Smoak proving Blue Jays will live off long ball again

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By Jonah Keri,, June 8, 2017 

If there’s one image that’s defined the Blue Jays during the second-most successful era in franchise history, it’s a home run disappearing deep into the Rogers Centre bleachers.

From Jose Bautista’s bat-flip to Edwin Encarnacion’s bat-drop, the long ball has been an enduring symbol for the team that’s made it to two straight American League Championship Series.

This season figured to be different. Encarnacion took his 42 bombs to Cleveland. Jose Bautista’s future was in doubt after a mediocre, injury-filled season. Key veterans like Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin would be a year older, part of a roster-wide problem that made you wonder if the oldest group of position players in the majors could have any power upside to offer.

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