My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
One former Calgary Cannon (defunct Triple-A squad) has homered in the ALCS and it’s not A-Rod (who played with Calgary in 1994). Texas back-up catcher Matt Treanor, who toiled in the Stampede City while in the Marlins organization in 2002, homered in Game 5 of the ALCS.
Three former Vancouver Canadians – Nelson Cruz, Nick Swisher and Bengie Molina – have homered in the ALCS. At one time, the Canadians were the Angels Triple-A affiliate and until recently they served as a Class-A Short-Season club for the Oakland A’s.
If the Phillies are going to win the World Series, Ryan Howard needs to start hitting like Babe Ruth and Chase Utley needs to stop fielding like Steve Sax.
It’s safe to say that someone from the Boston Red Sox organization will be managing the Blue Jays next year. Peter Gammons reports that the final two candidates are Bosox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and pitching coach John Farrell. Either is a solid choice. I love the fact that they both know the AL East and come from a team the Jays need to leapfrog in the standings.
In case you were wondering, New Brunswick native Matt Stairs has had 686 teammates during his itinerant, 18-year major league career, a total that ranks sixth all-time. Journeyman left-hander Terry Mulholland tops the list with 791 teammates. Thanks to my friends on Baseball-Fever.com for this bit of trivia.
By my count, there are three players that played with the Expos left in the post-season: Vladimir Guerrero (Texas), Brian Schneider (Philadelphia) and Guillermo Mota (San Francisco). Two others – Cliff Lee (Texas) and Wilson Valdez (Philadelphia) – were products of the Expos farm system.
Of the 20 perfect games in major league history, three have been thrown by ex-Jays – Roy Halladay (May 29, 2010), David Cone (July 18, 1999) and David Wells (May 17, 1998) – and another was tossed against the Jays (Cleveland’s Len Barker, May 15, 1981).
Ron Taylor, Claude Raymond and Phil Marchildon all enjoyed solid big league careers and I’m happy to see that they’ve been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. But how can 1980 NLCS hero Terry Puhl – one of the top five Canadian baseball players of all-time – not be similarly honoured? In my view, it’s an unthinkable omission.