My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Immersed in a 1 for 27 skid and his batting average down to .208, Jason Bay (Trail, B.C.) has again become the whipping boy of Mets fans in cyber space. One of the more scathing blog entries – complete with a shot at his Canadian citizenship and hometown (see No. 3 on his list) – can be read here: http://www.nysportspace.com/profiles/blogs/hate-10-reasons-to-dislike
Sechelt, B.C. native Ryan Dempster recorded his 107th career win on Wednesday, moving him past Kirk McCaskill (Kapuskasing, Ont.) into second place on the all-time Canadians wins list. Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) has the most with 284 wins.
As a sportswriter, I rue the day in 2014 or 2015 when the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff could conceivably include the following multisyllabic names: Jeremy Gabryszwski (2011 draft pick), Asher Wojciechowski and Marc Rzepczynski.
Wayne Gretzky’s son, Tyler Gretzky, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound first baseman, was selected in the seventh round of the MLB draft by the Cubs. The question, of course, becomes, will he wear No. 99?
I was sad to hear that 1968 Detroit Tigers World Series hero, Jim Northrup, passed away at the age of 71 on Wednesday. I’d forgotten that Northrup played 21 games with the Montreal Expos in 1974.
I love watching Jesse Litsch pitch. The burly, 6-foot-1, 225-pound hurler generally works fast, fields his position well and seems like a happy-go-lucky guy. But with all of the injuries he has endured over the past few seasons, at what point, do we start asking questions about his conditioning?
The Jays selected seven Canadians in this year’s draft. Right-hander Tom Robson (Ladner, B.C.) was taken in the fourth round by the Jays, followed by his Langley Blaze teammate, Justin Atkinson, in the 26th found. The Jays also drafted five more Canadian pitchers – Leslie Williams, Chris Cox, Shane Davis, Jake Eliopoulos and Eric Brown – in rounds 37 through 50.
This has to be an exciting time in ex-Jay, Tom Henke’s life. This week his nephew, Travis, was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 22nd round, and next Saturday, the Terminator will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario.
Happy belated birthday to Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Jack Graney, who would’ve been 125 this past Friday. On July 11, 1914, the St. Thomas, Ont., native, who played parts of 13 seasons in the majors, was the first player to walk to the plate to face an imposing left-hander named Babe Ruth. Just under two years later, Graney became the first player to bat with a number on his uniform.