My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
No, Victoria, B.C., native Rich Harden wasn’t there to celebrate when the Rangers upset the Rays to win their American League Division Series, but there was a Canadian flavour to the celebrations. Josh Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic, was showered with Canada Dry ginger ale by his teammates. For trivia buffs, Canada Dry ginger ale was created by John J. McLaughlin of Enniskillen, Ont., and introduced in 1904.
I know it’s legal, but that substance on Cliff Lee’s hat just doesn’t look right. It’s supposed to be rosin, but has anyone examined it closely? If I’m Rays manager Joe Maddon in Game Five of ALDS, I’m asking the umpires to check Lee’s hat. If nothing else, it might frazzle the ace lefty a little.
The only Canadian that will be on a major league field in the second round of the playoffs is Corunna, Ont., native Rob Thomson, who will be coaching third base for the Yankees. Thomson is also considered a candidate to be the Blue Jays skipper in 2011.
Whenever I see Ron Washington, I think of the game at Exhibition Stadium on September 14, 1987. Not only did the Jays belt a record-setting 10 home runs that day, but it was the day that Cal Ripken, Jr. ended his consecutive innings streak at 8,243. Washington was the player that replaced Ripken at shortstop for the ninth inning.
Thanks to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer and accountant extraordinaire Phil Parkinson for sharing a link about Wayne Gretzky’s son Trevor. Trevor Gretzky is a first baseman who will be playing for Tony Gwynn at San Diego State in 2011.
I like the Phillies in six over the Giants. Both clubs have great starting staffs, but Philadelphia’s offense is much stronger.
I learned my lesson in the first round of the playoffs: I won’t bet against the Yankees again. Although facing the frightening prospect of having to start A.J. Burnett in Game Four, the Yankees, even with their aging core and shaky rotation, will likely beat the upstart Rangers. Reports indicate that Cliff Lee will not start until Game 3, which means he will make a maximum of two starts in the series. Yankees in seven.