But What Do I Know? … Vernon Wells, Tom Henke, Larry Walker


My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:

 It’s difficult for me to separate the person from the player. Vernon Wells is a good man. He was arguably the greatest community ambassador the Blue Jays have ever had. During his tenure in Toronto, the sure-handed outfielder proved to be much classier than Jays fans. I’ll miss the person and the player, but no, I won’t miss the contract.

 Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has made some astute moves this off-season, but there has to be some concerns about the chemistry of 2011 team. Despite the Jays’ 85 wins in 2010, Anthopoulos opted to deal the leader of the pitching staff (Shaun Marcum) and the team’s unofficial team captain (Vernon Wells). In their place, he’s added Frank Francisco, an effective reliever who’s best known for tossing a chair at a fan in Oakland and Canadian Brett Lawrie, a high-ceiling infielding prospect that appears to have a lot of growing up to do (see Facebook pictures on Deadspin). These additions were made on the heels of acquiring Yunel Escobar, whose indifferent play earned him a trade out of Atlanta. Anthopoulos deserves credit for stockpiling talent, but I wonder about this team’s chemistry in 2011. I also wonder who will emerge as the Jays’ leader this coming season?

 One player I’m not sure that you can count on to be a leader is Jose Bautista. One month away from Spring Training, Bautista doesn’t have a contract and doesn’t know what position he’ll be playing in 2011. None of this bodes well for his future with the Jays.

 Congrats to former Blue Jays closer Tom Henke on being elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this week. The Terminator’s next honour should be having his No. 50 added to the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence.

 I haven’t heard a better Canadian baseball story than newly elected Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Allan Simpson starting Baseball America out of his garage in White Rock, B.C. Tom Hawthorn, one of our country’s best writers, recounts the story here: http://is.gd/HpAfs7

 This is what I like to see: Fergie Jenkins lobbying for a plaque in Cooperstown for fellow Canuck Larry Walker: http://is.gd/128Vyu

 I’m happy that the Detroit Tigers will finally retire Sparky Anderson’s No. 11. I’m sad that they waited until after he passed away to do it.

4 thoughts on “But What Do I Know? … Vernon Wells, Tom Henke, Larry Walker

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  1. Alex A is very interesting. It keep us wondering and shows that nobody is untradeable.

    Like I have said before I think Larry will take 10-15yrs to get into Cooperstown, but he will get in. Having current Hall of Famers help and talk about him will help down the line.

  2. Devon Teeple – Highly motivated and hard-working professional offering solid business skills in both baseball and corporate enterprises. Lifetime’s experience in athletics, culminating with a pro contract in 2001. Intimate knowledge of the athletic industry from the inside, with specific knowledge of what it takes to win, on the field and in the back office. Outgoing and extremely hard working with a passion for athletics and an ability to contribute immediately.
    Devon says:

    Personally, I don’t think Walker will get in. But you never know. Just a opinion right, but if Walker gets in, then why not Jim Edmonds. The numbers are very similar.

    Again, great job Kevin

  3. Nice assortment in this post, Kevin. I’m a little surprised that Sparky’s number hadn’t been retired before this. Also, could you explain the phrase “high-ceiling infielding prospect”? I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term “high-ceiling” before, at least in relation to an athlete. Does it mean the-sky’s-the-limit talent?


    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks for the comment. A “high-ceiling” prospect is a young player that scouts believe could be not just an everyday big leaguer, but a superstar. It’s kind of weird adjective to use, I suppose.

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