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Imagine if you will a Jays team starting this season with Roberto Alomar at second base, Joe Carter in right field, Devon White in centre, John Olerud at first and Paul Molitor at DH. Markus Wheaton Jersey . Not to mention a pitching staff, that includes Dave Stewart, Juan Guzman, Pat Hentgen and up-and-comers like Woody Williams, Al Leiter and Todd Stottlemyre. This team would also have three young prospects who could be the foundation of a great team for years to come in Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Alex Gonzalez. You might already be printing the World Series tickets. Well it didnt exactly turn out that way for the 1994 Blue Jays. They did win six of their first seven games and got off to decent 12-6 start including a six-game win streak. However it didnt last, and by the time the strike came in mid-August that led to the eventual shutdown of the season, they had faded to 55-60 and the dream of a three-peat gone with it. I painted that little scenario to show you how difficult it can be to predict division winners, let alone World Series champs. The 1994 Jays had most of the key components back from the team that had repeated in 1993, including having WAMCO intact as the top five hitters in the lineup (White, Alomar, Molitor, Carter and Olerud). There were three missing pieces. Closer Duane Ward had injured his shoulder in the offseason and was never really able to come back and be the dominant bullpen stopper he had been. Shortstop Tony Fernandez and left fielder Rickey Henderson had been allowed to leave in the offseason as well. Still, there was more than enough talent for this team to contend. Darren Hall, a mere shadow of Ward took over as closer and recorded 17 saves. Veteran Dick Schofield played the bulk of the games at short and journeyman Mike Huff played left for the most part. I would submit the 94 Blue Jays had far more talent than the current Jays, yet they finished the abbreviated season five games under .500. You dont want to be a total buzz-kill about the 2014 Jays, because they do have talent. If they both stay healthy, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are capable of hitting at least 40 homers. Melky Cabrera, sans back tumour, is looking more like he could have been batting champ with the Giants a couple of years ago. Jose Reyes, again when healthy, is one of the top shortstops in the game. Brett Lawrie could be on the cusp of developing into one of the top third basemen in the Majors, and this is a free agent contract year for Colby Rasmus, so the pressure is on for him to produce. In other words, the offence should be there. As it has been the past two seasons, pitching is the question. The starting rotation has to log enough innings to give a solid bullpen the chance to produce results for the entire season, not just the first half, after which they could fade from overuse. If Drew Hutchison is the real deal, and it looks as though he just might be, the top three in the rotation looks pretty decent, though you always worry about the inevitable age-related declines of veterans like R.A. Dickey ( 39) and Mark Buehrle (35). The question marks are the 4 and 5 starters. Brandon Morrow has to prove he can put together a dominant healthy season and finally realize his vast potential. As for Dustin McGowan, youd have to have a heart of stone not to be pulling for this guy, whos battled through injury after injury to finally crack the Opening Day roster for the first time since 2008. Top prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman are waiting in the wings, but probably wont make significant contributions this season, unless there is another rash of injuries, or the Jays drop so far back, they just decide to go young. After calling the Jays to win 92 or 93 games a year ago and contend for a wild card spot, Im reluctant to make any kind of a call on where they will finish in 2014. But my gut tells me they will win 83 or 84 games and be battling for fourth with Baltimore or maybe even Boston. I really do hope Im wrong. Jays Elsewhere Not a really good well for Canadians in the Majors or ex-Jays. The Cubs released Canuck catcher George Kottaras, while Minnesota out-righted lefthander Scott Diamond of Guelph, Ontario to Triple "A" Rochester. Lefty Frank Viola, a Cy Young winner and World Series star in his days with the Twins, had a brief stint with the Jays near the end of his career. The now 53-year-old Viola is taking a leave of absence from his job as the Mets Triple "A" pitching coach at Las Vegas after undergoing open heart surgery. The man taking Violas place is Tom Signore, who was the Blue Jays Double "A" pitching coach at New Hampshire the past three years. So Signore will get to work with the Mets top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, whom he also had in the Blue Jays system before he was traded as part of the package for R.A Dickey. Former Jays righthander Shaun Marcum was sent to their minor league camp by Clevleand. Marcum, who was dealt to Milwaukee for Brett Lawrie, has seen his career hampered by injuries. Over eight years in the bigs, the 32-year-old Marcum has a 58-46 record with a 3.88 earned run average. The Indians are hoping he can battle his way back at some point this season. J.P Arencibia was hoping to get some significant playing time in Texas this season to re-establish his career. When the Rangers number one backstop Geovany Soto went down for 10-12 weeks with torn meniscus in his right knee, it looked as though J.P would be the man but skipper Ron Washington has been more impressed with Robinson Chirinos. So it appears J.P., at least for now, is stuck as the backup. One Jay having a good week, in fact a good spring, is catcher Yan Gomes. He appears to have won the number one job with Cleveland after the Indians moved Carlos Santana from catcher to third base. The Jays traded Gomes and veteran utility infielder Mike Aviles to the Indians for righthander Esmil Rogers in the previous offseason. Considering how Gomes has progressed and Rogers has faltered this spring, the Jays might like a mulligan on that one. Michael Bennett Jersey .C. -- Clemson celebrated a senior class Saturday that brought the program back as a national contender. Mike Wallace Jersey . Those who impressed in each of the three events were asked to attend the main CFL Combine which begins Friday in Toronto. http://www.eaglespromart.com/haloti-ngata-eagles-jersey/ ." Also, defencemen "were found to be at a higher risk of suffering a concussion than other players, perhaps due to turning their back to retrieve pucks along the boards, which leaves them vulnerable. EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State cant count on many of its players to perform consistently well. Keith Appling has been an exception in Big Ten play. Appling scored 24 points to help the fifth-ranked Spartans beat Minnesota 87-75 in overtime Saturday after overcoming a double-digit deficit in the second half and blowing a lead late in regulation. "No lead is safe at the end of a game, especially in the Big Ten," Appling said. The Spartans (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten) are well aware of that fact. The Spartans scored 15 straight points while holding the Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2) scoreless for nearly 8 minutes after trailing 53-43 with 15:57 left. Michigan State missed an opportunity to win in regulation for the second straight game, losing a five-point lead in the last 13 seconds. The Spartans were without Adreian Payne because of a sprained right foot. "Theres nothing medically wrong that we can observe," coach Tom Izzo said. "Theres no stress fracture. He wanted to play. Hes not being a wimp. He just didnt feel he could, so I didnt want to take a chance and suit him up." Payne didnt start the previous game, but scored 18 points in an overtime win over No. 3 Ohio State in which Michigan State wasted a 17-point lead in the second half. "We deserve some criticism for how weve executed," Izzo said. Late in regulation, the Gophers (13-4, 2-2) made plays and got a break that gave them a shot to pull off an upset. Minnesotas Malik Smith made his fifth 3-pointer, Gary Harris missed two free throws with 11.3 seconds left for the Spartans and DeAndre Mathieus layup with 1.7 seconds left tied the game and sent it to overtime. First-year Gophers coach Richard Pitino was glad Mathieu made the shot, but it wasnt the one he wanted. "I was running a play and trying to shoot a 3 to be honest with you," Pitino said. Michigan State scored the first nine points of OT, ending Minnesotas chance to beat a top-five team on its home court for the first time in school history and to win at the Breslin Center for the first time since 1997. "Anytime you go on the road in a great environment and you step up for 40 minutes and you doont win the game, it is a bit of a missed opportunity," Pitino said. Mike Wallace Eagles Jersey. "But there will be plenty more." Minnesotas next two home games are against Ohio State and Wisconsin, teams currently ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in The Associated Press poll. The Spartans barely did enough to keep winning and match the best 16-game record Izzo has had in 19 seasons, equaling the record they had during the 2000-01 season as defending national champions. Minnesota guard Austin Hollins turned the ball over with 42 seconds left and teammate Andre Hollins had an ill-advised 3-pointer blocked with 23 seconds left, trailing by three on each possession. Then, the Gophers struggled to take care of the basketball in OT and couldnt stop the Spartans. "We just made some bonehead plays," Andre Hollins said. Minnesota needed more than 4 minutes to score in the extra period and those points pulled it within seven. "We came in confident," Andre Hollins said. "We expected to win this game. Its not a moral victory. We have to give them a lot of credit for making their free throws." Andre Hollins scored 24 and Smith had 17 points off the bench. Smith scored 11 of his points, nine on 3-pointers, in the first 12 minutes of the game to help the Gophers lead 41-36 at halftime after making 7 of 12 shots beyond the arc. They made just 3 of 14 3-pointers in the second half and overtime. Harris had 19 points and redshirt freshman Kenny Kaminski scored a season-high 15 -- all on 3-pointers. Appling said Kaminski, "saved the day," for the Spartans. Izzo has not been pleased lately with Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine and both played relatively well at times against Minnesota. Dawson finished with six points and 10 rebounds after not scoring and grabbing just three rebounds in the first half. "Theres something wrong with Brandan," Izzo said. "Theres something bothering him. You can see it -- you dont have to be a coach." Valentine had nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists, four steals and a blocked shot late in regulation. "He got some big rebounds late and he defended better," Izzo said. 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