Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays GM Anthopoulos Says Rogers Centre Turf Not to Blame for Injuries

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays GM Anthopoulos Says Rogers Centre Turf Not to Blame for Injuries

Article excerpt

Blue Jays' GM not blaming turf for injuries


TORONTO - Brett Lawrie's latest injury has the Toronto Blue Jays confused because they're not sure quite how it happened. Lawrie felt something wrong in his left oblique muscle during batting practice earlier this week and now he's out a month.

Even confounded by the cause of Lawrie's injury amid a season full of them, general manager Alex Anthopoulos doesn't blame the artificial turf at Rogers Centre.

"I don't know that the injuries we've had have been linked to this," Anthopoulos said during a wide-ranging meeting with reporters Thursday afternoon. "Is there a wear and tear component to it? Sure. I'm not denying that.

"I just think it's too easy to say everything relates back to the turf."

Anthopoulos pointed to Lawrie's 2013 oblique injury happening at spring training in Florida and then at the World Baseball Classic in Arizona, all while running on grass. A couple of the third baseman's other injuries, a broken finger from getting hit by a pitch and sprained ankle from sliding into a base, could've happened anywhere.

First baseman Adam Lind is out with a fractured right foot now but landed on the disabled list earlier this season with back problems, and Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus each missed time with hamstring injuries. Reyes aggravated his hamstring ailment on the turf at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, which Anthopoulos said used to be like "cement" when the Expos were there.

Rogers Centre uses AstroTurf GameDay Grass, which gets rolled up for other events. Anthopoulos conceded that the turf can flatten out the more that it's rolled but doesn't consider it the reason some players have gotten injured.

"Guys that have Tommy John (elbow surgery), I don't think there's an impact," he said. "Adam Lind broke his foot.

"It wasn't like a sledgehammer came up out of the turf and slammed him down on the foot."

Edwin Encarnacion strained his right quadriceps muscle while running the bases in Oakland, and his rehab setback came when swinging in Dunedin, Fla.

When a reporter relayed a story to Anthopoulos that opposing players have run to first and said to Lind, "I don't know how you play on this every day," the GM said he has heard the same thing before. …

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