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.