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TORONTO – It hasnt been a calendar year since he was thrust into the closers role; its taken much less time for Casey Janssen to cement himself as a reliable ninth inning pitcher. "Honestly it was like this is my one time to show baseball that, hey, maybe I can be something more than a middle reliever," said Janssen of the opportunity given to him last May. "Unfortunately in this game youre never a closer until you get the opportunity and then its what you do with the opportunity. I dont know how many opportunities I would get in the future if I blew it last year. I always say no one wants to be vice-president, no one wants to be assistant general manager; everyone wants to be the guy." In an April of few positives for a Blue Jays club that won only 10 of its 27 games, Janssen has been one. He has converted each of his seven save opportunities this season and 29 of 32 dating back to last year. He has allowed only one earned run and in six conversions has faced an innings minimum of three batters. Whats more remarkable is that Janssens been perfect while feeling imperfect, coming off of off-season shoulder surgery. There have been days hes told manager John Gibbons hes not available to pitch. “Im hanging in there; Im doing all right,” said Janssen. “I dont think anyone is super fresh but its part of the game and part of our jobs down in the bullpen and just be ready to go tomorrow.” “Well hes smart,” said Gibbons. “We dont need any heroes just yet. Otherwise you push him, he bites his lip when he probably shouldnt be, then it gets worse and then hes down for whatever and now things get really tough. We expect them all to be honest.” The journey from then to now has been an unexpected one, appropriate considering Janssen is an unlikely closer. In an age when power arms are groomed for, or converted to, ninth inning work, Janssens inability to light up a radar gun makes him a less obvious choice. “As a closer, no,” said Gibbons, who was managing the Blue Jays when Janssen broke in to the majors in 2006. “I guess what kind of woke me up to it (was when) I was in Kansas City for three years and saw (Joakim) Soria pitch an almost identical style. He was one of the best in the game at making it easy. It makes it easier to watch; they dont beat themselves.” “Darren (Oliver) and I laugh about it every night,” said Janssen. “Every bullpen now in the big leagues, theyre bringing out guys who throw 95. We just laugh. Were like ‘what are we doing kind of a thing because we see these guys. And then we talk about just the draft; I mean I was a fourth-round draft pick, there was plenty of guys drafted before me. If all those guys had command and worked as hard, I wouldnt be here.” Janssens fastball tops out in the low 90s; his curveball the trusted “out” pitch – batters strike out almost 39 percent of the time Janssen throws his curve with two strikes. His success comes from working ahead in the count, which stems from his ability to locate pitches with near pinpoint accuracy. “Youre kind of playing the cards youre dealt with and thats my game,” said Janssen. “Its the same with a guy like Mark Buehrle as well. Hes never going to be a 95 guy so hes got to learn how to pitch or hes going to be out of this game and hes had a pretty long career out of it. You just have to be willing to adjust and learn and for us the margin of error is so much smaller that you pretty much have to be perfect every time.” In Janssens first big league season, 2006, 17 of his 19 appearances were starts. The following year, 2007, he pitched in 70 games, exclusively out of the bullpen. Then, in 2008, came the most challenging season of Janssens career. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum, an injury from which some pitchers dont recover. Janssen missed the entire year rehabbing near his home in Santa Monica, California. He watched every game, acknowledging it “drove me crazy.” But as he watched, he learned – hitters tendencies; pitchers approaches – and it made him a better pitcher. “It was tough at first because, being raised, my dad always told me you never say ‘I cant,” said Janssen. “That was the first time I remember in my baseball career that I actually told the coaches and the staff that I cant continue; my arms killing me. That was tough and then to not be around the guys, to sit at home and watch all the games, it made you have so much more respect for the game and what you do. But at the same time you wanted to be there and you didnt know if it was going to happen that you were going to get back there. Having said that, I mean, mentally, coming back from that you can kind of come back from everything and just appreciate the game and be grateful for everyday, which you hope people are. We love playing this game; we love everyday of it.” Every Blue Jays visit to Anaheim is special for Janssen; he grew up watching the Angels play. In fact, in just his fourth-career start, he pitched eight innings of shut-out ball at Angel Stadium. Taking the mound at Fenway Park, with its rich history, and pitching in Baltimore, having admired Cal Ripkens accomplishments, are other “wow” moments in Janssens career. Youll rarely see emotional outbursts; Janssen certainly wont be employing the gyrating mannerisms of, say, Detroits Jose Valverde. But he doesnt criticize his fellow closers and doesnt want his cool demeanour to be misconstrued. “If that works for them then do it because it doesnt matter how you get it done as long as you get it done in that role,” said Janssen. “You can be as flashy as you want, you could be as calm as you want but at the end of the day I think all that really matters is getting those three outs and getting the win. I havent been a huge celebrator but thats just kind of my personality. At the same time, Im an emotional guy and a heart-on-my-sleeve type of pitcher but once its done, its like you can just exhale and know that you accomplished something.” The Blue Jays have come to count on Janssen. After all, hes gotten a save in seven of the clubs 10 wins. While its a stretch to assume hell go through the entire season unscathed, Janssen promises he will be efficient. “Its going to happen fast, good or bad,” joked Janssen. “Short and sweet either way and hopefully its in the win the column. Then get ready for tomorrow. The fewer pitches you throw the more opportunity you have to go back out there the next day.” www.jerseysraiders.com/Jersey-Willie-Brown.htm . The sixth-seeded Schiavone was dominant in the first set, where she didnt face a break point on her serve and broke the Spaniard twice. Dominguez Lino broke in the fourth game of the second set to lead 3-1, but Schiavone broke her straight back, and saved further break points in the next game before breaking her opponent once again to take control. www.jerseysraiders.com/Jersey-Al-Davis.htm . UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said Europe will enter the same 53 countries which played in the 2010 World Cup qualifying tournament, when nine group winners gained direct entry to the event in South Africa. http://www.jerseysraiders.com/Jersey-Usama-Young.htm. 18 Ohio State had more than enough talent left behind. Joe Bauserman, a quarterback starting his first game in eight years, ran for a touchdown and threw for three to tight end Jake Stoneburner to lead No. www.jerseysraiders.com/Jersey-Tyvon-Branch.htm . The IceDogs netminder made 26 saves for his second straight shutout and league-leading sixth of the season as Niagara hammered the Belleville Bulls 6-0 on Thursday night. www.jerseysraiders.com/Jersey-David-Ausberry.htm . Now, Avalanche fans are hoping theyre reunited again to steer the foundering franchise back to the glory days. According to reports, the Hall of Fame goaltender could possibly be in line to become the next coach.ARDMORE, Pa. -- Shawn Stefani lost track of the ball as soon it rocketed off his 4-iron. A roaring U.S. Open gallery tracked it for him. "Go! Go! Go! Go!" It did Sunday when Stefani aced the 17th hole, making him the first golfer to make a hole-in-one at any U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, which is hosting the major for the fifth time. "When the crowd went crazy, I knew it went in," he said. His shot bounced out of the rough and rolled some 50 feet toward the pin before falling in the cup. Stefani raised his arms and hopped around the tee in celebration. Caddie Chris Callas gave him a playful hug and a slap on the back. "I didnt know what to do but jump up and down for joy," Stefani said. Then he walked down the 213-yard, par-3 hole and planted a kiss on the sweet spot where it landed. "Were in Philly. Theres ssome great fans up here and I know they can be tough on you and they can love you forever," he said.dddddddddddd USGA Museum officials waited for Stefani near the scorecard trailer and hoped to acquire the ball. Stefani declined. "Its hiding right now," he said. "Im going to save it." But he did pull the ball out of his pocket and showed it off. He also inquired about getting some sort of commemorative plaque from Merion. The USGAs Far Hills, N.J. museum didnt go home empty-handed -- Stefani donated a signed glove and scorecard. His only other ace came when he was 13 at Goose Creek Country Club in Baytown, Texas, his hometown. It was the first ace at Merion, but not at a Philadelphia Open. The first U.S. Open hole-in-one came in 1907, when Jack Hobens aced the 147-yard 10th hole at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. ' ' '

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