My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Am I the only one who’s debating who’s the best ex-St. Catharines Stomper (former Blue Jays’ New York-Penn League Low-A affiliate) player left in the playoffs? Michael Young (1997) and Chris Carpenter (1999) both suited up for the now defunct Canadian club during their minor league tenures.
No one should be surprised that ex-Jay Shaun Marcum has been hit hard this post-season. In his first four big league campaigns as a regular starter (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), his ERA has consistently ballooned in the second half, and his September ERAs are 7.27, 5.17, 3.76 and 5.17 respectively.
Thanks to Liz Holmes, the most diehard Jays fan I know, for informing me that call-up Brian Jeroloman was nursing a broken hand during the final five weeks of the season. This explains why he didn’t see any big league action with the Jays.
Thanks to the vision and hard work of charismatic ex-big leaguer Scott Bullett, Canadian teenagers will have the chance to participate in the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League starting next May. Read more about the league here: http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/fergie-jenkins-showcase-league-begins-play-in-may/
It’s interesting to note that the September clash between Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter and Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan was a verbal sparring match between two ex-hockey players. Carpenter was an all-state defenceman for Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, before electing to pursue a baseball career, while Morgan suited up for seven games with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats in 1999-00.
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who has five home runs against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series, played 63 games for the Low-A Vancouver Canadians in 2002 as a member of the Oakland A’s organization.
The sometimes brash Milwaukee Brewers have to be considered Canada’s team this post-season. For my CBC blog last week, I wrote about the club’s Canadian connections. Here’s the link: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/kevinglew/2011/10/brewers-are-canadas-crew-eh.html?cmp=rss
Endy Chavez is the only former Montreal Expos player left in the playoffs. The Rangers outfielder toiled for the Expos from 2002 to 2004, and he also had Triple-A stints with the Ottawa Lynx (2002) and Edmonton Trappers (2004).
Thanks to Tom Valcke, president of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, for forwarding this story about Canuck multi-sport star and College Word Series Champion, Jim Conroy, who recently passed away: http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/100511aaa.html