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HOUSTON – The hitting coach and the player sat at the players locker stall for more than 20 minutes before Saturdays game against the Astros. They were hashing some things out. What those things are will remain between the coach and the player. Whats clear was that the discussion Kevin Seitzer was having with Colby Rasmus was animated. Seitzer, leaving not much room between him and his protégé, was moving his hands theatrically, speaking intently. To the casual observer, looking over every now and then, it appeared that Seitzer was doing a lot more of the talking than Rasmus. This has been a difficult year for Rasmus and it couldnt have come at a worse time. Hes assuredly headed to free agency for the first time in his career, the Blue Jays uninterested in bringing him back – certainly uninterested in issuing Rasmus a qualifying offer worth more than $14-million – and the feeling, its believed, is mutual. Making $7-million this season, 28-year-old Rasmus has put himself in a difficult spot as he seeks a long-term, big money contract to take him through his prime years. He was hitting .218/.281/.444 heading into Sundays action, a season interrupted for five weeks in May and June due to a hamstring injury. A high strikeout player throughout his career, Rasmus is whiffing in 32.8-percent of his plate appearances, the highest rate of any of his six big league seasons. Theres the issue of Rasmuss tardiness. He missed a hitters meeting, during which Seitzer takes players through the scouting report on the opponents pitching staff, on Thursday. Manager John Gibbons scratched Rasmus from the starting lineup although Rasmus did enter that nights game as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Where Rasmus and Seitzer disagree most is on Rasmuss stance. Rasmus, youll notice, holds his hands and bat out over the plate as he settles into the box to await the pitch. Seitzer had earlier convinced Rasmus to pull his hands in toward his body in order to get the bat through the strike zone quicker. Rasmus, who spent the All-Star Break at home, doesnt see it that way. When he pulls his hands in, he subconsciously wants to move them back out. “I feel like that Im able to close my body off that way and it keeps my hands more freed up,” said Rasmus. “Since Ive done that off the break, Ive hit quite a few balls the other way. Ive hit some balls through the shift and the idea was to just keep my body good and closed and my hands further away from me.” It would be unfair to describe the Rasmus/Seitzer relationship as contentious. Earlier this season, Seitzer told TSN.ca he believes Rasmus has a “beautiful heart,” something of which he reminds Rasmus. He knows his pupil is sensitive. Seitzer knows Rasmus has a complicated background which has left him tormented by his chosen profession. Seitzer is willing to hear Rasmus out. Its the part of Seitzers job youd title “psychologist.” When it comes to hitting, however, the two are not on the same page. “I feel more comfortable with them out away from me because I can kind of get a feel of letting my hands be free and loose,” said Rasmus. “I feel like its been working for me. Its pretty good. The last game in Boston, I hit three balls the other way that got caught. [Xander] Bogaerts dives and catches one; Jonny Gomes barely catches one and does his little tumble roll and then I hit another one to the gap and Jackie Bradley tracked it down.” Theres no question Rasmus has been robbed of a number of hits this season due to the exaggerated defensive shifts he faces. Teams routinely put three infielders on the right side of the diamond when hes at the plate, including placing the second baseman in a roving position in shallow right field. “I needed to make a change because what I was doing wasnt working,” said Rasmus. “I was just pulling balls straight into the shift. My hands were getting out away from me. I wasnt able to stay inside of any balls. I wasnt letting anything get deep and I was just crushing balls or trying to swing too hard to hit it through the shift because I was uncomfortable with what I was doing.” So it is in this strange time in the Blue Jays/Rasmus partnership. The playoff-contending team looking for contributions, Rasmus, facing an uncertain future, is playing it like Frank Sinatra: “My Way.” “I feel fine with what Im trying to do. I feel good with my approach,” said Rasmus. Marcus Davenport Jersey . 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The Detroit Tigers slugger fell short in his bid to become the first player to win the Triple Crown in successive seasons.HONG KONG -- Canada moved up two places to seventh in the IRB Sevens World Series standings after finishing tied for seventh Sunday at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. New Zealand brushed aside England 26-7 to win the event and reclaim top spot in the overall standings. The All Blacks, the defending World Series champions, won their third tournament this season in style, running four tries past England to claim their 11th Cup championship in Hong Kong and first since 2011. Canada finished runner-up to England in Pool C with a 2-1-0 record to reach the quarter-finals of the elite Cup competition for the fourth event in a row. And it led Australia twice in Sundays quarter-final -- 5-0 and 12-7 on tries by Harry Jones and Ciaran Hearn -- before giving up a converted try in the final minute. Canada then lost 31-14 to Wales in the consolation Plate semifinal. Wales led 19-0 before Canada got on the board. Jones and Sean Duke scored tries for Canada. The Canadians were without captain Nathan Hirayama, ruled out by injury. Canada finished 12th in last years series standings. In Sundays final, first-half tries from Ben Lam and Tim Mikkelson gave New Zealand a 12-0 lead but England hit back just before the break when Tom Powell burst through to touch down from a quickly taken tap penalty to reduce the deficit to just five points. But evergreen captain DJ Forbes, who had a huge impact on the final day with his bustling play at the breakdown, quickly put New Zealand back in command, stretching the lead after receiving a hugge cut-out pass from Sherwin Stowers to score uncontested.dddddddddddd "We were given a lesson by England last week (in Tokyo) but here we are on the podium. It feels good to win in Hong Kong again," said an elated Forbes. Despite a second try by Lam being overturned, and the winger being penalized for an off-the-ball offence, the men in black had too much firepower and sub Sam Dickson sealed victory with his sides fourth try. The victory allowed New Zealand to regain the lead from South Africa who had entered the Hong Kong Sevens holding a two-point lead. With two more legs remaining in Scotland and England in May, New Zealand top the standings with 136 points, seven points ahead of South Africa who stumbled badly after losing in the Cup quarter-finals to England, 14-7. Fiji are third on 112 while England fourth on 105. England had booked its berth in the Cup final with a 17-7 victory over Fiji in the semifinal. Fiji had looked impressive in the run-up and seemed on course for back-to-back titles after winning in Tokyo last week but came undone against a disciplined English side. New Zealands path to the final was a 28-5 win over Wales in the quarter-finals followed by a 19-7 victory over trans-Tasman rivals Australia. Japan became the first Asian team to win a core team spot on the World Series when it won the qualifying tournament defeating Italy 26-5. Japan will play in the remaining two legs this season in Scotland and England, and all nine legs in the World Series next season. ' ' '