“Truth is, (Royce Clayton’s) a journeyman shortstop with a mediocre bat and he’s on the down side of the hill.”

It looks as though the Blue Jays will not be able to re-sign starting pitcher Ted Lilly.

Sources have told Metro that the free-agent left-hander is on the verge of agreeing to a four-year deal worth $37.5-million US with the Chicago Cubs.


Baseball owners have lost their minds.

•Speaking of the Cubs, there’s a new sitcom on TBS called My Boys, about a female sports writer (Jordana Spiro) who covers Chicago’s NL team and deals with sex-on-the-brain baseball pals with a no-nonsense, sports-analogous approach. It’s getting mixed reviews ... By the way, in case you haven’t heard, let me tell you this ultra-important news — Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is dating actress Jessica Biel... The Angels are trying hard to pry third baseman Alex Rodriguez in a trade with the Yankees while the Dodgers are even more aggressive in their pursuit of outfielder Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox. The Ramirez trade likely will go through. The A-Rod deal is unlikely ... Look for the Bosox to bolster their lineup by acquiring outfielders J.D. Drew and Rocco Baldelli as well as infielder Julio Lugo... Former Toronto outfielder Shannon Stewart probably will sign with Baltimore or Milwaukee ... Catcher Rod Barajas backed out of his deal with the Jays mainly because, I’m told, his wife didn’t want to move to Toronto. My question: Why didn’t he discuss this with his wife before he agreed to terms with the Jays? ... Ex-Jays outfielder Frank Catalanotto, incidentally, wasn’t much different than Barajas recently, when he reneged on a verbal agreement with the Indians and signed instead with Texas ... Don’t make too much out of the Jays’ acquisition of Royce Clayton. Truth is, he’s a journeyman shortstop with a mediocre bat and he’s on the down side of the hill.

•I love beach volleyball in the summer for all the obvious reasons, but it’s by no means limited to only one season, thanks largely to the Hangar Indoor Sports Complex in Toronto, where even members of Canada’s national team can be spotted playing year-round.

It’s a remarkable facility, with five beach courts — complete with sand, of course. The game’s popularity has increased so much that the Hangar operators needed to do some renovating, reducing their soccer and touch-football fields in order to make room for the beach courts.

Mind you, there still are more than 300 teams playing indoor soccer at the Hangar and there’s also the Ultimate Touch Football League, in which I have played for years. I try to play, anyway.


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