My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
I’m old enough to remember George Bell patrolling the outfield for the Jays, and circus music played in my head when the ball was hit to Fred Lewis last season, but those two seem like Gold Glove candidates compared to Corey Patterson.
Congratulations to Minnesota Twins outfielder, Rene Tosoni (Toronto, Ont.), who belted his first big league homer on May 10. He connected for a solo shot off of Tigers hurler Rick Porcello in the fifth inning of the Twins’ 10-2 loss. Unfortunately, Tosoni was returned to the minors on Thursday when Delmon Young was activated.
After a rocky start to the season, Sechelt, B.C. native Ryan Dempster has had three consecutive solid starts (just five earned runs in 20 innings). The Canuck right-hander has 104 career victories, which ranks him fourth on the all-time Canadian wins list. He’s just one victory behind Reggie Cleveland (Swift Current, Sask.) and two wins back of Kirk McCaskill (Kapuskasing, Ont.) who sit second and third on the list respectively. Fergie Jenkins has the most wins (284) by a Canadian. (Thanks to Scott Crawford at Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for his statistical assistance.)
In an interview on Toronto radio station, the FAN 590, longtime Expo Gary Carter was asked who wasn’t in the National Baseball Hall of Fame that he thought should be in? Pete Rose, Jim Kaat and Tommy John were the names he mentioned. It was interesting that he did not take the opportunity to campaign for his former Expos teammate, Tim Raines. You can listen to the interview here: http://is.gd/rrJkzZ
Congratulations to Vancouver native Trystan Magnuson, whom the Oakland A’s called up on Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 right-hander, who was dealt to the A’s by the Blue Jays as part of the Rajai Davis deal in November, is set to become the 20th Canadian to appear in the big leagues this season.
Magnuson’s call-up comes hot on the heels of the promotion of fellow Vancouverite, Scott Mathieson, who’s now part of the Phillies bullpen. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound righty was recalled on May 7 and tossed a scoreless inning against Atlanta on May 8.
Shawn Green is one of the latest ex-Jays to join Twitter. You can follow him: @shawngreen15. On Friday, he paid tribute to longtime Jays instructor, Mel Queen, who passed away that day. “I just heard that my former Blue Jays coach Mel Queen died,” he wrote. “A great friend and the wisest baseball man I met in 16 years in baseball.”
Like Dempster, Canadian Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) appears to be finding his form. In his first four starts this season, the Mariners southpaw went 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA. In his last three outings, he has only allowed just four runs in 19 innings to lower his ERA to 4.78.