But What Do I Know? … Scott Downs, David Purcey, Andre Dawson, Jose Bautista

My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:

 If Scott Downs is dealt as he’s expected to be, that means David Purcey becomes the Jays’ go-to southpaw out of the pen. If this is the case, Cito Gaston will have to take the kid gloves off the former first rounder. Sure, Purcey boasts an impressive 1.74 ERA in 18 games this year, but the Jays are 4-14 in contests in which he has appeared. In the four Jays’ wins Purcey has pitched in, the team won 8-1, 10-1, 13-1 and 9-5, and Gaston has avoided using the young southpaw in any close games.

 As a freelance writer, I’d like to take time to applaud Andre Dawson’s Hall of Fame speechwriter. The Hawk delivered a very moving oration. His speech wasn’t nearly as eloquent when he was inducted in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. But then again – as his Cooperstown speech made clear – the 12 seasons he spent in Canada are clearly less important to him than his six seasons with the Cubs.

 Wouldn’t it be nice to find an inductee that’s happy to go into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an Expo? Dawson wanted to go in as a Cub. Gary Carter wanted to go in as a Met. Here’s hoping that Tim Raines, when his time comes (and I expect it will), will embrace his Expos tenure.

 Just when I was beginning to think the Jays best strategy would be to sell high on Jose Bautista, the Jays outfielder has a night like last night – belting two homers and recording another outfield assist. The more I watch him, the more I think he’s the real deal and a core player for the club heading into the future.

 Concussions are becoming epidemic among Canadian big leaguers. First Corey Koskie is forced to retire after banging his head. Now the two most high-profile Canuck big leaguers Justin Morneau and Jason Bay are out of action with concussions.

 For years, I’ve defended Jays Talk host Mike Wilner to people, but after interacting with him during the Jays’ games through the Fan 590’s new instant messaging platform, I’m not sure I like the guy. For the first 10 minutes his sarcasm and condescension is kind of funny, but after that it wears thin. The man is good at what he does, just not quite as good as he thinks he is.

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7 thoughts on “But What Do I Know? … Scott Downs, David Purcey, Andre Dawson, Jose Bautista

  1. Kevin, these are very important comments. Clearly, you know a lot.

    I didn’t hear Dawson’s speech, but I’m sorry to hear that he feels more for his six years as a Cub than his 12 years as an Expo. Did he consider that were it not for his success as an Expo, the Cubs might not have been interested?

    I’ll join you in hoping that Tim Raines feels differently.

    Great column.

  2. Nice job Kevin!

    I appreciate the wide range of knowledge you have, not only of the game of baseball, but the scope of Canadian baseball information you have.

    Keep up the great work

  3. No doubt Larry Walker will go in as a Rockie, and if Raines goes in as a Chisox or Yank, then that leaves … Pete Rose?!?

    • I sure hope Walker goes in. That would be great to have a second Canadian in Cooperstown. From all indications, Raines will be happy to go in as an Expo. It might take him awhile to get in though. Vladimir Guerrero is another former Expo that will get a lot of consideration. So will Pedro Martinez.

  4. I watched the video of Dawson’s induction ceremony, and it was clear that he felt a very strong connection to the Cubs fans. Did he leave Montreal on bad terms? Kevin, I agree with you: it was a good speech. But whenever he mentioned the Expos, he seemed to be tip-toeing around things. Do you think players would prefer not to be enshrined wearing the cap of a team that’s no longer around? Could it be as simple as that?

    • I remember one of the reasons that Gary Carter said he wanted to go in as a Met was because the Expos no longer existed. So that could be a factor. Dawson was a free agent in the “collusion” year, so he was low-balled by the Expos before signing with the Cubs. Dawson felt disrespected. But from all the reports I’ve read, he still would’ve made more by signing with the Expos in 1987 than he did with the Cubs. Dawson wanted off the cement-like turf at The Big O. I guess Dawson has a right to feel however he wants to feel, but as a Canadian, I felt a little jilted by his speech.

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