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News » Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-01

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-01

Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2008-10-01
--Team president Paul Godfrey announced the day after the season ended that he would be stepping down at year's end. He said he wanted to give the organization plenty of time to have his replacement installed before the 2009 season.

--The Blue Jays are preparing to offer RHP A.J. Burnett a new, improved four-year deal. The new contract would add two years and $30 million to Burnett's existing contract, which still has two years to run. The proposed package, which had not yet been presented to Burnett's representatives, would total $54 million over four years. "October is the best period for us to talk to him (seeing as nobody else can), and I'll take advantage of that time," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. On the one hand, Burnett says he'd like to stay, and on the other he's intrigued by what his free agent value is. Along the way, he refuses to say that he has made up his mind one way or the other.

"It depends on what these guys offer," he said of opting out. "I'm not 100 percent that I'm going to opt out. I'm comfortable in my environment here, so hopefully something will come out of it."

--Thanks to a two-homer game from CF Vernon Wells in the season finale, the Jays avoided ending the season without a 20-homer player on the team. Wells, who was restricted to 108 games this season because of injuries, topped the list with 20. The only times the Jays failed to have a 20-home run hitter were in the strike-shortened season of 1981 and their first year of existence, 1977.

Overall, the Jays ranked 10th in runs scored with 714 and 11th in home runs with 126.

--The Jays also never came close to having a hitter drive in 100 runs. In fact, they didn't even have a hitter who drove in 80 runs. RF Alex Rios ended the season with 79 RBI to lead the team. CF Vernon Wells had 78.

--The Jays ended the season with the best pitching in the league and the second-best defense. It's hard to see how they finished fourth. Their starters went 71-53 with a 3.73 ERA and 90 quality starts to lead all American League teams. Their bullpen also was rated No. 1 by going 15-23 with a 2.96 ERA. Overall, the Jays' pitching staff was No. 1 in the following categories: ERA (3.51), complete games (15), fewest runs (610), fewest home runs (134) and strikeouts (1,183).

--RHP Jesse Litsch put in a strong performance in his final start as he checked the Orioles on three hits and one run over seven innings to move to 13-9. In his last six starts of the season, Litsch was 4-1 with one no-decision.

BY THE NUMBERS: 51-37 -- The Blue Jays' record under manager Cito Gaston, who was signed to a two-year contract extension in the season's final week.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our money is not going to change. We're only going to have so much money that we feel that we can go forward with. If it's not enough, it's not enough." -- General manager J.P. Ricciardi explaining how he's not going to get into a bidding war for RHP A.J. Burnett.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: October 1, 2008

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