My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
With his homer off of Rays lefty David Price at Yankees Stadium yesterday, Derek Jeter joined the 3,000-hit club in style. For the record, 285 of his hits have been recorded against the Blue Jays (third most behind the Orioles and Red Sox) and 139 were registered at the Rogers Centre.
With their closer woes and Dustin McGowan being clocked at 97 mph in his minor league return, the Jays should consider him for the closer’s role in the future. The transformation from hard-throwing, injury-prone starter to dominant closer worked for Kerry Wood, so why not try it with McGowan?
Condolences go out to the family of former Montreal Expos skipper, Dick Williams, who died suddenly of aneurysm on Thursday. Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, Williams piloted the Oakland A’s to two World Championships (1972, 1973) and also guided the Red Sox (1967) and Padres (1984) to World Series berths. Williams’ first professional managerial gig came with the International League’s Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965.
By my calculation, Williams was the sixth member of the 1981 Montreal Expos’ playing, coaching and executive ranks to pass away. Players Woodie Fryman and John Milner, coaches Williams, Steve Boros and Pat Mullin and general manager John McHale have all died.
More evidence that if you want your son to be a big leaguer one day, his best chances are as a left-handed pitcher. The Orioles have recalled journeyman lefty Mark Hendrickson. Now in his 10th big league season, the former Blue Jay’s lowest single-season ERA is 4.21. He has recorded an ERA over 5.00 five times.
While I’m thinking about the 1981 Expos, that team has also spawned three big league managers: Terry Francona, Brad Mills and Jerry Manuel.
I’m still waiting for word on when the Blue Jays will add Carlos Delgado’s number to their Level of Excellence. I’ve stopped holding my breath for a date this season.
I visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown earlier this week. Some of the most fascinating Canadian artifacts on display include Fergie Jenkins’ 1970 Cubs jersey, Pat Gillick’s 1992 and 1993 World Series rings and the jersey that Dennis Martinez wore when he pitched his perfect game on July 28, 1991.