New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

words // Brandon Richard

via Press Release

Ken Griffey Jr. Albert Pujols. Alex Rodriguez. Ichiro. Barry Bonds. If you were to guess the leading vote-getter for a single MLB All-Star Game voting session, you’d probably pinpoint one of those guys. However, it’s Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista who carries that distinct honor, receiving nearly 7.5 million votes for this year’s contest. For good reason too. Following up his breakout season in 2010, Bautista is on an absolute tear this year, hitting .332 and pounding out a league-leading 31 homeruns through 83 games. They say to the victor goes the spoils, and the spoils for Bautista in this case in a brand new endorsement deal with New Balance.

Last week, New Balance announced the signing of the All-Star right fielder, which makes the brand Bautista’s official on-field footwear and on and off-field athletic footwear and apparel provider. This season (even prior to making the deal official), Bautista has worn a Player Exclusive version of the New Balance 1103 baseball cleat. The cleat features “Bautista” and his number “19” on the tongue. Referred to as a “running shoe on spikes,” the 1103 offers high performance running technologies to eliminate spike pressure and provide an athlete superior comfort and fit on the field. Bautista will also wear 2 different custom designed 1103s created specifically for the home-run derby and the All-Star Game.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the New Balance family and enjoy working with a group that is as passionate as I am both on and off the field,” says Jose Bautista. “I look forward to working with the New Balance team to continue to enhance my performance on the diamond while supporting each other’s charitable efforts.”

“New Balance is very excited to be working with Jose. He has had an extraordinary start to the season and shows an unwavering dedication to his craft, strong leadership and a passion for the community,” says Mark Cavanaugh, general manager of sports marketing for New Balance. “We look forward to seeing him continue his great 2011 campaign and supporting him on and off the diamond.”

New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

New Balance Signs Jose Bautista

MLB Watch: Bautista Blasts 43rd Home Run

MLB Watch: Bautista Blasts 43rd Home Run

words_Nick Engvall

One of the biggest surprises of the 2010 Major League Baseball season is the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista. Before this season, Bautista’s career best in home runs came in 2006 with 16 total. This week, Bautista blasted his 43rd of the season, easily leaving him as top of the league in the category where the closest player is Albert Pujols with 35.

While Bautista is making the most of his Mizuno’s, the hunt for October has come full speed. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants are all in the hunt for the Wild Card spot. While in the American League, all eyes seem to be on the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays battling for the top of the American League East.

Check out some of the images from this week below.

Jose BautistaJose Bautista leads the league in home runs wearing Mizuno 9 Spike cleats and Franklin Authentic Pro classic batting gloves.

Evan Longoria Evan Longoria in the Nike Shox Fuse and Wilson A2000 glove.

Jason HeywardJason Heyward in yet another pair of Nike Player Exclusives.

Carlos Beltran attempts to climb the wall for a catch in the Under Armour Yard 5/8.Carlos Beltran attempts to climb the wall for a catch in the Under Armour Yard 5/8.

Josh Beckett wearing Reebok cleats and glove.Josh Beckett wearing Reebok cleats and glove.

Luke Scott hits one out wearing the adidas Excelsior 6 Low.Luke Scott hits one out wearing the adidas Excelsior 6 Low.

Matt Cain wearing Mizuno 9 Spike cleats and Mizuno Gobal Elite glove.Matt Cain wearing Mizuno 9 Spike cleats and Mizuno Gobal Elite glove.

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay pitches with some clean new Nike Player Exclusives.

Mark Reynolds Under ArmourMark Reynolds in the Under Armour Yard 5/8 and Under Armour Natural batting gloves.

Miguel Tejada in the Nike Air Max MVPMiguel Tejada in the Nike Air Max MVP.

MLB Watch: Bautista Blasts 43rd Home Run

MLB: Tampa Bay Nearly No-Hit … Again

words_Nick Engvall

As the saying goes, “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades,” but the saying “practice makes perfect” could also be appropriate for the Toronto Blue Jays’ right-hander Brandon Morrow.

Brandon Morrow flirts with no-hitter.Sunday, Morrow took a no-hitter past the fifth inning for the third time this season. Taking it a step further, he took it into the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. However with two outs in the ninth inning, Evan Longoria hit a ground ball into the hole between first and second. Second baseman Aaron Hill moved to his left, dove, and the ball went in and out of his glove, then rolled into right field for the games only hit.

Adding to the argument that this season is the year of the pitcher, Morrow nearly became the sixth pitcher to throw a no-hitter, but also became the forth pitcher to lose a no-hit bid in the ninth inning this season.

Tampa Bay started off the season with one of the best records in baseball, and although they were literally inches away from being on the receiving end of a no-hitter for the third time this season, their 67-44 record is second only to the New York Yankees. The Rays spent May 9th making sure Oakland’s Dallas Braden’s Mother’s Day was perfect, and then were no-hit by Arizona’s Edwin Jackson on June 26th.

Had Morrow completed the no-hitter, he would have become only the second Blue Jays pitcher to achieve the feat in the franchise’s history. That wasn’t the only franchise record that Morrow flirted with, though. Morrow threw 17 strikeouts, just one short of the team record set by Roger Clemens in 1998.

Even though he missed the no-hitter, teammates still were appreciative of his performance and thanked him by dousing him with a water cooler during a post-game interview.

So will Morrow be able to complete the elusive no-hitter in the future? Perhaps he’s just practicing for a perfect game.

via yahoo