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Schneider said the commitment to Thomas is
DUNEDIN, Fla. [url=http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/thaddeus-young-pacers-jersey/]Thaddeus Young Jersey[/url] . -- Jose Reyes reported to Blue Jays camp two days early, donning a Superman T-shirt, a wide grin and an optimistic attitude on what he expects will be a much improved season. The four-time All-Star shortstop spent much of the morning Tuesday working out and joking with teammates in the clubhouse. "Were very excited about this year, because last year was a tough year for me and for the whole team," Reyes said. "This year, I feel like Im 100 per cent and back to normal. I just cant wait to go to the field and do what I do best, and help this ballclub get where we need to get." The speedy Reyes was limited to just 92 games last season because of a broken ankle. Hurt in April, he says the injury continued to nag him after he returned from the disabled list in June. But with more time to rehab, Reyes says his ankle has gotten "way better." He says he is not worried about what kind of effects the artificial turf at Rogers Centre could have on it. "I feel like this off-season, I was able to move how I wanted to," Reyes said. "Last year, it was kind of tough for me. Running the bases, going from first to second. Stuff like that bothered me a little bit. But this year, its not a concern at all." Reyes said he is eager turn the page on the past two years, which he described as the hardest of his major league career. After spending his first eight seasons with the New York Mets, Reyes opted become a free agent in 2011. He signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins, believing a revamped roster could help them contend for a World Series title. But after the Marlins stumbled to a 69-93 record, Reyes was shipped to Toronto along with pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle as part of an off-season purge by Miami to dump salary. The results didnt get much better for Reyes in a new uniform. Picked by many to be playoff contenders, the Blue Jays were crippled by injuries and poor starting pitching and finished 74-88, last in the AL East. "It is tough, because you come with high expectations in spring training," Reyes said. "But in baseball, you never know whats going to happen. You have to put it in the past. This is a new year." Reyes said he kept in touch with sluggers Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera during the off-season. And while it wont be easy, they agree if the Blue Jays continue to build chemistry, they can contend in the division and return to the playoffs. "We just need to put it together on the field," Reyes said. "If we put it all together -- pitching, hitting, out there on the field -- why can we not compete? The team is still here. We still have the star players that we need to have. We just need to stay healthy and go from there." NOTES: Manager John Gibbons announced that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will be the teams opening day starter for the second consecutive season, on March 31 against the Tampa Bay Rays. "Itll be Dickey opening up in (St. Petersburg), where he has pitched very well," Gibbons said. "Hes had some good outings down there and hes our guy." Gibbons said he has not yet determined the rest of the rotation order. ... CF Colby Rasmus and 3B Brett Lawrie also stopped by the clubhouse. ... The Jays signed OF Brett Carroll to a minor league contract. Carroll, 31, is expected to report to Triple-A Buffalo. [url=http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/myles-turner-pacers-jersey/]Myles Turner Jersey[/url] . Speaking on TSN Radio 1050s TSN Drive with Dave Naylor on Monday, Colangelo said he had no intention of tanking the shortened 2011-12 season, but definitely wanted a high pick in the draft. "I wish that word wasnt used for headline reasons," said Colangelo, "but the story behind it was: how can we fix the system? How can we tweak the system to make it less likely that teams are rewarded for losing records? "I do believe that if youre as transparent as we were at the time - with our season seat holders, our fans, the market place and the media - everybody knew what the plan was and what we were going through. [url=http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/chase-budinger-pacers-jersey/]Chase Budinger Pacers Jersey[/url] . Numbers Game looks into the Wild getting Matt Moulson from Buffalo. The Wild Get: LW Matt Moulson and LW Cody McCormick. [url=http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/al-jefferson-pacers-jersey/]http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/al-jefferson-pacers-jersey/[/url] .com) - Devon Johnson ran for a school record 272 yards with four touchdowns and No. RENTON, Wash. -- Earl Thomas was late to the announcement for his own contract extension, proving the Seattle Seahawks All-Pro free safety isnt just fast on the field. Driving a little too speedy to the Seahawks facility on Tuesday morning made Thomas late after getting pulled over. "I didnt try and bulldog him and say, My name is Earl Thomas. Because then he would be like, This dude is cocky, and give me a ticket," Thomas joked. "He let me off. Thats the moral of the story." Thomas was locked up through the 2018 season when the Seahawks announced a four-year contract extension making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL. The deal is worth $40 million over four years and includes $27.7 million in guaranteed money. Thomas wanted the title of highest-paid safety. He also wanted the responsibility that comes with that. Thomas was hoping to get a long-term deal in place before the Seahawks start organized team activities later this month so there were no distractions heading into the 2014 season. "I compete in everything that I do and I want to set the bar. That was my goal," Thomas said. Thomas was Seattles second first-round pick in the 2010 draft, the first with coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider leading the franchise. Its turned out to be one of the most important selections the team has made since starting a makeover with the duo in charge of moulding the Seahawks into a championship club. Thomas is a two-time first-team All-Pro selection and regarded as the top safety in the NFL. The Seahawks would be a different defensive team if they didnt have Thomas skills at their disposal. His speed allows Thomas uncommon range in coverage. Hes become more disciplined staying within Seattles defensive framework, and Thomas has remained reliable at cleaning up any problems in the back. "II think the thing that comes to the front for me is this program has always been based on competition. [url=http://www.pacersteamofficial.com/reggie-miller-pacers-jersey/]Reggie Miller Pacers Jersey[/url]. When we look for players and coaches to add to our club were always looking for great competitors," Carroll said. "When we had the chance to take Earl, I dont know that I appreciated it as much as I do now the great competitor that he is. He has throughout the time hes been with us as a very young man, has played at the highest level he can generate every single day that hes played for us in this organization." Thomas gets the second major extension Seattle has announced this off-season after locking up Carroll through 2016. Now the question is if the Seahawks can get an extension done with All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Staying in-house has been the Seahawks priority this off-season; they also took care of bringing back defensive end Michael Bennett. "Sherm has everything under control. Hell take care of it," Thomas said. Schneider said the commitment to Thomas is another signal that Seattle doesnt intend on being a contender or a champion just once. "I think youre seeing an evolution of our development in terms of acquisition and how were building this team to be a consistent championship-calibre team," Schneider said. "We talk about it all the time we dont want to be a team that cruises in and cruises out." Thomas wanted to share the day with those close to him. He made sure one of the photo ops before the formal announcement included most of the defensive coaching staff, along with teammate Kam Chancellor, who signed an extension through 2017 last off-season. "Thats my family. Thats the people that have helped me," Thomas said. "... You learn from everybody, every opportunity you get. I dont waste my time. I invest everything." 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