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The Toronto Blue Jays will go with a three-man training staff after the dismissal on Thursday of head trainer Scott Shannon. He had been with the organization for nearly 17 years.

George Poulis moves from assistant to head trainer. Jay Inouye of Vancouver, who has been serving as the co-ordinator of minor-league athletic training and rehabilitation, has joined him. Dave Abraham, who has served as a trainer at the college level and is also the strength and conditioning expert, completes the staff.

Abraham has worked a couple of stints with the Blue Jays earlier this year, in spring training and again in June.

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General manager J. P. Ricciardi said Thursday night that the Blue Jays had decided "to change direction" with its training staff.

Shannon, 39, worked his way up through the minor-league system before becoming an assistant trainer with the Blue Jays in 1998. He was in his fourth season as the head trainer.

"I was told just that they felt that a change was needed," Shannon said. "That was it."

Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado has known Shannon since they were together in 1990 with the short-season A team at St. Catharines, Ont. "It's tough to see someone leave and lose their job," Delgado said. "It is sad. He's a good guy."

"We'll always be friends," Poulis said. "The organization wanted to make a change and I was happy to accept."

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