My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
This quote from Vernon Wells in Richard Griffin’s article in today’s Toronto Star reiterates why I don’t mind V-Dub being paid $126 million: “I think the most important thing about getting contracts like this is you get to go out and do so many different things in the community. You get to go out and impact lives. The way I feel about it, I was blessed with that contract to go out and do things. Everybody would say I’m not worth the money and I would totally agree that I’m not worth that contract, but I don’t think there is anybody . . . but I know what I can do with that contract will far outdo what that contract’s worth.”
So long to Fred Lewis, the Jays’ primary leadoff hitter in 2010 who has signed with the Cincinnati Reds. While a great athlete, Lewis was the worst defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something, I witnessed George Bell’s entire tenure in Toronto.
I’m still wondering who’s going to start at third base for the Jays in 2011. I’ve heard that Jose Bautista will be in right field and that Edwin Encarnacion will be spot-started at first base and DH. I like John McDonald, but he just doesn’t hit enough to be an everyday third baseman.
Born in the Netherlands, 2011 Cooperstown inductee Bert Blyleven lived in Canada from the time he was 16 months old until he was five. His family worked on a farm near Melville, Sask., home of Canadian baseball great, Terry Puhl, before they moved to California. Unofficially, that would make Blyleven eligible to pitch for Canada at the next World Baseball Classic.
In a week where the Orioles signed all-star first baseman Derrek Lee, the Jays claimed journeyman left-hander Wil Ledezma off waivers. I believe in Alex Anthopoulos, but coming off an 85-win season that had the country excited about the Jays again, this off-season has been much too quiet.
It’s good news that the Jays are reportedly interested in moving their Double-A team to Ottawa. Our nation’s capital has a beautiful stadium that’s woefully underused and unappreciated. But wouldn’t it make more sense for the Jays to move their Triple-A club to Ottawa (from Las Vegas) and their Double-A team to Labatt Park in London, Ontario? The oldest continuously used ballpark in the world, Labatt Park is one of the best places to watch a game in Canada.