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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Betty Finnegan made the 5 1/2-hour drive from Fort Worth, Texas, with a friend Aug. 31 to watch the last two games of the season for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Her 21-year-old son was finishing his first summer as a professional baseball player on the Double-A team after helping pitch TCU into the College World Series.They had checked into a Holiday Inn and left for the ballpark when her cellphone rang, and she saw Brandon Finnegans number flash.I said, Oh my God, somethings wrong. The first thing in my mind is did he get hurt? she recalled last week.Nothing of the sort.Instead, the Kansas City Royals minor leaguer said: You know the hotel you just paid for? Youre not going to need it.I just got promoted to the major leagues, he told her. And we have to be there by midnight tonight.Sitting in a car with her friend and Brandons girlfriend, Betty started screaming.We were laughing and crying, all at the same time, she said.They quickly packed up his stuff and made the 3 1/2-hour drive to Kansas City, Betty in her grey Chevy Equinox and Brandon in his black Cadillac Escalade, which had been delivered just the night before.And the ride has kept on going.Betty Finnegan had been prepared for the trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and the College World Series last June. She never expected her son could become the first player to appear in the CWS and the big league World Series in the same season.I was sitting in a classroom probably about four months ago, Brandon Finnegan said Monday as his Royals got ready to play San Francisco. Its insane to even think of. I lived the college dream and major league dream in one year.Talk about long seasons: After going 0-8 for the Horned Frogs as a sophomore in 2013, he started bullpen sessions for fall ball that August and never stopped. He began his 2014 season by striking out 13 over seven shutout innings against Jacksonville in TCUs Valentines Day opener — more than eight months ago.In the CWS, he gave up a double on his first pitch. He trailed after two pitches and wound up going eight innings in a 15-inning, 3-2 loss to Virginia.TCU teammate Preston Morrison, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, said they pushed each other over their three seasons together. Pitching coach Kirk Saarloos, a former big leaguer, developed a system where his staff would compete for Frog Points, earned for first-pitch strikes, quick innings and fielding prowess.Hed be super upset if I got one more Frog than him and Id get super upset if he was one Frog above me. It was probably about 50-50 on who won, Morrison said.Kansas City took Finnegan with the 17th pick of the June draft — unusual, given that hes just 5-foot-11 and not the prototypical 6-foot-4 pitcher many teams seek.The left-hander signed for a bonus of $2,200,600 and made his pro debut in Delaware on July 10 for Class A Wilmington. He went 0-1 with an 0.60 ERA in five starts and on Aug. 1 moved up to Double-A, where he was shifted to the bullpen and went 0-3 with a 2.25 ERA in eight relief appearances.While the organization envisions him as a starter long-term, he quickly became its best short-term option for late lefty heat.Chad Lee, the Kansas City scout who tracked Finnegan the past two years, thought back to a conversation they had last October. Lee asked whether Finnegan saw himself someday as a starter or reliever in the majors.He goes, I think I can get hitters out right now in the big leagues, Lee recalled.Finnegan made his big league debut at Yankee Stadium in early September, a nationally televised game before a crowd of 45,262 on a steamy Saturday afternoon. He was the first player from this years draft to reach the majors.With the Royals trailing 6-1, Finnegan took the mound wearing the No. 29 pendant with a TCU marking, even though the Royals assigned him 27. He worked exclusively from the set position when he entered in the bottom of the sixth and John Ryan Murphy flied out.Jacoby Ellsbury got fooled on a changeup, a pitch Finnegan developed in the last year, and was left with just one hand on the bat as he flailed at strike three. And then Derek Jeter — Finnegan was 2 years old when the Yankees star made his big league debut — struck out when he swung over a 94 mph sinking fastball.It was such a whirlwind for him. I dont think he knew where he was at the time, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. He said, Coach, I didnt even realize it was Jeter. As soon as I toed the rubber and looked up to get the sign, its like, Holy cow! Its Derek Jeter!Finnegan allowed one run in seven regular-appearances with the Royals and two more in four post-season outings, getting the win in Game 2 of the AL Division Series sweep of the Angels.Finnegan played first base and outfield at Southwest High School in Fort Worth and also pitched once a week. He still speaks frequently with Frankie Gasca, his freshman team coach in 2008 and varsity coach in 2011.Ill tell you what, he definitely likes his shoes — sneakers, Gasca said. It seems like hes got one that will match for whatever outfit hes got on.Finnegan was drafted by his hometown Texas Rangers with the 1,374th pick in the 45th round in 2011. But he decided to accept a scholarship from TCU — as a freshman, he once hit six batters in a game.Finnegans father, Gary, pitched at TCU in 1979. But he never had the chance Brandon has now.I hurt my arm, and that was the end of it, Gary said. Shoulder. Back then they didnt do the surgeries like they do now. Discount Air Jordan Online . The Cottagers last victory came in a 2-1 home win over West Ham when Rene Meulensteen was still in charge. Since then, a miserable run of seven defeats and two draws has seen the club part with the Dutch coach and replace him with German Felix Magath. Wholesale Air Jordan Authentic .C. -- The Steve Smith era in Carolina is over. http://www.cheapairjordanonline.com/. The injury could land Machado on the 15-day disabled list, but its not as serious as it looked on Monday night, when the third baseman crumpled in a heap at the plate after taking an awkward swing in a game against the New York Yankees. Air Jordan Online From China . With a win tonight, Buehrle will match Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in the majors with 11. Buehrle is 10-4 with a 2.32 earned run average, but has lost his last three starts, including a 7-3 setback at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday. Air Jordan Shoes Outlet . -- Mississippis Andrew Ritter said his game-winning, 41-yard field goal felt good off his foot.TORONTO – The debate over chemistry, whether it exists in baseball and, if so, to what degree it matters, will likely never be completely settled. The question gets asked often these days, whether these Blue Jays get along better this year than they did in 2013. The assumption seems to be that they do because theyre winning more than theyre losing. J.A. Happ, who along with Mark Buehrle are the only two current Jays to take part in an on-field world championship celebration, summed it up. “You just feed off each other,” he said. “The musics better. The jokes are better. Everythings better when youre winning. Thats kind of the way it goes. People start getting louder. You feed off that. You feed off peoples personalities.” Its a chicken and egg deal. Winning is the egg, which begets the chicken that is chemistry. More to the point, manager John Gibbons has settled into a number of roster combinations that are producing results. Helping him in this endeavour is a cadre of players who began the season at Triple-A Buffalo. “Weve got a handful of them,” said manager John Gibbons. “We brought [Steve] Tolleson up to be the second baseman against left-handers. Hes doing a great job with that. Of course Gose and Pillar, filling in for Colby, have been a pretty good combo there. Kratzys been up and down a couple of times, but hes fit in. Theyre all contributing.” Juan Francisco, signed off the scrap heap when the Milwaukee Brewers decided late in spring they didnt want to pay him despite an 18-home run season last year, is hitting .280/.370/.602 (.973 OPS) with eight home runs. Anthony Gose entered Mondays action with a slash line of .296/.457/.407. Three of his eight hits are doubles. Hes walked seven times against eight strikeouts, a small sample size, but a great ratio nonetheless. Gose has two stolen bases, but anyone whos watched him play knows hes created runs with his speed and prevented runs with his defence. After a slow start, Kevin Pillar looks up and sees a .304 batting average. Erik Kratz has three home runs in just 45 at-bats. Tolleson, in a small sample size, is hitting better than .300 and has posted a .946 OPS. Gibbons has also established batteries for all three of his catchers. Kratz has become J.A. Happs personal catcher. Josh Thole serves the same role for R.A. Dickey. Dioner Navarro is behind the plate for every Mark Buehrle start. “Hes able to give Navarro a little bit of a breather,” said Gibbons of Kratz. “Against left-handed pitchinng you can DH (Navarro).dddddddddddd Thats where we feel were strongest.” Against right-handed starting pitching, Francisco plays third base and Lawrie second base. Lawrie heads over to third base, where hes most comfortable, when the opposition starts a left-hander. Tolleson plays second. The Jays have a fearsome late-game bench when the opponent starts a lefty. Adam Lind and Francisco are lingering, waiting for their names to be called. “As the game goes on, the only place youre vulnerable, you get to a certain point of the game theyre always going to have that lefty ready,” said Gibbons. “Teams that have enough lefties (in the bullpen), youre waiting on Lind or Francisco. But I think it makes us stronger.” The bullpen has settled down since the return of Casey Janssen, whos converted all seven save opportunities since his return from a strained oblique muscle. Gibbons is most pleased with the progress hes seeing from the rotation. “It all revolves around starting pitching, you know,” said Gibbons. “If starting pitchings good, youve got a chance. If its not, its tough. I dont care what kind of offence youve got, what kind of defence youve got - thats the key to any team in baseball. Check the May ERA of the four rotation mainstays to see the improvement. Drew Hutchison (including Monday night): 5 starts, 3.94Mark Buehrle: 2.16R.A. Dickey: 2.73J.A. Happ: 3.20 RASMUS PROGRESSING On the disabled list since May 13 with tightness in his right hamstring, Colby Rasmus is sprinting his way toward a rehab assignment. “He was out there running and shagging during early BP,” said Gibbons. “Well see in the next few days what happens.” Rasmus sprinted the infield cutout on Saturday and the warning track on Sunday. While hes eligible to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, Rasmus will be sent out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the Blue Jays. SANTOS PLAYING CATCH Sergio Santos played catch for the third-straight day on Monday afternoon. Hes recovering from a strained right forearm. “He feels pretty good,” said Gibbons. “No soreness at all. So like Colby, we dont know how long its going to be for him. Hes got to build up a little bit, of course.” Santos can be activated off the disabled list at any time - hes been out since May 10 - but hell throw at least two bullpen sessions before heading out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. Theres no timetable for Santoss return to the Blue Jays. 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