Wouldn't an ace go good about now?

 * Any one else think that the Blue Jays need another starter as they try to end their 21-year drought of post-season play? Would David Price be an option? ....  

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By Bob Elliott

Now is the time.

The Blue Jays have made 41 selections in the June draft from Jeff Hoffman and Max Pentecost in the first round to Trent Miller in the 40th.

Now is the time.

Time to draft a starting pitcher ... for the rotation

Why wait almost eight weeks until 15 minutes before the July 31 trade deadline without waivers?

Trade now.

Why not step on the collective throats of the American League East in the next day or so and acquire an ace?

Will the Tampa Bay Rays -- 14 games below sea level entering Saturday’s play -- make former Cy Young award winner lefty David Price available?

Or will the Kansas City Royals -- three games under .500 -- move James Shields?

How about Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson, also headed to free agency after being unable to work out an extension?

We know that the Chicago Cubs are preparing to move right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

More and more high-ranking evaluators are showing at games of the Jays farm clubs to examine Toronto farmhands. Shields is a free agent at the end of the season, while Price and Samardzija are eligible for salary arbitration next season and won’t be a free agent until 2016. Price is in his seventh season, but only had four years and 164 days service time. So, he's eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. But can the Rays afford him?

The Jays sit in first place, high on life and the AL East riding on hefty throw cushions and their numbers refer to the glory days ...

By winning 20 of 24 its the first time since 1989 ... when the Blue Jays lost the American League Championship Series to the Oakland A’s in five games.

They have not sat alone first place 17 days and counting since 1993 when Joe Carter homered to win the World Series.

They have compiled their best home record since 1992, when they won the World Series.

All good. All great.

They were not as bad as they were last year when they won 74 games.

And they aren’t as good as they are now.

In 1993 they started Juan Guzman, Pat Hentgen, Todd Stottlemyre, Dave Stewart and Jack Morris.

And the year before it was Jimmy Key, David Cone, Morris, Guzman and Stottlemyre.

It’s early but who matches whom from the Series winning teams to the starting staff of John Gibbons?

We’d say Mark Buehrle is a better version of Key this year.

Then, the Jays have R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison, J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman, who has made two fine starts, including one where he took the mound in the second with a 7-0 lead. Hutchison might be Stottlemyre.

Would either Price or Shields look good starting the first game of post-season play since 1993?

And this time Rogers Communications would not even have to take up a collection as they attempted to in spring training to land Ervin Santana.


You’re gone, you’re gone and you’re gone too: The Boston Red Sox saw manager John Farrell as well as coaches Torey Lovullo and Brian Butterfield ejected in a game with against the Tampa Bay Rays as David Price last weekend.

It was only the 12th time since 1945 a manager and two of his coaches were ejected in the same game. Twice former Jays manager Bobby Cox and his coaches took early showers.

First base coach John Sullivan was tossed by first base ump Dale Ford July 24, 1982 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Sullivan argued Willie Upshaw was safe on the final out of the first inning. Cox and hitting coach Cito Gaston took up the argument and were tossed too. Dave Stieb pitched the Jays to an 8-1 win over the White Sox as Jesse Barfield pinch hit for Hosken Powell in the eighth hitting a three-run homer.

And two years later Cox ejected in seventh by Jim McKean and Durwood Merrill for arguing a balk call on lefty Jimmy Key on July 20, 1984 at the Kingdome in Seattle. An inning later both pitching coach Al Widmar and third base coach Jimy Williams then tossed by McKean for arguing Mike Stanton’s delivery. That left first base coach Billy Smith in charge.

Trailing the Mariners 3-1 in the top of the ninth it went like this: Lloyd Moseby triple, one out later a run-scoring single by Willie Aikens, Cliff Johnson single, George Bell single and a throwing error, Barfield single, two-run single by Tony Fernandez, run-scoring single by Damo Garcia, Dave Collins walk, run-scoring single by Moseby, run-scoring singles by Willie Upshaw and Alfredo Griffin and a two-run single by Barfield for a 12-3 lead. Roy Lee Jackson allowed four runs in the bottom of the ninth.

“Just remember -- those runs are mine, that win was mine, those guys didn’t hit for you guys,” we remember Smith saying jokingly to Cox and Gaston. “I took over when we were behind ... I get the win and am retiring 1-0.”

Farrell was ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing Price should be ejected for hitting Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Bench coach Lovullo took over but was tossed in the fourth by first base ump and Jeff Kellogg for arguing that Price should have been ejected for hitting Mike Carp. Third base coach Butterfield stepped in, moved from third base to the dugout, lasting only until the sixth when Sox reliever Brandon Workman threw behind Evan Longoria resulting in automatic ejections of Butterfield and Workman. Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn assumed complete control.

Numbers: Both the Blue Jays -- with Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Jonathan Diaz, Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar and Colby Rasmus -- and the New York Mets -- Matt den Dekker, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Chris Young and Eric Young, Jr.) led the majors for most players used in centre field this season: six ... The Kennesaw State Owls, with catcher Max Pentecost, of the Atlantic Sun Conference joined Eastern Michigan (1975), Cal State-Fullerton (1975), Georgia (1987) and Kansas (1993) as the only college teams to advance beyond the regionals in their in the NCAA tournament debut. Kennesaw State lost the best-of-three series to Louisville in two straight games in the Super Regionals.