My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
It’s safe to say that Travis Snider won’t be one of the featured speakers at the “Thank You Cito” ceremony tomorrow night at the Rogers Centre. Gaston’s use of the Jays’ top prospect has been incomprehensible this season. When he hasn’t been on the bench, the power-hitting outfielder has been shuffled between the first and ninth spots in the order. For Snider, tomorrow’s ceremony may be more appropriately titled “Good riddance Cito” night.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but while the Jays were on Rogers Sportsnet One (still can’t get the channel through my service provider) last night, the Red Sox vs. White Sox game was shown on all four Sportsnet channels that I get. Again, Sportsnet declined to show a Roy Halladay start. Last night’s start had the ex-Jay tossing a two-hit shutout to clinch the National League East for the Phillies.
I have to admit Lyle Overbay has come up with some clutch hits in September and his glove work is as stellar as ever. But my beef has never been with his talent, it has been with his effort and seeming indifference.
Vancouver, B.C. native Blake Hawksworth is one tough cookie. The St. Louis Cardinals pitcher took a line drive off the mouth in the game against the Cubs on Sunday and didn’t lose any teeth. Here’s the video (Note: This video is not for the squeamish): http://is.gd/fy8NV
Something I didn’t know (or had forgotten): Ozzie Guillen coached third base for the Montreal Expos in 2001. Too bad he wasn’t appointed manager in 2002, Guillen’s personality alone might have saved baseball in that city.
Something I didn’t know (or had forgotten), part 2: Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was drafted as a catcher in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos in 1995.
Lost in Jose Bautista’s incredible 52-home run performance this season is how well he has played defensively – both in the outfield and at third baseman. Unlike his numerous skeptics, I don’t think this guy is a one-year wonder. He has the ability to be a solid big leaguer for several years.
Despite my criticisms, I do wish Cito Gaston well in retirement. And there’s no question the Jays have overachieved this season. That said, Gaston does seem to be managing with the philosophy that 2011 is someone else’s problem. I can’t understand why J.P. Arencibia, the Jays’ catcher of the future, has been glued to the bench this September, in favour of John Buck, who will likely leave via free agency after the season. I’m also not sure why Adam Lind hasn’t played any first base this September. If that’s the position he’s expected to play in 2011, why not play him there for a few games?
I had to re-read your blog because when I watched that video of that pitcher being hit I can’t imagine how he didn’t lose teeth! I have grown to like Overbay’s “laid-back” ways–particularly when he is being interviewed. He comes off, to me, as a kind of modest guy that has the team’s interests at heart–so what if he doesn’t run hard when he doesn’t feel the need! all the best to Cito, I say!
I agree on Overbay, a seemingly nice, laid-back guy. But I just think he owes it to his teammates to run harder.
Kev, I have two topics for you. First, what do you know about the career of Tom Filer? I remember the guy went 7-0 for the Jays during a pennant race one year in the 80s, and then he dropped off the face of the earth.
Second, why did the Jays decide to move their AAA team to Las Vegas? What happened with Syracuse? That flight to the desert is not really practical for immediate call ups, so what gives?
I’ll see what I can find out about Filer. I remember him well. At the start of this season, I contemplated trying to track down all of the members of that ’85 Blue Jays team, but soon realized that that was going to be too time-consuming.
From what I understand,it was Syracuse that no longer wanted the Jays. I think their attendance was dwindling and they wanted an affiliation with an American team. Although, I think Syracuse initially had their eye on the Mets Triple-A team not Washington’s. I still say Ottawa would be a great venue for the Triple-A Jays. Unfortunately, finding an owner for an Ottawa team presents a problem.
Great stuff, Kevin, as always. I had trouble watching that video, though. An inch or two higher and it could have been real bad.