My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
I’m confused. The Blue Jays shut down Brandon Morrow, their most dominant pitcher over the past few months, and then Cito Gaston calls his first team meeting of the season before Saturday’s game against the Yankees to tell his players he wants them to finish strong and play with pride. So in other words, just because the organization is giving up on the season, doesn’t mean that the players should.
I’m confused, part 2. In a season in which the team has resigned themselves to not making the playoffs, the Blue Jays call up J.P. Arencibia, their catcher of the future, and have him sit on the bench for the month of September. Gaston opts to play John Buck, who, to his credit, has been fantastic, but will leave the team as a free agent in the off-season. As a player, I’m sure Buck is appreciative, but shouldn’t Gaston be thinking of the organization first?
I’m confused, part 3. In the final month of a campaign in which the Jays are diligently monitoring the number of innings their young pitchers have thrown, the club declines to bring up the Pacific Coast League reliever of the year, Jeremy Accardo. Granted Accardo has been critical about the way he has been treated by the Jays, but disagreements happen between players and executives all the time. It seems petty and silly that Accardo isn’t pitching for the Jays this month.
Maybe, I wouldn’t be so confused if I could watch the Jays on one of the four Rogers Sportsnet channels I pay for. Many of the Jays’ games in September have been on their new Sportsnet One channel, which is unavailable on my service provider. But I must thank Rogers (also the Jays owners). While the Jays play on a channel I can’t watch, I’m gaining a greater appreciation for the Red Sox and Yankees. Rogers has been consistent in showing their games on the channels I can watch. But somehow I don’t think their goal with this new station was to create more Yankees and Red Sox fans.
Good to see Mississauga, Ont. native Shawn Hill will be on the hill for the Blue Jays on Thursday. The right-hander was one of five Canadians called up by big league clubs in September. Joining Hill are Scott Mathieson (Phillies), Maxim St. Pierre (Tigers), Mike Nickeas (Mets) and Chris Leroux (Marlins).
Last Thursday represented the 20th anniversary of Dave Stieb’s no-hitter. Every time I see the replay of that final out, I still get nervous that Junior Felix is going to drop the ball.
It appears that Carlos Delgado’s career is over. After signing with the Red Sox in August, the former Jays slugger suffered a tear in his left hip while playing for their Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket. It was hoped that Delgado would bolster the Bosox lineup in September, but he will not play again this year.
Some exciting developments in my “Ex-Expos: Whatever Happened To . . . ” series. If all goes all planned, and unfortunately it rarely does in the world of sports journalism, I should have my next article in this series up within a week.