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Life coach helps Blue Jays' Pompey prepare for make or break year

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As a tumultuous 2018 season came to an end, Dalton Pompey had more questions than answers.

His season had started with a right wrist sprain that sidelined him for more than a month. Later he missed all of June with a torn thumb ligament, and an August altercation with triple-A manager Bobby Meacham led to a suspension without pay. In September, when nearly everyone on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster was called up, Pompey wasn’t invited.

By then, the subtext seemed clear: Pompey, the Mississauga, Ont., native who once ranked among Toronto’s top prospects, appeared to have fallen out of favour with his hometown team.

"It was the first time in my career that I would look in the mirror and I didn’t know what was going to happen," Pompey said.

He knew he was frustrated with the way his season had unfolded both on and off of the field, but he wasn’t sure what to expect when he met Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins for lunch in September.

They spoke for a while on a wide range of topics: Pompey’s 2018 performance, his goals for 2019 and his standing in the organization. Eventually, the conversation shifted and Atkins suggested that Pompey could benefit from talking to someone he trusts on a more personal level about his successes and struggles.

"Because it’s a lot," Pompey said. "Being a professional athlete is a lot."

Toronto Blue Jays pinch-runner Dalton Pompey reacts as he’s safe at third base during the seventh inning of........

© Sportsnet