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TORONTO – Amid the pomp and circumstance of the home opener, the great Roy Halladay throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and the major league debut of Yankees phenomenon Masahiro Tanaka, it could be easy to lose the significance of Dustin McGowans role in Friday nights festivities. Yet there he was, toeing the rubber to throw the first pitch of the first inning for the first time since September 26, 2011. Even greater an accomplishment, considering his significant injury history, is that McGowan is healthy to begin a season for the first time since 2008. Not many pitchers undergo three shoulder surgeries and another on a knee and continue to throw in the best league in the world. McGowan is a rare exception. Hes allowing himself to enjoy the experience but not enough to distract him from the task at hand. "I have a little bit but the last few days, my focus has been on what Ive got to do to get the Yankees out," McGowan told TSN.ca. "It feels like Ive got a lot of stuff going on in my head but thats part of it. Im ready." The shoulder surgeries chronicle like this: in 2008, to repair fraying of the labrum; two years later, in 2010, to repair a torn rotator cuff; in 2012, an arthroscopic procedure. McGowan underwent the knee surgery in 2009. Yet there he was on April 4, 2014, starting Torontos first home game of the season. His wife Jilly and their two children were in attendance. At the time McGowan spoke to TSN.ca, he was trying to arrange for his brother-in-law to be in the crowd, too. The result matters because the game counts in the standings. But in its own way, the fact McGowan is on the mound in the first place, the fact he went to the Blue Jays late last season and told them he wanted to take one more shot at being a starting pitcher and the fact he achieved the goal seems just as important as the result itself. "To be honest with you, I am," manager John Gibbons said, admitting to surprise. "All hes been through, hes defying all the odds really. So many guys thats happened to disappear and then to be able to maintain most of it, I mean hes not popping it like he once did but theres still plenty there." There really is no plan for McGowan because nobody knows what lies ahead. Hes tired of being asked how his shoulder feels after every bullpen session and each outing but those are important questions. The Blue Jays intend to monitor McGowans innings for as long as this experiment goes. The club, should it choose, could utilize its three April off days to push McGowan back, giving him extra off days in between appearances. If his shoulder starts to ache, or "bark" as players often say, McGowans bosses want to hear about it. "Ive told him multiple times, any concerns at all, youre not doing this for us, youre doing this because you want to do it," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "He had no problems at all last year. We would have loved to have been able to stretch him out but we werent in a position to do it." Halladay tosses ceremonial first pitch It was an all-too-familiar scene: the great Roy Halladay back on the mound for the home opener in Toronto. But he wasnt in full uniform and he only had the ceremonial first pitch to deliver. It was a strike. "Its pretty cool to be back," said Halladay. "It doesnt seem that long ago when you walk in. It feels like I was just here. Its exciting. Im enjoying retirement but this is pretty cool to be able to come back here." Halladay has settled in the Tampa Bay area and went to the Jays season opener against the Rays on Monday at the behest of his son. He worried that sitting in the stands would be uncomfortable so soon after his retirement. "I had my doubts," said Halladay. "But, honestly, I enjoyed it and I have no regrets, no disappointments. Im actually really happy with the choice I made and it was the right choice I made." 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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Jersey . - Mark Sanchez found out the New York Jets had acquired Tim Tebow on a conference call with team management.GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Halfway through the Wyndham Championship, there is quite a crowd near the top of the leaderboard. Heath Slocum and Scott Langley share the lead at 10-under 130 through two rounds of the PGA Tours final event before the playoffs. Thirteen other players were two strokes or fewer back, including four -- Brian Stuard, Nick Watney, Martin Laird and Andrew Svoboda -- who were at 9 under. Local favourite Carl Pettersson -- the 2008 winner here who is one of nine players two strokes back -- offered some advice for those playing the course where he serves as a member of the board. "Youve got to keep your foot on the gas," he said. Since the tournament returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, every two-day leader until now had been at 11 under or better. In what has become an annual rite of mid-August, the field is littered with players trying to prolong their seasons for at least one more week by cracking the top 125 on the points list and qualifying for the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays in New Jersey. Langley isnt one of them. The second-year pros main concern is chasing his first PGA Tour victory. He isnt feeling quite as much stress as he did here last year, when he missed the cut yet squeaked into The Barclays at No. 124. "Last year, so much going through my head as a rookie, not knowing how to handle it," Langley said. "I was thinking a little too much about things that I really have no control over in terms of keeping my card, what other guys are doing. Lesson learned." Langley ran off three straight birdies early in his 65 and closed with two in a row after putting both of his approach shots less than 6 feet from the stick. At NNo.dddddddddddd. 81 on the points list, his spot next week is safe. Slocums isnt. He is at No. 158 but is well aware that if you can get into the playoffs, anything can happen. Five years ago, he made the playoffs "by the skin of my teeth" at No. 124 -- and then went on to win The Barclays. "I came into this week trying to create a little bit of momentum for me to whether I could somehow get myself into the playoffs or the (Web.com) finals," Slocum said. Slocum had seven birdies during his 65 and moved atop the leaderboard after a run of four in a row late during his second consecutive 65. He sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th before twice sticking approach shots within seven feet of the flagstick and converting those short putts. "It was a good stretch, and obviously at this point, youre going to need a lot," Slocum said. "Youre going to have some of that to keep yourself in contention and go for it." Indeed, that put him in position to challenge for his fifth PGA Tour victory and first since the McGladrey Classic in 2010. "I do miss this feeling of being in contention," Slocum said. "Not being in contention for a while, Im going to savour it." Svoboda briefly joined them at 10 under with a birdie on the 17th, but slipped back after missing a 20-foot par putt on the 18th and closing his 64 with a bogey. Among those bubble players who came to Sedgefield hoping to play their way into the post-season, No. 125 Paul Casey shot a 69 to move to 6 under and put himself well past the cut line of 2 under. Others ran into bubble trouble: No. 122 Robert Allenby, No. 127 Charlie Beljan and No. 128 Greg Chalmers were among the borderline players who missed the cut Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys 2020 ' ' '