ST. Brett Hull Stars Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. - Opening their season against a perennial playoff performer, the Toronto Blue Jays head into 2014 facing a Tampa Bay Rays team that has enjoyed the type of success the Jays are looking to duplicate. The division rivals are set to face each other Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field, with David Price and R.A. Dickey taking the mound in a matchup of 2012 Cy Young Award winners. The Rays are coming off a year in which they won 92 games and made the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons. The Blue Jays would just as soon forget 2013, when they battled injuries and finished in last place after being a popular preseason pick to contend for a championship. Toronto failed to bolster its starting pitching this winter and returns with essentially the same lineup as a year ago, yet Dickey thinks the results will be better. "I think the heartbeat is a lot different this year. I think, one, were very comfortable. If I had a word to describe what (spring training) has been, its been comfortable. Guys really know that this is a big year for us collectively," said Dickey, who was 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA last season. "Were kind of getting a mulligan this year," the knuckleballer added. "Last year, a lot of things went wrong. This year, were pretty much all healthy. ... Were in a much different place." Only the Yankees, Cardinals and Phillies have earned as many post-season berths as the Rays over the past six seasons. And after hiking one of baseballs lowest payrolls above $80 million to keep most of last years roster intact, Tampa Bay anticipates another strong run. Price was 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 2013 after winning AL Cy Young honours two years ago, but he went 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts following the first stint of his career on the disabled list. The 28-year-old lefty was the subject of trade speculation much of the winter before agreeing to a $14 million, one-year contract to continue anchoring one of the ALs strongest rotations. The Rays, often overshadowed in the AL East by the big-spending Yankees and Red Sox, dont shy away from taking about how good they believe they can be. "To be honest with you, I thought last year we had more expectations going into the season than we do this year — only because the Red Sox won the World Series and the Yankees have made some pretty big acquisitions. So, that kind of puts us in the shadows again," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "There are a lot of expectations from within this team," he added. "But from an overall perspective, well probably be picked down the ladder a little bit more this year ... which is perfectly fine with me because I think weve proven time in and time out that if you believe the right things and play the right way, then the rest will take care of itself." Toronto pursued free agent Ervin Santana in hopes of improving its rotation, but the right-hander wound up signing with Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays offence has a chance to be potent if a lineup featuring Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera and off-season acquisition Dioner Navarro can stay healthy. Dickey, who had a solid spring, hopes to revert to the form that helped him capture the NL Cy Young Award with the Mets two years ago. "I feel prepared," Dickey said. "I feel confident." Besides not trading Price, the Rays re-signed first baseman James Loney, acquired free-agent closer Grant Balfour and traded for catcher Ryan Hanigan, reliever Heath Bell and utilityman Logan Forsythe. Longoria is confident the manoeuvring has made the Rays better. Still, he stops short of predicting another playoff berth. "Even when we were the favourites, I would say maybe we are on paper," the three-time All-Star said. "We should have that underdog mentality." The teams set their rosters Sunday, with the Rays placing injured pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Juan Carlos Oviedo and shortstop Tim Beckham on the 15-day disabled list. The Blue Jays put closer Casey Janssen on the DL due to a strain in his left abdominal area and lower back. Backup catcher Erik Kratz was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. Ben Bishop Jersey .com) - They didnt meet in the regular season, so Sam Houston State might be saying it won the de facto title game between the two Southland Conference co-champions Saturday. Mike Gartner Jersey. Weise will have his hearing with the NHL head office over the phone, while the league has requested an in-person hearing with Kassian. Oilers centre Sam Gagner suffered a broken jaw after getting hit with a high stick from Kassian in Edmontons 5-2 win.Its been the World Cup that keeps on giving...that was until Uruguays Luis Suarez took a bite out of it and gnawed away at the competition. It wasnt quite a Zinedine Zidane moment, but it was against Italy and a bite, not a headbutt. They both leave indelible images that equally disgrace and puzzle on the biggest stage of all - the FIFA World Cup. The evidence is irrefutable: in the 79th minute of a scoreless match against Italy, Suarez did what hes done twice before on a soccer field. Suarez bit his opponent. At least, thats how the vast majority see it. Sure, an argument can be made it was a headbutt gone wrong and Suarezs teeth went first into his opponent. Although, Im not sure how believable that narrative is or what kind of methods of convincing would be necessary for one to buy that argument. A grown man biting another human being - let that sink in. This is Mike Tyson, now times three. This time the meal was Giorgio Chiellinis left shoulder. As previously mentioned, at first glance it looked as though the Uruguayan headbutted the Italian. From Suarez sitting on the field grabbing his front teeth, to the replays showing the motion of his head to shoulder and the marks left on Chiellinis body, adjudication of the crime should be elementary. Suarez is a serial biter. Requisite action and severe punishment is required. Uruguay scored the match winner less than two minutes later, sending them through to the round of 16. All Italy has is the marks from their battle. Suarezs disgraceful track record is as pronounced as his bite. The striker was banned seven matches by the Dutch Football Federation in 2010 after his team, Ajax, had suspended him for two matches for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal. It was an in-your-face, lashing out kind of moment that ended in a munch. Much like Tuesday, the referee didnt see the incident and ignored the player pulling down his shirt to show the bite marks. Last April, Suarez was back at his biting ways, chomping down on the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. The FA handed Suarez a 10-game suspension. Message thought to be sent. Biting isnt where the dirty laundry list starts or ends. Suarez drew international headlines in 2011 for racial remarks made towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match. These were disgusting words from a shameful individual. Liverpool FC stood by Suarez, excusing his unbecoming behaviour simply because he was their best and most important player. A safe haven was created inside Anfield. It was a backward step by the club in an era when the game is staunchly trying to stomp out racism in the stands and on the field. The FA suspended him eight matches and levied a fine. The message not sent as Suarez refused to shake the hand of Evra before a 2012 match at Old Trafford. Liverpool has been rewarded for their loyalty to Suarez by the player staying at the club, although threatening to leave along the way, and leading them to Champions League qualification this past season for the first time since 2009-10. Where is the motivation to punish internally when the rewards of appeasement are so great? The lesser of Suarezs crimes against the game came at the 2010 World Cup, soiling the quarterfinal match with a game-saving handball off the goal line denying Ghana a place in the semi-final. It was a sure goal Suarez saved like a goalkeeper; afterwards excusing himself by explaining it was his sacrifice for the greater good of the country. He was sent off and suspended for the semi-final. Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty and Uruguay advanced through penalties. Call it gamesmanship if you may and there is certainly an argument to be made Suarez did the right thing. Win at all costs, correct? Perhaps. The "cheater" tag does not easily wipe away. A noted lack of integrity and poor sportsmanship continue to haunt the player. The handball at the time looked bad on the sport, yet Uruguay was rewarded. No justice. Over the years, Suarez has been labeled a cheat, a diver, an irritator and an undesirable. He has been in locker-room spats and fan incidents. For all his talents, he is a stain on the game. Being the centre of talking points is one thing, biting and bringing the game into disrepute are other altogether. "Theyre things that happen in football, but it was nothing,” explained Suarez post-match. Brian Bellows Stars Jersey. "Were all footballers." The fact he cannot acknowledge wrongdoing is troubling. Biting is not normal behaviour on the field or anywhere. Its primitive. Its disrespectful. This lame excuse comes from the same individual who claims he doesnt garner respect from those in the British media. “Too many people in England laughed about my attitude,” Suarez proclaimed after his two-goal performance against England. Character counts. He has none. Empowering and/or sheltering this individual simply make matters worse. He must continue to be exposed as the misfit he is. Excuse-mongering has ensued by individuals, including the media, saying Suarezs actions are no worse than high, dangerous tackles in the game. Those who are saying such drivel need to understand the injustice they are doing by downplaying the moment. A blasé attitude towards Suarez biting deserves a blasé response to their work. Suarez as three-times-a-biter cannot be defended. Attempting to defend shows a lack of understanding of the sport and, even worse, the human condition. Comparing likewise inexcusable acts is an exercise of misdirection and speaks to the contrarian approach many utilize to garner attention or a reaction from their following. The industry is suffering through this: its an infliction that comes from market competition. “Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA want their stars to play in the World Cup,” said Chiellini on the bite. In fairness, its difficult to put this on Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez. One man on a field cannot see everything. The pressures of the moment make it understandable why he couldnt comprehend and react to what happened when a player pulls down his shirt to claim he was bitten. Its been said in this space before, two officials are needed on the field to properly officiate a game that has become too fast on a field too big with too many flashpoints. Same goes for the other controversial calls on the day: Claudio Marchisios sending off and Greeces late penalty. These two calls will be hotly debated, rightly or not. Two referees, rather than one, have a better shot at getting it right. Four eyeballs rather than two have a better chance of catching a biter. Chiellini does raise the point about star treatment. Simply because one can score or save, jump or run better than most should not mean preferential treatment. This will be a test for FIFA to act swiftly and appropriately. FIFA already fails to have the confidence of the consuming public. Most watch despite dysfunction and mistrust. Failing to punish Suarez would continue to perpetuate the sentiment that FIFA does as FIFA pleases. There is a public relations element to this as much as it is about throwing the book at a serial degenerate. What is an acceptable punishment? How do your come up with a rational response to an irrational situation? No more Suarez this tournament should be a given. How about a suspension for a two-year international cycle? It sounds about right. But what changes? Many will continue to excuse his behaviour because hes really good. Suarez will continue to live in a bubble of denial. And there will be those around him like Uruguayan teammate Diego Lugano who said “You couldnt have seen (the bite) today because nothing happened.” Ignorance is bliss. The footballing world will not ignore. Brazil 2014 has captured the imagination with the goals, the dramatics and overall exceptional play. Suarez in Natal will trump all and thats not right, nor good for those individuals the game has captivated like never before. Suarez is not needed at this World Cup. He is not needed in football. We are worse off suffering through his petulance. The problem is, because he is an exceptional talent and can score, this petulance will be continued to be accepted as collateral to success. He will continue to be coveted. Liverpool will celebrate his play, as will his native Uruguay. The rest of the world will shudder. A villain in sports is a good thing when the venom comes from a place of competition, not shameful acts. There will be other great players. There are others right now to be celebrated. Enough of this Suarez. Weve had enough. ' ' '