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  • Canadian 4 x 100 men’s relay team claims bronze in Moscow

    Justyn Warner running at the 2012 Olympics in London. (The Canadian Press)It was an interesting case of redemption. The Canadian men's 4 x 100 relay team entered the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow hoping to atone for the bronze medal that was snatched from their grasp due to a lane violation at London 2012.

    On Sunday, the shoe was on the other foot for the Canadians as they were propelled into 3rd place in the final when Great Britain was disqualified for a changeover violation.

    Gavin Smellie and Justyn Warner, the two remaining sprinters from last summer's Olympic squad, along with Dontae Richards-Kwok and Aaron Brown finished with a time of 37.92.

    Jamaica, anchored by Usain Bolt won the gold medal (37.36), while the United States captured silver (37.66).

    An ecstatic Warner took to Twitter after finding out the result had been changed in Canada's favour. He not only praised his current teammates, but in a classy move - shouted out former team members Jared Connaughton and Seyi Smith, who experienced the anguish of being bounced out of a

    Read More »from Canadian 4 x 100 men’s relay team claims bronze in Moscow
  • Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole on Fox Sports 1Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole on Fox Sports 1

    Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole made their American television debut on Saturday and apparently emerged relatively unscathed. How long that will continue is anybody's guess.

    The former TSN sports announcers launched their much-hyped news show on new channel Fox Sports 1 on Saturday with pretty much the same kind of stuff that they threw at Canadian viewers.

    Here's a sample of their best bits from Saturday night:

    Gotta give them credit: Getting a CFL highlight -- even one as low as the famous Joe Kapp-Angelo Mosca showdown -- was a pretty bold venture.

    Since the new channel, which hopes to unseat ESPN as America's top sports source, isn't available in Canada it's hard to assess exactly how things went. But from what I saw on the above clip, the two have transported themselves holus bolus to the U.S.

    So we turn to American sources, which offered mixed reviews.

    The website Awful Announcing gave it a generally good review, calling the Canucklheads "fun" and "a breath of fresh air." But it did note

    Read More »from Canadians Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole’s excellent adventure begins at Fox Sports
  • Toronto Varsity Blues football pushing to get back on track

    U of T Varsity Blues football (The Canadian Press)U of T Varsity Blues football (The Canadian Press)

    For the University of Toronto Varsity Blues football program, the road to back to respectability has been a long one. Two years after winning the Vanier Cup in 1993, the Varsity Blues made their last playoff appearance. 18 years later they are still looking for a postseason birth and currently hold the longest playoff drought in Canadian Interuniversity Sport Football.

    Greg Gary, a former Grey Cup Champion with the 1986 Hamilton Tiger-Cats, is in his third year calling the shots for the Varsity Blues. He took the reigns as head coach and manager of football operations in 2011 knowing to succeed, he would not only have to get back to basics, but also think outside the box.

    His top priority was to add a strength and conditioning coach on site, "That was our first step to get bigger, faster, and stronger," Gary said.

    Realizing that the school is known more for its top notch academics than its football program, Gary surmised that the players they were attracting would respond well to a

    Read More »from Toronto Varsity Blues football pushing to get back on track
  • Canada's men's basketball team continues preparation for the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. (Canada Basketball)It can be difficult for a team to mold an identity over a short period of time, especially one that includes a diverse combination of international veterans, college standouts, and NBA talent. Two wins over Jamaica and two weeks of practice in Toronto has given Canada's men's basketball team an idea of what they can do on the court together.

    "I think we can be great defensively. We're big, we got athletic big men that can contest and change a lot of shots. We're fast at the guard position so we can get up into guys and cause havoc and I think we can be great in transition as well because we're really fast," said point guard Cory Joseph.

    As the coaching staff begins to the process of molding the 12-man roster that will play for Canada at the FIBA Americas Championship in Venezuela in late August and early September, Myck Kabongo and Phil Scrubb, the only CIS player participating in training camp, were released.

    Read More »from Canada’s men’s basketball team building towards 2013 FIBA Americas Championship
  • IPC president Sir Philip Craven is optimistic for the growth of paralympic sports in Canada. (Press Association Images)IPC president Sir Philip Craven is optimistic for the growth of paralympic sports in Canada. (Press Association Images)There are two things that are required to push forward any movement: passion and money; the former is the heart of the equation but its beat is undoubtedly and unfortunately dulled by a lack of the latter.

    Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee is committed to a vision that continues to build awareness around paralympic sport and he knows that a combination of passion and money is vital to that growth.

    "I think the thing that we want to do with Toronto 2015, then moving onto Rio 2016, is to inspire and excite the entire world. Of course, you get to the entire world by having more and more broadcast television and media coverage and that's grown exponentially," Craven said during his visit to Toronto in preparation for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

    1,500 of the world's best para-athletes will be in Toronto and since the games act as a qualifier for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it ensures the top performers will be there. With

    Read More »from IPC president Sir Philip Craven encouraged by Canadian paralympic movement ahead of 2015 Parapan Am Games
  • With the type of laugh-cuz-ya-can't-cry-anymore season the Toronto Blue Jays are experiencing, it is no shock one of their farm clubs would find a way to lose that you never knew was possible.

    During a doubleheader on Tuesday, the Jays' New Hampshire Fisher Cats lost on a 'walk-off intentional walk' — a wild pitch by Alan Farina on ball four of a free pass to the New Britain Rock Cats' Reynaldo Rodriguez. With runners on second and third base and one out in a 5-5 tie, Farina screwed up one of the most elemental plays in baseball, airmailing his throw out of the reach of catcher Jack Murphy.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Of course the catcher would be named Murphy, since the Jays are run by Murphy's Law. Of course it would also happen against a farm team of Boston Red Sox, the AL East rival true Jays fans have the most bile toward.

    Read More »from Blue Jays farm team loses game on a walk-off intentional walk, really
  • Anthony Gose is hot of late, but still was passed over for a big-league promotion. (The Canadian Press)BUFFALO – Anthony Gose, suddenly, finally, is playing like he has something to prove. The Toronto Blue Jays seemingly forgotten prospect is biding his time with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

    Gose had an obvious chip on his shoulder on Wednesday night for a game against the Rochester Red Wings. The once-prized prospect was again passed over for a promotion to the major leagues in favour of fellow outfielder Kevin Pillar, a 32nd round draft pick in 2011.

    “Obviously he would love to be a guy that had that opportunity to be back in the big leagues,” Bisons manager Marty Brown said prior to their 8-3 win over Rochester. “Those are things that I can’t control and he can’t control. You could take Anthony Gose there right now and have a very good player. . . These choices are made by our general manager and [Blue Jays manager] John Gibbons, there’s no way you can control that other than go out and play.”

    On Wednesday, Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos made it sound like Gose might not be far behind in getting a callup, perhaps even by the end of the week. Still, Pillar getting the call and starting in left field for the Jays before Gose speaks volumes about his season, and perhaps, his stock.

    Read More »from Blue Jays prospect Anthony Gose working to restore ‘top prospect’ label
  • Brett Lawrie hit a walkoff single to give the Blue Jays a win. (Getty)

    TORONTO – It was a game that the Blue Jays had won, nearly lost, and then won again, and they couldn't have done it without two players who have been battling to find themselves.

    Sounds confusing? Please, that's just baseball.

    The Red Sox are in a playoff race; the Blue Jays are not. Even in the middle of August with two teams on opposite sides of the standings, each game presents an opportunity to observe and take in the surroundings; to extrapolate further and try to make sense of what's unfolding on the field.

    The Jays squeezed past the Sox 4-3 in 10 innings. Two central characters from Wednesday night should serve as a reminder of the game's fickle nature.

    Brett Lawrie delivered a walkoff base hit, continuing his month of strong play. Spot starter Esmil Rogers pitched six innings of one-run ball.

    Over the last 25 games, Lawrie has a slash line of .337/.394/.572. His fWAR over that span is 1.2, which ties him for the team lead with Jose Bautista. His game-winning knock wasn't

    Read More »from Brett Lawrie and Esmil Rogers battle game’s fickle nature, help Blue Jays beat Red Sox 4-3
  • Kyle Drabek earned the win in his first start with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. (Getty Images)BUFFALO – Amid a mostly forgettable season for the Toronto Blue Jays pitching, there may be some reinforcements, and hope, on the horizon.

    Young pitchers Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek both pitched in rehab assignments for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in an 8-3 victory over the Rochester Red Wings on Wednesday night. Hutchison and Drabek both suffered elbow injuries in 2012 and required Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.

    Their lives have been linked over the last year and it seems they will continue to be side-by-side as they attempt to make it back to the big leagues. They suffered their injuries two days apart last June, lived together, rehabbed together and now are on the cusp of a return together.

    “We became close [during spring training] since we were younger guys and could relate to the same things,” Drabek said. “I ended up living with him through rehab. I’m real happy with where he’s at.”

    Drabek should know. The 25-year-old is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery already.

    Read More »from Rehabbing Blue Jays prospects Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison nearing return to majors
  • Boston Red Sox's Ryan Dempster throws out Blue Jays Jose BautistaBoston Red Sox's Ryan Dempster throws out Blue Jays Jose Bautista

    Just imagine if Ryan Dempster had ever played for the Montreal Expos or Toronto Blue Jays. Based on his performances pitching in Canada, the Gibsons, B.C. native would have been a shoe-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    The Canadian right-hander protected his unblemished record in his native land with an impressive seven innings of four-hit baseball in a 4-2 Red Sox win at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday. The 36-year-old veteran is now 6-0 in 11 career starts against the Jays and Expos in his native country.

    "We don't come back here again this year, right?" the 36-year-old veteran playfully asked when that was pointed out to him after the game. "In that case, I'll enjoy that record."

    He'll no doubt also be enjoying the fact that he came up with a solid outing at a crucial time for him. Despite a n0-decision that came after the Boston bullpen failed to hold the lead, Dempster had the Blue Jays off balance all night.

    His timing couldn't have been better.

    A small string of shaky starts recently

    Read More »from Call Red Sox hurler Ryan Dempster Mr. Perfect in Canada

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