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Pennant-race baby? Davis certainly hopes so

Blue Jays outfielder, wife expecting their first child to arrive Sept. 14

NEW YORK -- Only moments after the Blue Jays officially placed Adam Lind on the paternity list, Rajai Davis and his wife, Marissa, shared some news of their own Thursday morning: They are preparing for a pennant-race baby, due Sept. 14.

After a four-game series against the Yankees, the Blue Jays will return to Toronto to open a homestand Tuesday night against Boston, and that day the Davises will see their doctor and hope to find out whether their first child is a boy or a girl. There's a lot of baby news lately around the Blue Jays.

"We're really excited about bringing another one into our family," said Davis, 32. "We don't know what it is yet, we just know it's a baby. So we're excited about it. Me being a father for the first time, and her being a mother for the first time, we're excited and we're looking forward to our future."

Rajai and Marissa came to the MLB Fan Cave together Thursday. They met when they were students at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, before he was drafted by the Pirates in the 38th round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. They were in the same economics class and she gave him a ride to school one day. As he says these days, "the rest is history."

"I didn't have a ride. She had the ride. So she was actually able to provide the ride for me because I didn't have a car," Davis said. "I needed to get to school, too. You know?

"Right thing to do, ask her for a ride. Of course we rode in silence, but that was just the beginning. It got the ball rolling. That's all we needed to do."

More than a decade has unfolded since they met, a winding road that has taken them through Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Oakland and now for a third year in Toronto. Davis is eligible for free agency after this season, but they are just playing it out, seeing where 2013 takes them.

She said they found out about the baby in January, and they have tried to keep it quiet until clothes stopped fitting.

"He said, 'I can't believe you're pregnant. Look at your stomach,'" Marissa said. "I'm like, 'I know!' We're just starting to tell people. Now I can't really hide it. It's bulging now, so I'm like, 'OK, it is what it is.'"

Marissa said Rajai "wants a boy first, so we've got a 50-50 shot." She doesn't care. The Linds now have a girl and a boy, and Marissa said she was amazed that they did not want to know the sex in advance.

"The Linds didn't want to know for either of them," she said. "I don't want yellows and greens. I want distinctive boy and girl clothes. I do. I know I'm crazy."

Such is the life of many Major League Baseball families. You see the player on the field and it is easy to forget that life does not completely revolve around what happens out there.

Especially on this day, when people are still talking about The Throw.

A little less than 24 hours earlier, the Blue Jays were in Baltimore on getaway day, tied in the bottom of the 10th inning. Manny Machado represented the winning run on second, and the Orioles had been almost unbeatable in extras lately. J.J. Hardy ripped a two-out single to left.

"I tried to run the play [in my head] before it happened," Davis said a day later, replaying the whole sequence as he sat on a big couch. "If he hits a ball sharply to me, I know I've got a chance to throw him out. And as he hit it, he hit a line drive, one hop.

"As I fielded it, I looked up real quick to see where the runner was. I see him just getting to third base. Usually that's my indicator, 'OK, I've got a chance to throw him out.' As soon as it left my hand, I was like, 'Yes, it's on target.' That's all I wanted. I just wanted to throw it on target, give myself a chance, give the catcher a chance, give us a chance as a team.

"J.P. caught it, tagged him, the rest is history."

Davis brings just the right attitude to the role of a fourth outfielder on the depth chart.

"Be ready when your name is called," he said. "When they put you in that lineup, be ready to play."

And he is, still jets on the bases, with five stolen bags representing a third of the Blue Jays' total, after 130 combined steals over the previous three years.

That always strikes Marissa as funny.

"Getting up in the morning, he's a turtle," she said. "They did a marketing video, showing how he does everything fast. I was like, 'That's not true.' I'm one of the last ones to leave the ballpark every time. He does everything slow. Just bases. That's it. Everything else ... I think he's worse than me getting ready. I'm like, 'What are you doing?'"

After shooting an upcoming video based on the Kansas City ballboy incident earlier this season, Davis went with his wife for a quick lunch in Manhattan, and then it was up to the Bronx.

It is the hope of he and the Blue Jays that The Throw might represent a pivotal moment in a season that began with such huge expectations, largely unfulfilled to date. They hope it will bring momentum into these games against the Yankees and then into the homestand.

"Absolutely -- that's what we want to do. We want to score more runs than them," Davis said. "Obviously we've been struggling to score runs, but this is a new day, and we're looking forward to this new day and a lot more hits and runs scored."

This is a new day.

That could be a tagline for the Blue Jays right now.

Babies being born, babies on the way. Maybe it can apply to the club.

Pennant-race baby?

"Oh yeah," Davis said with a smile. "I'm looking forward to that."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.

Toronto Blue Jays, Rajai Davis