My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
I’m not a religious person, but watching John McDonald, a wonderful guy who homers approximately every leap year, belt a home run on Father’s Day just a few days after his dad, Jack, died of liver cancer makes me want to believe in something. That was a magical Father’s Day moment, and I was fortunate to be watching the game with my dad when it happened.
Funny how there’s nary a peep from Jays fans about Vernon Wells’ bloated contract this season. It’s amazing what 16 homers will do to shut the cynical Jays faithful up. I’ll never boo Wells, and I often suggest to Jays fans that they do some research to see how much charity work Wells does before they gripe about his contract. I suspect he would rank near the top of all Major League players in terms of charitable efforts, not that the modest outfielder ever talks about it. Wells has never made excuses for his poor performances (He could have. He essentially played the entire 2009 campaign in need of wrist surgery) and despite being heckled mercilessly, he more often than not makes time for the fans. I go to Dunedin each March and it sickens me when I hear fans boo Wells and then after the fifth inning when he comes out of a Spring Training game, the same fans run down and beg him for his autograph. Wells usually obliges, but the hypocrisy is stunning. Frank Thomas received the same hypocritical treatment from Jays fans in Dunedin.
Gary Carter didn’t want the Expos cap on his plaque when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Andre Dawson didn’t want the Expos cap on his plaque. The question is, will Tim Raines be OK with the Expos cap when he’s eventually enshrined? And yes, he will be a Cooperstowner one day. There are strong statistics out there that prove Raines is the second-best leadoff hitter in baseball history.
If the Expos didn’t move to Washington, do you think Stephen Strasburg would have agreed to play in Montreal? Me neither.
Question: If Blue Jays DH Adam Lind is marrying a Canadian woman (which he plans to do in November), does that make him eligible to play for Canada in the next World Baseball Classic? It would certainly seem to fit with the lax citizenship rules that currently apply.
Ron Taylor, Claude Raymond and Phil Marchildon all enjoyed solid big league careers and I’m happy to see that they’ve been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. But how can Terry Puhl – one of the top five Canadian baseball players of all-time – not be similarly honoured? In my view, it’s an unthinkable omission.