My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
The Fan 590 is now offering Jays fans the opportunity to interact with the sometimes acerbic, Jays Talk host Mike Wilner during the game through an instant messaging platform. Last night, I asked Wilner why Jays fans seem to rip Edwin Encarnacion for not hustling, while Lyle Overbay, who rarely runs out a ground ball, gets a free pass. Wilner said that Overbay does hustle, but he’s just slow. I respectfully disagree. When Overbay hits a ground ball, I see resignation not determination in his body language. After a few strides out of the batter’s box, Overbay typically concedes that he’s out. That’s not the type of player I want on my team.
It was also evident during this Fan 590 instant-messaging party that Jays fans feel that Alex Anthopoulos is the second coming of Theo Epstein, Boston’s prodigious GM who has two World Series rings. When I said I failed to share their elevated confidence in the Canadian GM after just over half a year at the helm, they pointed to the Fred Lewis and Yunel Escobar trades as strokes of genius. All I can say is, let’s wait and see on these two deals. And remember: Jays fans thought J.P. Ricciardi was Pat Gillick when he first arrived.
I was happy John Buck, Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista got to participate in the all-star game, but if I’m picking the American League squad, Alex Gonzalez and Shawn Camp would’ve been the first two Jays I would’ve selected.
Now Shaun Marcum might be sidelined with a blister on his finger. At what point does Marcum become known as “fragile”? Or is he already known as that?
The Minnesota Twins have to be holding their breath on New Westminster, B.C., native Justin Morneau, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in a game against the Jays prior to the all-star break. Scheduled to come off the disabled list this Friday, Morneau is still feeling woozy. This is sounding eerily similar to Aaron Hill’s injury in May 2008 that kept him out for several months.
Congratulations to Toronto Sun writer and Canadian baseball advocate, Bob Elliott, who is one of three finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2010 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, an annual honour that recognizes “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” No one is more passionate about Canadian baseball than Elliott. Not only does he write for The Sun, Elliott is the editor of the Canadian Baseball Network and has written, “The Northern Game”, a book considered to be the bible of Canadian baseball writing. This year’s other candidates are Bill Conlin, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist and Joe Giuliotti, a former Boston Herald reporter. Veteran members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will vote on the honour. The results will be announced during baseball’s winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in December.
Great stuff, Kevin, as always!
As I’ve said before I can’t get over how Overbay stands and watches the ball after he hits. I have to say thought i think he has been hitting well lately but he certainly has a “relaxed” style. Cudos to the sports writers–when are you writing a book Kevin?
Nice article Kevin, quite a lot of issues to talk about.
Regarding, Mr. Anthopoolus. I think overall he has made the right moves considering the position he is in.
Every year the Jays hit a free fall around the All-Star break, usually when the inter-division games roll around.
Honestly, the Jays are hanging in, and the acquisitions I think, are what could be attributed to as, the luck of the draw.
Escobar was due for a change of scenery, he is doing well now, but if you can’t play for Bobby Cox, who can you really play for.
Lewis has been a decent, despite all the hype he had as the second-coming in San Fran.
The true outcome of the Jays will not be seen for maybe 3 years until all the guys from the Halladay trade finally arrive, but for now, I would say ’10 has been a pleasant surprise (even though Batista’s season is nice, the .230 average is kind of alarming)!