TORONTO – While assessing Brett Lawries season up to this point, its important to consider that the 24-year-old is doing something for his team that few other players, if any, could. One day, hes providing the Blue Jays with Gold Glove-calibre defence at third base. The next, hes more than holding his own at second base. All the while, Lawries posting respectable offensive numbers overall and is providing an elite bat in clutch situations. It would be ignorant to look at Lawries slash line of .224/.275/.412 entering Sundays action and conclude hes having a down year. Consider that Lawrie already has eight home runs, going deep in 4.8 per cent of his at-bats. Thats a marked uptick from last year (2.7 per cent) and 2012 (2.2 per cent). Lawrie also has 26 RBI, which ranks him third on the club behind Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. His best work has been done with runners in scoring position (RISP). With runners on second, third or both, Lawrie is hitting .366/.400/.732 (1.132 OPS) with four home runs and 21 RBI. All of it, as a reminder, while playing a third base/second base hybrid. Not even Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays does that anymore. When Zobrist hasnt been hurt this season, hes predominantly been a second baseman. “I dont see any player in the league doing it, unless youre a utility player, which hes not,” infield coach Luis Rivera told TSN.ca. “Its tough because hes very good at third base. Hes one of the best third baseman and then you have to move to second base. He was at second base before, hes learning the position again and there are a few things he needs to continue to work on and he can be better than what he is right now.” Lawrie goes about his business, taking ground balls during batting practice at the position hes scheduled to play that day. That, in and of itself, would be overwhelming for some players. Yet it isnt for a player, still young, who earned himself a reputation for being hot-headed and immature, two labels which should be dissipating by the day. “Its tough knowing one day youre here, the next day youre there,” said Rivera. “Mentally, you have to prepare. You have to be mentally strong.” The terms “Lawrie” and “mentally strong” didnt used to be used in the same sentence, thanks in large part to incidents like the infamous helmet-throwing incident in May, 2012 and his stare down of Rivera and Adam Lind when Lind didnt score on a Lawrie fly ball 52 Sundays ago. Considering what hes being asked to do and considering the success with which hes accomplishing the request, maybe its time to give Lawrie some credit. “Theres a lot going on, man,” said Lawrie. “Theres always a lot going on, especially now just from having to play all over the park and just Ive got a lot of stuff going on, but for the most part Im just trying not to think about it too much even though there is a lot going on.” Hes a third baseman, hell tell you that repeatedly and Lawries proud hes made himself an elite third bagger at the big league level, which is a testament to his athleticism. Hes all-in on the move because it makes the platoon splits work for manager John Gibbons. Lawrie is at third and Steve Tolleson at second when Toronto faces a left-handed pitcher; Lawries at second and Juan Francisco at third base when the Blue Jays take on a right-hander. “Its just something that I have to do for the team and its what makes the team a little bit better, so for myself, its just what I have to do in order to make this ball club better and to, obviously, win ballgames,” said Lawrie. “The most important thing is that he wanted to do it,” said Rivera. “So if hes willing to do it, hes going to be fine, but when you fight yourself not to go one place and then play another position, play third base, ‘I dont want to play second base, thats going to make it real hard on him, on the coaches and on the team. Right now, hes willing to do both, so thats the easy part.” After Sundays series-sweeping 3-1 win over Oakland, the Jays sixth in a row, 11th in 13 games and 16th out of 21, getting a buy-in from Lawrie is a much easier task. “Its just fun,” said Lawrie. “Its just good to be competing. Thats the biggest thing is just being able to go out everyday and compete and, obviously, have a chance to win a ballgame every single day. Thats the biggest thing, but just competing on an everyday basis as a group is obviously a lot of fun.” Dan Marino Jersey . -- Martin Kaymer never lost sight of opportunity even amid so much evidence of trouble in the closing stretch Sunday at The Players Championship. Jerome Baker Dolphins Jersey . -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing back quarterback Chad Henne -- and making him the starter. http://www.shopdolphinsauthenticnfl.com ... te-Jersey/. -- The Sacramento Kings have claimed forward Travis Outlaw off waivers under the NBAs new amnesty provision, filling out the frontcourt with another veteran. Minkah Fitzpatrick Dolphins Jersey . Although Olivetti, a qualifier, had 13 aces, he failed to force a single break-point chance on Gasquets serve and lost his own three times. Gasquet next plays third-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who won had 18 aces in a 6-2, 6-4 win against seventh-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France. Dan Marino Dolphins Jersey . - The Minnesota Vikings have ruled Christian Ponder out for Sundays game at Baltimore, because the quarterback has not yet passed all of his post-concussion tests.In his latest column, Guillem Balague reflects on Real Madrids struggles, Barcelonas mistakes against Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrids change of approach and answers your questions... Following their 1-1 home draw with Eibar at the weekend, Real Madrid have lost six points in their last three league games and have drawn four consecutive games in all competitions. Zinedine Zidane says the team is not in crisis but it looks very much like the kind of results that could end up in a crisis. We will have to see how the players react. I am sure Real Madrid will start winning soon but it would be good if they analysed closely why this is happening. If you listen to Zidane, its very difficult to agree with him. He says the team lacks intensity, they start the games badly and it has nothing to do with how well or badly they play. I think it has everything to do with that. At the weekend, because James Rodriguez got injured in the warm-up, they ended up with Isco, Mateo Kovacic and Toni Kroos in midfield. With that midfield, who can keep the ball and pass it around, you would expect a team to control the game and keep possession. Instead they ended up putting 30 crosses into the box.I dont think anybody knows what Real Madrid are playing at, what style they have, what they are trying to do, and that points directly at the manager.Zidane has been good in the short competition of the Champions League - no doubt helped by the draw last season - but Real Madrid always compete well in the short competitions. In the long term you have to deal with managing the egos, rotating the side and giving them more collective, tactical answers. He hasnt done that.The team hasnt got enough of them, that would suggest their work in training is not detailed enough and not tactical enough. As we said at the beginning of the season it might well prove the downfall of Zidane in the medium term. Ronaldo shows his frustration during the draw with Eibar Yes, Casemiro and Luka Modric are missing, but it is unbelievable that with two players out they cannot beat a team like Eibar or Las Palmas. Whats worse is that Zidane said they studied the goal that Eibar scored, but the team had not reacted to it. Why didnt they? Are they too relaxed with his approach?There are a lot of things to point out as a head coach that doesnt get the team tense enough at the start of the game. His own words. When they concede first they always react because they have players with the winning personality, but they should come out with more tension and a better mental disposition than they have at the moment. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just ￡6.99. No contract. It must be said that Eibar were fantastic, they played with so much order and everybody knew what they had to do. They had more shots on target than Real by four to three and there was a moment in the game that showed the calmness and clear heads of the Eibar players. In the 89th minute Real were putting a lot of pressure on and instead of defending in their own box there was a cross and Cristiano Ronaldo was offside because they had kept the line so tight.That is very difficult to do when you are at the Santiago Bernabeu and its 1-1 and any mistake can cost you. That shows how much they believe in the ideas of the coach and how hard they work to get it right. Casemiro was missing for Real at the weekend Atletico Madrid are top of the table and in their 2-0 win at Valencia they showed exactly what they want to do, in clear contrast to Real.Atletico have a very clear idea (as explained in this Revista Bitesize), both in the approach of the team - they shoot more and have more possession - and the line-up with a midfield of Saul, Koke and Gabi and a 4-3-3 with Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro even though they were away at Valencia. They are going more on the attack which is pleasing to see.Griezmann keeps improving and is top of the scoring charts with six goals. He also again scored the first goal of the game which is always key. Atletico were tight defensively and they are the type of team that makes you believe they are defending because they cannot come out, but then when you dont expect it, they do come out and attack. Thats what they did that against Valencia.Atletico won despite Diego Alves saving two penalties. The first to deny Griezmann was fantastic with a very strong hand. He has stopped 22 penalties in 45 that have been taken against him since he arrived in Spain.He is fast in the way he jumps, agile, some of it is intuition, but some of it is the work of Jose Manuel Ochotorena, who is the goalkeeping coach of both the national side and Valencia - a legend. Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring against Valencia He was the goalkeeping coach at Liverpool and Jerzy Dudek thanked him for the penalties he saved in the Champions League in Istanbul. Its a mixture of work, intuition, ability and agility - certainly a case study for goalkeepers how he does that.Barcelona lost to Celta 4-1 lasst season, it was 4-3 this time, and for me the person who takes most of the blame is Luis Enrique, for many reasons.dddddddddddd.Firstly, he rotated the side and played a team very similar to the one that he fielded against Sporting, but Celta is a completely different proposition.He decided to have a midfield that doesnt control games in Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Sergio Busquets, and without controlling against a side that is happy to give you possession and counter attack, in a game that becomes punches after punches from one team to the other, box to box football, you risk losing possession in key parts of the pitch and being punished, and thats what happened.One goal was a mistake of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, one was a mistake of Busquets losing possession and then one was Turan doing the same in the build-up. Celta won in a wonderful way, they went for it, had individual marking all over the pitch, which is risky, but they felt it is the way to unsettle Barcelona and they got it spot on. They were intense, aggressive but not excessively and again focus on the job at hand. Playing out from the back isnt always the best option as Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen found out A lot of people will blame Ter Stegen but he is a crucial part of Barcelona. He has to continue playing that way because it creates superiority from the beginning of the build-up which is absolutely necessary. In the goal his mistake was not to give continuity to the passing. He got the ball, should have passed to his right where Gerard Pique was waiting, instead he decided to lob it on top of the Celta player, which was the worst option.If he gets rid of mistakes like this then Barcelona will have the kind of goalkeeper they need. He is still one of the best with his feet. A lot of people would say keepers are there to save, of course they are, but modern football is going in a different way so get used to seeing more and more of this kind of keeper.Guillem answers your questions...Do you think Luis Enrique should try Jasper Cillessen as first choice keeper? @DJ_PapiNo. Ter Stegen is one of the best keepers in the world and if, after a mistake like that, when you have told the goalkeeper to play like that, the manager decides to change it sends the wrong message. Ter Stegen will show everyone how good he is, but as I said earlier he needs to choose his passes better and be a little bit less casual.Whose absence is hurting Real Madrid more? Modric or Casemiro? @MannichahalFor me they are two players who havent got any replacement. They are both absolutely crucial. When Modric has been absent the team is less fluent, Bale loses one of his links with midfield because Modric always looks for him, and the team is worse, but they normally still win games. Gareth Bale scored his 50th goal for Real Madrid in their 1-1 draw against Eibar, we take a look at some of his best goals However, with Casemiro out there is no defensive midfielder, you can see that in the goal they conceded against Eibar. The position of Kroos, who gets dragged towards the ball, like everybody else at Madrid, and when the cross gets put in, there is no holding midfielder stopping the arrival of an unmarked Fran Rico to head the ball. Its really poor from Real.Whats your take on Jorge Sampaolis Sevilla so far, Do you think they can mount pressure and finish in the top three?@lubuulwachrisSevilla is a funny team, they are a bit lucky. He still hasnt found the system he wants, the style he wants, the players he wants, but in the meantime they have been winning games, which is a great platform. But that luck generally evens out and unless he finds the style and system he wont be able to compete with the top three.I think everybody will drop points, certainly they are a candidate for top four, but I dont think are ready for top three. I hope the experiment of Sampaoli, which we have only seen glimpses of so far, continues for long enough to enjoy it. He is still miles away from what he wants from Sevilla.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Jerseys NFL Cheap China NFL Hoodies Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Hoodies ' ' '