But What Do I Know? … Fred Lewis, Alex Gonzalez, Jose Canseco

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

 In batting stance only, Jays outfielder Fred Lewis bears a striking resemblance to Devon White. Unfortunately, he leads the league in one of its more dubious, unofficial categories: brain cramps. So far, Lewis has done enough at the plate to offset his mental lapses, but it’s doubtful he can maintain his offensive pace. Let’s hope that Lewis doesn’t play at the expense of Travis Snider in the season’s second-half.

 Why is it that people sitting in those “In The Action” seats behind home plate at the Rogers Centre seem to care more about talking on their cell phones and waving to their friends on TV than watching the game? As an ardent baseball fan and budget-conscious freelance writer, this really bugs me.

 In early June, I sat in the 500-level seats behind home plate at a Jays game and came away pleasantly surprised. For those that don’t think the Jays have any young fans, they should have been there to witness about 50 teens donning Jays jerseys and standing up and high-fiving each other every time the Jays scored. It was a refreshing experience, and dare I say, a lot more fun than sitting with the suits in the comfy seats.

 The one good thing about the all-star game being over is that Rogers Sportsnet can stop playing that commercial of Randy Johnson throwing a pitch over John Kruk’s head. Johnson’s pitch hardly qualifies as a “great” all-star moment, as the theme of the commercial suggests. The all-star game is about sportsmanship, tradition and love of the game. The Big Unit’s actions represent none of the above.

 I’m following Jose Canseco on Twitter – and before you say it, yes, I do need a life. When most of the players Canseco named in his first book turned out to be steroid users, I gained some level of respect for the A’s slugger. He might have even earned some credibility in the larger baseball community. But after reading his self-indulgent “tweets” about how “hung” he is and his verbal attacks on his naysayers (he calls them ‘haters’), the respect I had for him is all but gone. Jose seems unfamiliar with the high road.

 So long Alex Gonzalez and good luck with Braves. I had liked this modern version of Alex Gonzalez at shortstop for the Jays much better than the ’90s model. This year’s Alex Gonzalez would’ve been the first Jay I would’ve selected to my all-star team.

 Condolences go out to relatives and friends of Windsor baseball legend, Father Ronald Cullen, who passed away last week at the age of 94. One of the best amateur baseball coaches in Canadian history, Cullen’s teams almost always vied for city, provincial and national titles. In 1950, he began coaching in Windsor’s renowned Mic Mac League. He started working with midget-aged players in 1971 and helped hone the skills of several players that would become provincial and national stars. Big leaguers Reno Bertoia, Joe Siddall, Stubby Clapp and John Upham are among his prized graduates. Father Cullen was inducted into the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

 Glad to hear that Dave Winfield made time to bury the hatchet with George Steinbrenner prior to controversial owner’s death earlier this week. No player was more subject to The Boss’s wrath than Winfield. Steinbrenner once paid a renowned gambler to follow Winfield, who Steinbrenner liked to call “Mr. May”,  to dig up unsavory details about his slugger, an action that would earn The Boss a 30-month banishment from Major League Baseball starting in 1990. But as you’ll see in this clip, the Yankee duo made peace prior to Steinbrenner’s death: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5375826

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4 thoughts on “But What Do I Know? … Fred Lewis, Alex Gonzalez, Jose Canseco

  1. I have to agree with Suzanne’s comment. Also, your story about Dave W. and George S. just emphasises that we should not burn bridges. However, regarding your cellphone irritation– if I ever got seats behind homeplate, I’m afraid I’d be phoning friends and waving at them too!

  2. Maybe those people in the Action seats are there to be seen, rather than to see the game. I don’t know, but it sounds as though you found some real fans in the 500-level. I agree with you about Randy Johnson, too. His treatment of that photographer after joining the Yankees turned me off for good. Great idea to include the Winfield clip.

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