My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Two weeks ago, I wrote in my CBC blog that given his talents, his all-out style of play and his Canadian citizenship, Brett Lawrie has a chance to be the most popular player in Toronto Blue Jays history. I took some flak for this. Just wondering how Jays fans feel now?
Jamie Campbell mentioned it on Jays Connected on Rogers Sportsnet, but little else has been said about the fact that when Mark Teahen and Brett Lawrie hit back-to-back in the Jays lineup last Saturday, it was the first time in franchise history that two Canadians hit back-to-back in the club’s order.
Some great news for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. After Trail, B.C., native Jason Bay belted his 200th career homer on August 8 at Citi Field, he shipped the home run ball to the St. Mary, Ont., ball shrine to be displayed. Bay joined Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker (383) and Fredericton, N.B., native Matt Stairs (265) on the select list of Canucks that have belted 200 homers.
Ten years ago last Wednesday, Jeff Frye became the second Blue Jay to hit for the cycle. He did so in a game against Texas on August 17, 2001. The first Jay to hit for the cycle was Kelly Gruber on April 16, 1989.
Twins slugger Jim Thome has probably hit the quietest 600 home runs in major league history. For the record, 21 of those round-trippers came in 137 games against the Blue Jays.
It’s a shame that ESPN writer Amy K. Nelson has been subjected to misogynist taunts for her recent story on the Jays’ alleged sign-stealing practices. Fans have to remember that she’s not making the allegations, she’s reporting a story. And as far-fetched as the story seems, Nelson has done her job, which is to lay out what she has been told thoroughly and concisely. I applaud her for being a brave and gifted writer.
The following is a link to a wonderful article written by Nelson that Jays’ 2011 first pick, Tyler Beede, should have read before he turned down a reported $2.3-million signing bonus from the Jays. The story tells the sad tale of 2000 first-round pick Matt Harrington, who turned down more than $4 million from the Rockies. After struggling in independent ball for several years, he’s now retired and working in the tire department at a Costco in Texas for $11.50 an hour (which is an entirely noble profession don’t get me wrong, but you have to change a lot of tires to make $4 million). Here’s the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090423/harrington