins over La Cava

LaCava will lead the front office through the upcoming winter meetings and the offseason while Atkins settles into his new job and gets a feel for the inner workings of the organization.

“I am really appreciative of this opportunity,” Atkins said at a news conference at Rogers Centre. “I understand that it’s a big one.”

It’s the first GM job for the 42-year-old native of Greensboro, North Carolina, who spent three years as the Indians’ director of Latin American operations before running the franchise’s farm system from 2007-14. He inherits a Blue Jays team that’s coming off a 93-69 season, made the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and reached the AL Championship Series.

“I see this team as a very, very good one that people will fear,” Atkins said. “They’re going to be competitive.”

Toronto’s offensive core remains strong and most of the position players will be back in 2016. There are holes in the bullpen and the starting rotation, however, with ace David Price leaving as a free agent and Mark Buehrle likely set for retirement or joining a team closer to home.

“I think we’ll look to fortify the depth of pitching,” Atkins said. “And I think in addition to that there are some complementary pieces that we’ll need to think about improving upon. But this is, as it stands today, a very good team.”

WATCH: Atkins: ‘I believe the rotation is enough to contend’

Shapiro, who replaced Paul Beeston after his retirement in late October, interviewed four candidates last month before narrowing it down to Atkins and LaCava. The two finalists went through another round of meetings over the last week before Shapiro made the call.

“In the end, the toughest decisions are usually the best ones to have to make,” he said. “I was left with the decision between two right choices. There was no bad decision, there was no bad choice.

“It was an extremely tough one for me just because there were two guys that could do a great job filling the role,” he said.

The Indians finished third in the AL Central last season while the Blue Jays won the East, dispatched the Texas Rangers in a five-game divisional series and then fell to the Royals. A few days after Toronto was eliminated, the popular Anthopoulos — the 2015 executive of the year — stunned many baseball observers by turning down an extension amid reports of a difference in vision with the new president.

Shapiro said he was disappointed and surprised that Anthopoulos declined the offer, and he turned to LaCava to handle GM duties over the last five weeks.

WATCH: Shapiro explains his decision to choose Atkins over La Cava

LaCava responded by bringing back reliable right-hander Marco Estrada and signing left-hander J.A. Happ. In addition, first baseman Justin Smoak avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal and backup catcher Josh Thole got an $800,000 one-year deal on Friday.

The Atkins news conference came on the same day the Boston Red Sox introduced Price after he signed a seven-year deal worth $217 million. Shapiro said the Blue Jays weren’t aggressive on the Price front.

“It’s never a question of do you want David Price? I mean that’s silly. Of course, yes, we want David Price,” he said. “It’s a question of how do you build a championship team within the parameters you’re given. It’s as simple as that. We have all the resources necessary to build a championship team but they’re not unlimited. It’s a business like any other business.”

Shapiro would not offer specifics on overall payroll, but confirmed the team is not at its limit and noted his front office is open to being “very creative.”

“We have the ability to examine a lot of scenarios as we head to Nashville (for the winter meetings) and as we go through the offseason and we’ll see what comes,” he said. “We’re going to look to get better. That’s going to be the key.”

WATCH: Atkins says he’s excited to help represent entire country as GM

©2015

Oscar-nominated actor Robert Loggia, who was known for gravelly voiced gangsters from “Scarface” to “The Sopranos” but who was most endearing as Tom Hanks’ kid-at-heart toy-company boss in “Big,” has died. He was 85.

Loggia’s wife Aubrey Loggia said he died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a five year battle with Alzheimer’s. “His poor body gave up,” she said. “He loved being an actor and he loved his life.”

Hanks expressed his grief on 桑拿会所.

“A great actor in heart and soul,” Hanks wrote. “A sad day.”

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A solidly built man with a rugged face and rough voice, Loggia fit neatly into gangster movies, playing a Miami drug lord in “Scarface,” which starred Al Pacino; and a Sicilian mobster in “Prizzi’s Honor,” with Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner. He played wise guys in David Lynch’s “Lost Highway,” the spoofs “Innocent Blood” and “Armed and Dangerous,” and again on David Chase’s “The Sopranos,” as the previously jailed veteran mobster Michele “Feech” La Manna.

It was not as a gangster but as a seedy detective that Loggia received his only Academy Award nomination, as supporting actor in 1985’s “Jagged Edge.” He played gumshoe Sam Ransom, who investigated a murder involving Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges.

Loggia gave an endearing comic performance in Penny Marshall’s 1988 “Big,” when he danced with Tom Hanks on a giant piano keyboard.

Hanks played an adolescent granted a wish to be big, overnight becoming a 30-something man who —; still mentally a boy —; eventually finds work at a toy company run by Loggia’s character. A chance meeting in a toy store leads to the pair tapping out joyful duets of “Chopsticks” and “Heart and Soul” on the piano keys built into the floor.

Loggia also appeared in five films for comedy director Blake Edwards, including three “Pink Panther” films and the dark comedy “S.O.B.” He also portrayed Joseph, husband of Mary, in George Stevens’ biblical epic “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

Asked in 1990 how he maintained such a varied career, he responded:

“I’m a character actor in that I play many different roles, and I’m virtually unrecognizable from one role to another. So I never wear out my welcome.”

In 1966 Loggia had the rare opportunity for stardom, taking the lead role in the NBC television drama “T.H.E. Cat.”

He played a former circus aerialist and cat burglar who guarded clients in danger of being murdered. When the series was cancelled after one season, however, the distraught Loggia largely dropped out of the business for a time.

“It was a Dante’s ‘Inferno’ period for me that most men and women go through if they’ve taken paths they wished they hadn’t,” he recalled in a 1986 interview. “I didn’t want to work. I was played out and I had to re-spark myself.”

His marriage had broken up, and he devoted himself mostly to travel and skiing.

He credited his re-emergence to a couple of plays for Joseph Papp, “Wedding Band” with Ruby Dee and “In the Boom-Boom Room” with Madeleine Kahn.

READ MORE: Former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland dead at 48

He returned to TV with a role in a two-part episode of the TV show “Mannix,” and he was soon working regularly again. He even starred in another TV series, “Mancuso, FBI,” a spinoff of Loggia’s character in the 1988 miniseries “Favorite Son.”

Among his later roles was as a general and presidential adviser in the 1996 sci-fi thriller “Independence Day.”

In 2003 Loggia appeared in four episodes of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” as gangster Feech La Manna, who was released from prison and sought to return to the Mafia. Tony Soprano worried about La Manna’s uncontrollable temper and tricked him into violating his parole.

The son of Sicilian immigrants, Loggia was born in 1930 in New York City’s borough of Staten Island. He grew up in Manhattan’s Little Italy section.

First inclined toward newspaper work, he studied journalism at the University of Missouri, but was drawn to acting and returned to New York to study at the Actors Studio.

He appeared on “Studio One,” “Playhouse 90” and other live dramatic series during television’s Golden Age. He made his stage debut off-Broadway in 1956 in “The Man with the Golden Arm,” appearing in the title role of a drug addict, played in the movie by Frank Sinatra.

His Broadway debut came in 1964 with the Actors Studio production of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” which also appeared in London.

In 1956 Loggia made his film debut in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” playing mobster Frankie Peppo, who tries to persuade boxer Rocky Graziano (Paul Newman) to throw a fight.

Loggia married Marjorie Sloane in 1954, and they had three children, daughters Tracey and Kristina and son John.

After their divorce, Loggia married Audrey O’Brien in 1982.

©2015The Associated Press

STERLING, Va. — Donald Trump’s Republican campaign for president is built on the same win-at-all-costs, no-second-guessing confidence that made him billions in real estate and a star of reality television.

Yet in a recent interview with The Associated Press, the GOP front-runner displayed rare, if fleeting, moments of humility and introspection.

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“I think I could lose a state, sure,” Trump said of the first three states to vote in next year’s presidential primaries. “If I came in second or third I think that would be, you know, I wouldn’t be happy, ’cause I want to win.”

In retrospect, Trump also said he might not have used the phrase “truthful hyperbole” in his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal.” The phrase has trailed Trump in the 2016 campaign, as have questions about whether his penchant for exaggeration and tenuous relationship with some facts would be appropriate for a president.

WATCH: Donald Trump tells Jewish coalition he’s the ‘best thing that could ever happen to Israel’

“I think maybe if I had that phrase to do over again, I’d use the word ‘optimistic,’ perhaps. I would want to be very optimistic,” Trump said.

Trump displayed his signature bravado throughout much of the 30-minute interview with AP at his golf course in northern Virginia. He declined to name a single thing he’s said over the course of the campaign that he wished he could take back. He repeatedly referenced his dominant standing in preference polls and the enthusiasm of his crowds.

But the glimmers of self-reflection and self-awareness stood out. They offered a look at a side rarely seen at Trump’s rallies and television appearances.

Trump unexpectedly leapt to the top of the GOP field this summer and has yet to be knocked from that perch. With less than two months until the Iowa caucuses, his hold shows no signs of slipping. But people in early states often make final decisions close to voting day.

“I’d like to win,” Trump said, and “clean the table.”

History suggests that’s unlikely, even if Trump does win the nomination.

In modern history, a nonincumbent has never won all the first three early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Trump said that while he’s doing “very, very well” in them, he was aware of the precedent. Even if he were to lose one, he said, “I won’t lose badly.”

His political rise has set the party’s establishment on edge. Trump draws large and enthusiastic crowds to rallies and repeatedly says things viewed by some women, racial and religious minorities, and disabled people as offensive.

He also has developed a pattern of repeating falsehoods in speeches and interviews. Among them: There are 100 million unemployed workers in the United States, and President Barack Obama plans to allow 250,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in the country.

Trump outlined the concept of “truthful hyperbole” in “The Art of the Deal,” calling it “an innocent form of exaggeration — and very effective for of promotion.”

“People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular,” he wrote.

Asked whether he would take the same approach as president, Trump suggested he would, but would recast it as less about stretching the truth and more about putting a positive spin on the circumstances.

“I want to be truthful, but I want to be optimistic,” he said.

Trump said that as president, he would aim to tell the truth in speeches such as the State of the Union, he believes that being optimistic is just as an important a goal.

“I think the best word would be, I would want to be optimistic, and I am very optimistic about our country,” Trump said. “I think if we get the right leadership, which will be me — it’s the way I feel, I’ll do the best job — but I think if we get the right leadership I think we have tremendous potential and I would be very, very optimistic about the country and I would be that way in the State of the Union address.”

Both polls and interviews with Trump supporters suggest that many of his backers have not voted in previous presidential elections.

READ MORE: Trump suggests CNN should pony up $5M for next debate appearance

That gives Trump an opportunity to expand the electorate. It also poses significant challenges in terms of registering those new voters and ensuring they show up.

Trump said his campaign has built an aggressive operation to take on those tasks, though he provided no details. Instead, he cited the record viewership for the GOP debates as evidence of his support.

“I think my election will be much different,” Trump said. “I think you’ll have many more people going to the ballot box, just like they went to the television to watch, you know, to watch the debates. But you’ll have many more people going to the ballot box.”

He said he expects nearly everyone who attends his rallies to vote or caucus for him in 2016.

“I believe every single one of those people’s going to go out and vote and every single one of ’em’s going to vote for Trump,” he said.

©2015

CALGARY – A Calgary renovation company accused of taking money and not completing the work has been charged under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act.

Global News broke the story over one year ago, when former Calgary Flame, Brendan Morrison, lost all the money he paid a company called The Remodelers to rebuild his home.

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Related

  • Angry homeowners square off against man behind ‘The Remodelers’

  • Former Calgary Flame victim of bankrupt renovation company

  • Calgary police investigate bankrupt renovation company

Dozens of homeowners filed similar complaints with the Calgary police, prompting an investigation by Service Alberta.

On Friday, officials announced that 180 regulatory charges were laid against The Remodelers Ltd. and The Remodelers Special Projects Ltd., both of which are owned by Bruce Maxwell Hopkins.

READ MORE: Angry homeowners square off against man behind ‘The Remodelers’

The province said it received complaints from 27 individuals following the bankruptcy of the companies in November of 2014. Twenty-tow of those complaints resulted in charges.

WATCH: Previous stories from Global’s Tony Tighe that led to charges against Bruce Maxwell Hopkins and ‘The Remodelers’.

Former Flame victim of bankrupt renovation company

01:49

Former Flame victim of bankrupt renovation company

01:41

Consumer FYI: The Remodelers suspends operations

01:42

Consumer FYI: Remodelers Bankruptcy

02:31

Investigators looking into Remodelers bankruptcy

01:42

Angry homeowners take on bankrupt owner of the Remodelers

01:52

More financial troubles for The Remodelers




The financial losses from those 22 complainants total approximately $5 million.

Charges include operating without a pre-paid contractor license, misleading consumers and failing to provide refunds.

If found guilty, Hopkins could face up to two years in jail or a significant financial penalty.

©2015

BOSTON – For all the money the Red Sox are paying David Price, the Boston fans don’t just want a pitcher who gives the team a chance to win every five days. And it’s not enough for him to wind up among the Cy Young contenders in the off-season.

With a seven-year, $217 million contract that is the richest ever for a pitcher, the Red Sox are expecting playoff wins.

And that’s the one thing Price hasn’t delivered.

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“I think I was just saving all my post-season wins for the Red Sox,” Price said on Friday during his introductory news conference in a Fenway Park function room filled with championship memorabilia.

“I know good things are going to happen to me in October. That just hasn’t been the case thus far,” said Price, who is 0-7 with a 5.27 career ERA in eight career post-season starts.

“I know I can throw the ball as well in October as I do in the regular season. That time is coming for me, and hopefully it’s in 2016.”

Despite winning it all in 2013 – their third World Series championship in 10 years – the Red Sox have finished last in the AL East in three of the past four seasons. Their rebuilding began in August when they brought in Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations, and this week he made his big move.

The deal with Price – “one of the best pitchers in baseball, a true No. 1,” Dombrowski said – gives the 2012 Cy Young winner a chance to opt out after three years. But it also goes against the team’s stated desire not to commit to long-term deals for pitchers who have already turned 30.

“There are exceptions to any rule, and certainly this is one of the most exceptional pitchers,” owner John Henry said. “He’s putting up historical numbers, or at least bordering on that, at this stage of his career.”

READ MORE: Red Sox pitcher David Price lands on cover of Blue Jays 2016 calendar

The AL’s top pitcher in 2012 and the runner-up twice in seven full major league seasons, Price has a 3.09 ERA with 1,372 strikeouts and 104 wins. He went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA with Detroit and Toronto in 2015, striking out 225.

Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen also praised Price’s value as a teammate. While trying to decide whether to accept the ballclub’s offer, Hazen said, Price asked about other players in the system all the way to Single-A Greenville.

The attitude, Hazen said, was: “If I’m going to sign here long-term, I want to know who my teammates are going to be long-term. Not just David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.”

Price already knows about them.

Maybe too well.

READ MORE: 6 reasons why the Blue Jays will survive David Price’s departure

When he was with Tampa Bay, Price complained about the way the Red Sox designated hitter admired a post-season home run before slowly trotting around the bases. Price hit Ortiz with a pitch the following season, the dugouts emptied and the two called each other names.

But Ortiz told the Boston Herald at his charity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic that the feud was over. Price said on Friday he’s looking forward to playing with “arguably the greatest DH to ever play the game.”

“Big Papi and myself, we’re both competitors. What he’s done for this organization and the game of baseball is really special,” said Price, who was given the No. 24 worn by Dwight Evans and Manny Ramirez. “I’m ready to be one of his really good friends.”

Dombrowski, who worked with Price in Detroit, said he had no concern about him getting along with his new teammates.

“I had more than one person tell me, from a player perspective and from a staff perspective, that he was the best teammate they ever had,” Dombrowski said.

After starting his career in Tampa Bay, Price was acquired by Detroit at the 2014 trade deadline. A year later, Dombrowski traded him to the Blue Jays at the July 31 deadline and Price helped Toronto reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

The Red Sox hope he can get them back to the playoffs after falling out of contention early last year.

And helps them win once they get there, too.

“Success in the post-season, sometimes it takes a while to come,” Dombrowski said. “He’s a big-game pitcher. (It) hasn’t always happened in the post-season. I’m confident that he’ll do that for us.”

The sides agreed to the terms of the deal on Tuesday, but had to wait for Price to pass his physical. The contract gives Price the right to opt out after three seasons.

“This is an exciting time,” owner John Henry said. “We’re going to see one of the best pitchers in baseball every five days. It’s going to be exciting for our fans, but it’s going to be really exciting for our team.”

©2015The Associated Press