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.