My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
First A-Rod watches a called third strike to end the ALCS and then Phillies slugger Ryan Howard is rung up on the last pitch of the NLCS. I know it’s not easy to hit big league pitching, but these guys aren’t paid millions to leave their bats on their shoulders with their teams’ seasons on the line.
In picking up Jose Molina’s contract option, the Jays might have made their most important off-season transaction. The veteran catcher worked magic with future ace Brandon Morrow and should be an excellent mentor for J.P. Arencibia in 2011.
Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Terry Puhl (Melville, Sask.) is torn about whom to cheer for in the World Series. The 2010 Fall Classic pits two of his ex-1980 Astros teammates against each other: Nolan Ryan (Rangers president) and Bruce Bochy (Giants manager).
The fact that discussions with Blue Jays batting coach Dwayne Murphy are taking this long leads me to believe that he might not be back in 2011, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, the Jays topped the majors in home runs this season and Jose Bautista enjoyed a campaign for the ages. But Adam Lind and Aaron Hill saw their production plummet and the team on-base percentage was a lowly .312 (12th in the American League).
Trivia question: Who is the oldest living ex-Toronto Blue Jay? My friends from Baseball-Fever.com say it is Ron Fairly, who is now 72 years old. Fairly hit 19 home runs and was the Jays all-star representative in their inaugural 1977 campaign.
Is it just me or has Edgar Renteria amassed the quietest 2,000 hits in big league history? Believe it or not, the Giants shortstop has 2,252 career regular season hits.
I would like to see the Giants win the World Series for longtime Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer and SABR member Andrew North. The long-suffering Giants aficionado is one of the unheralded volunteers at the Hall of Fame who gives selflessly of his time and knowledge. He’s an encyclopedia of baseball knowledge and can tell the story of Fred Merkle’s famous bonehead play in 1908 better than anyone I’ve ever heard.
Please follow me on Twitter @kevinglewsports
I love your Blog Kevin. Professional through and through. I liked your recent story about the World Series. I’m pulling for the Giants as they once came close and didn’t make it. They have a great history and loud fans. Baseball is my answer to the stress of life whether watching it, reading about it, selling 50/50’s at the Dome or getting to the occasional Tiger game. Your photo on Twitter reminds me of my 7 Little League years in Windsor East, something about the card and uniform. My coach took the whole team to a Tigers game when we were 9. Al Kaline was in his final season.
Keep writing and informing. By the way did Bruce Bochy play catcher for the Padres. I’ve been trying to figure out where I remember him from.
Thanks for the kind words about the blog. For the record, my Twitter photo is actually Biff Pocoroba. That is my favourite baseball name of all-time.
You are correct about Bochy. He was a catcher for the Padres. As a Tigers fan, you probably remember him from the 1984 World Series. He was the back-up catcher for the Pads that year.
Good for you for recognizing a hard working volunteer (Andrew North) I hope he reads this and realizes how much he is appreciated. Volunteers (in all areas of life) are the “lifeline” of communities. Volunteers need to be told once and awhile how important they are.
Yes, volunteers are very important. I hope Andrew is reading this as well. He might be in San Francisco right now though.
I agree with you about Rodriguez and Howard’s called third strikes. It’s such a passive way to lose a game — and a series. The only thing that bothers me more is the intentional walks. Cowards! By the way, it’s easy to find the batters who have been walked intentionally the greatest number of times. But I can’t find stats on pitchers who issued the most free passes. Somehow I don’t remember Bob Gibson or Tom Seaver backing down in fear when a great hitter was at the plate. Any idea if things have changed?
I think there has been a big change in the last 25 years. I remember hearing a story about Padres manager Dick Williams going to the mound during the 1984 World Series to talk to Goose Gossage about potentially intentionally walking Kirk Gibson. Both Williams and Gossage were intimidating men, but Gossage told Williams that he was going to pitch to Gibson. Williams let him and Gibson promptly belted a long home run off of Gossage. Both Williams and Gossage are in the Hall of Fame now and can find humour in that moment now. But that’s an example of a manager letting the pitcher decide. You don’t see that very often anymore.