My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
It’s a shame that little has been written about Vernon Wells winning the Branch Rickey Award for his humanitarian efforts. It bothers me that fans are more willing to harp on his contract that celebrate him for the lives he’s changing. Read more about the award here: http://is.gd/fmQXm
I know that finding an owner for a Triple-A team in Ottawa would be difficult, but I still can’t comprehend why the Jays have a Triple-A team in Las Vegas, when Ottawa has beautiful ballpark that’s just four hours away.
I don’t care if he’s hitting .200, Rays first baseman Carlos Pena can play on my team any day of the week. He runs out every groundball, chases every foul ball in his area like it’s his first game in the majors and truly hates to lose. All characteristics that Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay seems to lack.
While the Jays games are shown on Rogers Sportsnet One (still can’t get the station on my service producer), I’ve come to appreciate the intensity that the Yankees and Rays play with. Last week, when Derek Jeter feigned being hit on the hand with a pitch that actually hit his bat, several players on the Rays bench rose to the front of the dugout and pleaded passionately with the umpires to change the call. When was the last time you’ve seen a group of Blue Jay players act with that type of intensity?
New Brunswick native Matt Stairs just keeps on going. He now has a big league record 23 pinch-hit homers. He has also slammed nine in his past two seasons – which also represents a new record for most pinch-hit homers over a two-year span.
If I’m the Texas Rangers, I’m looking for a new team doctor. It took the team 16 days to discover that Josh Hamilton, their best player, has broken ribs. That’s unacceptable for a team that has worked hard to recapture their fickle fan base and will be in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
Someone needs to tell ex-Jay Felipe Lopez that .230 hitters aren’t entitled to show up late on game day. Lopez was released by the Cardinals yesterday for a combination of his repeated tardiness and lack of production.
OK, so Rogers Sportsnet, I’m told, has TV rights to all Major League Baseball games this season. They can show virtually any game they want to. I pay for four channels in my Bell Express Vu package. When Roy Halladay tossed his perfect game against Florida in May, Rogers Sportsnet opted not to switch over to that game for the final few innings. Last night, Halladay was vying for his 20th win in a key National League East battle with the Atlanta Braves, and again it wasn’t on any of the Sportsnet channels. It seems someone is asleep at the switch at the station. Halladay is still a huge draw amongst Blue Jay fans, especially those who can’t see the games on Sportsnet One.
Jays fans: When you get frustrated about Vernon Wells or Adam Lind in the middle of the Jays’ order, think about the Seattle Mariners’ four, five and six hitters last night: Justin Smoak (.197 batting average), Ryan Langerhans (.180 batting average) and Adam Moore (.172). Feel better about the middle of the Jays’ order now?