I’m not chang­ing, Stro­man says

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVID­SON

TORONTO — Jays pitcher Mar­cus Stro­man’s emo­tions are al­ways close to the sur­face. On Thurs­day they bub­bled over.

The right-han­der was ejected along with man­ager John Gibbons and catcher Rus­sell Mar­tin in a beef trig­gered by um­pire Will Lit­tle’s calls be­hind the plate dur­ing the fifth in­ning of Toronto’s 8-4 win over Oak­land.

Gibbons was tossed first for com­ments from the dugout. Stro­man and Mar­tin quickly fol­lowed af­ter Stro­man was as­sessed a ca­reer-high sixth walk. Stro­man charged off the mound to­wards Lit­tle but was held back by bench coach DeMarlo Hale.

Stro­man threw 90 pitches, of which 52 were strikes.

The right-han­der de­clined com­ment on the um­pires af­ter­wards. But he made it clear that he’s not go­ing to change his heart-on-thesleeve, pump-it-up play­ing style.

“I’m an emo­tional guy. I’m go­ing to con­tinue to be my­self re­gard­less of who doesn’t like it, who likes it,” he told re­porters. “I’m al­ways go­ing to be my­self re­gard­less here on out.

“I’m emo­tional. That’s how I pitch. That’s what I pride my­self on. That what al­lows me to be my best out there and that’s how it’s go­ing to con­tinue to be day-in and day-out. So if you don’t like it, it’s OK.”

Stro­man, 26, has been the best of the Toronto starters this sea­son. He has gone seven-plus innings eight times while the other starters have com­bined for nine such out­ings.

He says what you see is what you get these days when it comes to who he is.

“I’m con­fi­dent, more com­fort­able for sure. I’m be­ing my­self. When you come up (to the ma­jors), it some­times hard to be your­self be­ing a young guy. Now I feel like I’m set­tled in, I can com­pletely be my­self. There’s no rea­son to hang back,” he said.

“None of it is ill-na­tured by any means. It’s things that I need to do, talk to my­self to get my­self in the mo­ment, to get my­self up for a par­tic­u­lar pitch,” he added.

“And it’s not go­ing to change go­ing for­ward ... and no­body can sway that.”

Stro­man says he be­lieves the young ta­lent in base­ball has brought more emo­tion to the game.

“You’re start­ing to see guys do spe­cial things around the league,” he said. “I’m all for emo­tion, man. I could care less if some­one pimps a homer off me. I gave it up at the end of the day.

“I feel like show­ing emo­tion and pas­sion is part of the game and by do­ing so you’re able to play at your most elite level.”

MARK BLINCH, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Mar­cus Stro­man re­acts af­ter be­ing ejected from Thurs­day’s game against Oak­land. “I’m an emo­tional guy,” he says.

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