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26/08/2014

I can finally say Ive won the Giro

TORONTO - Jose Bautista entered Wednesdays play at or near the top of most of baseballs important offensive categories. http://www.shopjerseyslions.com/Womens-Nick-Fairley-Authentic-Jersey/ . The 33-year-old is the league leader with 34 walks. His 1.058 OPS and 191 OPS+ are the best in the game. Bautistas hit nine home runs, which ties him for fourth in the majors. Hes reached base safely in each of the Blue Jays 33 games to begin the year. Thats a club record. "I think Ive had a pretty strong first month, as strong as I might have had ever in my career," Bautista told TSN.ca during a conversation in Philadelphia. "But the seasons long and its hard to look at small samples and how thats going to portray into a complete season. I try not to pay attention to those things and just focus on the preparation and the work and my effort and hopefully at the end of the year everythings taken care of itself." As teams around the league rely more heavily on spray charts and advanced offensive data, Bautista, like most sluggers around the league, often hits with three infielders on the left side of second base. The percentages show that if Bautista hits the ball on the ground, most of the time hell pull it. With that in mind, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has encouraged Bautista to occasionally take pitches the other way. Manager John Gibbons believes the approach helps Bautista stay on breaking pitches down and away. He sees those often as opposing pitchers often work around him or, at least, are particularly careful about keeping the ball out of the middle of the strike zone. "The only difference I see with him is hes taking some hits the other way and I think its making him a tougher out," said manager John Gibbons. "You hear some people who complain about, well, hes a home run hitter, youve got to do it this way. Well, you know what? His home run numbers havent suffered one bit." Bautistas coaches and teammates took notice of his approach in the 10th inning of Tuesday nights 6-5 win over the Phillies. Melky Cabrera led off with a single. Bautista worked a 2-2 count and with the infield pulled around to the third base side he pushed a 93 miles per hour fastball through the gaping hole where the second baseman would usually stand. Cabrera advanced to third on the play and one out later scored the game-winning run on Juan Franciscos sacrifice fly. Manager John Gibbons called it "winning baseball." "Its good to see, thats what winning players and winning teams do, the little stuff," said Jose Reyes. "In that situation he didnt try to hit a two-run home run and pop it up to the infield or something. He just tried to move Melky over, he saw that huge space there at second base and he hit the ball that way, first and third and we win the game right there." Outfield coach Tim Leiper paid Bautista the ultimate praise last week, equating his pregame preparation and in-game adjustments to that of a coach. Bautista doesnt want the label but he is involved in every pitch. From the dugout hes studying the opposing pitcher, watching for tendencies that may indicate which type of pitch will be thrown. Not a base stealer himself, Bautista tries to help his faster teammates get a read on a pitchers move. Defensively, hell involve himself in outfield positioning based on his extensive knowledge of hitters. "I try to pay attention to things like that and I share all kinds of information with my teammates," said Bautista. "I also encourage them to share stuff that they know and information that they have with me. I like to listen to that kind of stuff and put it into my database, I guess." Gibbons recalls a game in Kansas City early last year when injuries to Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie forced Bautista from his usual spot in right field and in to play third base. Bautista would frequently hover around the mound in between outs, giving the pitcher a scouting report on the next hitter. "Joses not just out there playing," said Gibbons. "He studies this and hes paying attention to whats going on. Hes played against a lot of these guys over the years so hes got a pretty good idea of what they do." The Blue Jays entered Wednesdays action with a record of 16-17 following a 4-4 road trip to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Like on their previous road trip, they left some games on the table due to poor, late-game pitching. Bautista isnt panicking, however, because the American League East remains tight six weeks into the season. Torontos just a game and a half back of first-place Baltimore. "The only thing that would matter if we were 15 games back," said Bautista. "That would mean wed dug ourselves a big hole to come out of. From that perspective it doesnt really matter. What matters is how we play from here on out and weve got to focus on that." Golden Tate III Grey Jersey . The 30-year-old Colas sustained the injury during a training crash on Sunday. Colas was attempting to go over the final jump on the difficult course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park when he landed awkwardly and tore the ACL in his left knee. Joique Bell Blue Jersey . -- Kyle Buchanan scored four goals and added three assists to lead the Philadelphia Wings over the Vancouver Stealth 15-9 in National Lacrosse League action on Saturday.TRIESTE, Italy -- Nairo Quintana showed why hes considered as cyclings next star by winning the Giro dItalia on Sunday to follow his runner-up finish in last years Tour de France. The 24-year-old climbing specialist with the Movistar team won two stages and finished with a 2 minute, 58 second advantage over fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran for his first Grand Tour victory. "Its really emotional," Quintana said. "I didnt think there would be so many Colombians here today. It was incredible seeing how much support and how many banners there were." One such banner held aloft during the podium celebration with the Colombian flag on it read, "The Giro is ours. Gracias muchachos." Fabio Aru, a 23-year-old Italian who is also considered a top rider for the future, finished third overall, 4:04 back. Quintana took the pink jersey by winning the grueling 16th stage over the Gavia and Stelvio climbs then also took the 19th leg, a mountain time trial. Quintana finished second to Chris Froome in last years Tour. While he isnt planning to enter the French race this year, he has designs on winning it next year. "We need to look at our plans carefully," Quintana said. Slovenias Luca Mezgec won the final stage in a mass sprint. The Giant-Shimano rider clocked 4 hours, 23 minutes, 58 seconds over the mostly flat 172-kilometre (107-mile) leg from Gemona del Friuli to Trieste, which concluded with eight laps of a city circuit. "It couldnt be a better day than this. Were close to Slovenia," Mezgec said. Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy finished second and Tyler Farrar of the United States was third, both with the same time as Mezgec. Barry Sanders Blue Jersey. Dressed entirely in pink, Quintana finished safely in the middle of the pack and pumped his fist as he crossed the line then hugged his teammates when he got off his bike. "I can finally say Ive won the Giro," Quintana said. "I have to thank my teammates and my family here supporting me." During the playing of the Colombian anthem, Quintana held his pink-clad daughter Mariana, who was born in February. Quintana faced controversy after the 16th stage, in which he attacked on the descent from the Stelvio then powered up the final climb in the lead. There had been some confusion over whether the descent on a wet road was going to be neutralized but race officials declared afterward that his victory was legitimate. Quintana is the first Colombian to win the race -- and with Uran, it was a sweep of the top two spots. Another Colombian, Julian Arredondo, won the mountains classification. Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos travelled to Quintanas hometown of Combita to watch the final stage with dozens of friends and neighbours of the cyclist, who was raised in the high Andean town of 16,000 by a family of peasant farmers. Dressed in the pink colour of the tour leaders jersey and surrounded by fans holding signs like "Nairo: all of Colombia loves and thanks you," Santos said the Quintanas victory was an inspiration to millions of Colombians. "I feel like the entire country is supporting me," Quintana said numerous times during the three-week race. ' ' '