Blue Jays GM: “This whole thing is stupid”

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So, Alex Anthopoulous is going the J.P. Arencibia route.

Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca has all of the quotes as the Blue Jays GM addressed the media Wednesday to respond to an ESPN story accusing the team of using someone in the center-field stands to steal signs.

Anthopoulous opened by saying, “This whole thing is stupid.  It’s unbelievable that we’re even sitting here.”

The general manager went on to accuse ESPN of failing to do its homework, and he said the story has a lot of holes in it.  He asked ESPN to find someone formerly connected with the Blue Jays to try to back the story up, and that ESPN either didn’t try to do so or failed to come up with a former player or employee willing to contribute to the story.

Meanwhile, the National Post’s John Lott got Jose Bautista to speak briefly.  Bautista said the encounter detailed within ESPN’s article happened during a White Sox game.  So add the White Sox to the list of teams, which includes the Red Sox and Yankees, that believe the Jays are cheating.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.