But What Do I Know? … Charlie Lea, J.P. Arencibia, Dave McKay

My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):

 It’s been a sad year for those of us who have fond memories of the 1981 Montreal Expos team that lost to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Right-hander Charlie Lea became the third member of that club to die in 2011 when he passed away last Friday of a massive heart attack. Earlier this year, Woodie Fryman (February 4) and Dick Williams (July 7) also passed away.

 I know J.P. Arencibia hit .219 this season, but it’s mind-boggling to me that the Jays catcher, who belted 23 homers and toiled for a full season at baseball’s most demanding position, failed to muster a single vote in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

 The Oakland A’s are the Toronto Blue Jays most frequent trade partner. So if, in fact, left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey are available, then I hope Alex Anthopoulos is speaking with A’s GM Billy Beane right now.

 Vancouver, B.C. native, Dave McKay, who has been part of Tony La Russa’s coaching staff for 25 years, told Joe Strauss of St. Louis Today that he doesn’t plan to retire. But there’s no word yet if McKay, who was the Cards’ first base coach in 2011, will be retained by Mike Matheny the Cards’ new skipper.

 Speaking of Matheny, the new St. Louis manager served as a back-up catcher with the Blue Jays in 1999. In 57 games, he hit .215 with three home runs.

 And getting back to La Russa, the newly retired, future Hall of Famer played 120 games for the Triple-A Vancouver Mounties in 1968. Tom Hawthorn wrote this piece about La Russa’s tenure in Vancouver in late October: http://is.gd/HY94nY

 Eight players and two executives are part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Era ballot. This special ballot was designed to offer previously overlooked candidates, whose greatest contributions  came between 1947 and 1972, another chance at election. A 16-member committee consisting of Hall of Fame players, executives and media will vote on the candidates on December 5. One former player on the ballot is Ken Boyer. While in the St. Louis Cardinals system, Boyer suited up for 80 games with Hamilton (Class D Pony League) in 1950 and hit .342. He also pitched in 21 games. For a complete list of candidates, follow this link: http://is.gd/GILuar

 For those who think there’s no longer an audience for Major League Baseball on regular cable, the epic Game 6 of the World Series attracted 21.1 million viewers for Fox. Those numbers rival the viewership for American Idol, the most watched show on U.S. TV.

Published by cooperstownersincanada

Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.

9 thoughts on “But What Do I Know? … Charlie Lea, J.P. Arencibia, Dave McKay

  1. Wow, 21.1M viewers. That’s great. Baseball is awesome. If Dave does leave the Cards there should be 29 other teams calling him and Baseball Canada!

    1. Heard today that McKay won’t be back at 1B with the Cards in 2012 but is being reassigned within the organization. I’m not sure what that means. I know that McKay used to run spring training for La Russa and that’s a huge job.

  2. From Devon Teeple:

    The reason I think j.p. Received no votes is because he was so sporadic.

    I have to check the rankings but can’t say I’m surprised.

    And the jays would have to give up too much talent for gio and Bailey. I can’t see that happening.

    Just my two cents.

    Thanks for another very interesting edition.

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