My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
It’s disappointing to me that the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t issued a statement about Carlos Delgado’s retirement. He was not only the greatest player in franchise history, but one of the club’s best community ambassadors. I hope the Jays are hard at work planning a ceremony to add his number to the Level of Excellence. It would be inexcusable if this didn’t happen this season.
It was my hope that the Jays would sign Delgado to a one-day contract, so that he could retire as a Jay. I’ve been talking about this since last July (Here’s my previous blog entry on the topic: http://is.gd/9CP77g) It’s interesting to note that the Milwaukee Brewers inked Geoff Jenkins to a one-day contract so that he could retire as a Brewer. No disrespect to Jenkins, but he’s a fraction of the player that Delgado was.
Congratulations to Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) who was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame this week. The next Hall of Fame he should be honored by is the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Earlier this season, I took some cyber ribbing from Jays fans when I suggested that it was crucial that David Purcey pitch well in his first few outings or else he would be done as a Jay. Many believed that because the 2004 first-round pick was out of minor league options that he’d remain on the club. The Jays have far too many good arms to carry a left-handed reliever that can’t throw strikes. Purcey was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
Speaking of crucial, Brett Cecil needs a good outing tonight against the Red Sox or else he could be shipped to the minors to find his form when Brandon Morrow returns next week.
Two Canadians might soon be battling it out to be the Philadelphia Phillies closer. Scott Mathieson (Vancouver, B.C.) saved 26 games for the Phils’ Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley last season, while Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Quebec) is closing games for their Double-A squad in Reading this season.
Fans of the independent North American Baseball League will have the opportunity to watch a 46-year-old Jose Canseco attempt to hit home runs this season. As the player/manager of the Yuma Scorpions, Canseco – fresh off his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice – will play first base and DH. For Canadian fans who want to see the controversial slugger, he will play in a series against the Edmonton Capitals starting on June 24 and in a five-game set against the Calgary Vipers starting on June 28.
Scott Crawford, at the Candian Baseball Hall of Fame, always does a superb job of keeping track of Canadian milestones. He recently noted that on April 8, Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C) became the 11th Canadian to record 1,000 hits in their big league career. For a complete list of Canadians with 1,000 hits, follow this link: http://baseballhalloffame.ca/news/morneau-hits-1000/
The latest former Blue Jay to surface on Twitter is 1992 World Series hero, Ed Sprague. You can follow him at: @EdSprague.