My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
It has been a sad couple of days for Mariners scout Wayne Norton, who’s from Port Moody, B.C. He scouted and signed outfielder Greg Halman who was stabbed to death in Rotterdam, Netherlands early Monday morning. The Dutch outfielder played 35 games for Seattle last season and had recently participated in a series of camps as part of the European Big League Tour. His 22-year-old brother has been arrested as a suspect.
There are two names on the roster of Canada’s Junior National Team that might look familiar to you: Cal Quantrill and Brett Siddall. They’re the sons of former big leaguers Paul Quantrill and Joe Siddall respectively.
It’s exciting that the city of Ottawa is reportedly trying to land the Jays’ Double-A team. But wouldn’t it make more sense to move the Jays’ Triple-A team to Ottawa? From everything I’ve heard, the Jays’ Double-A club in New Hampshire has been very successful, while Toronto’s Triple-A club in Las Vegas is an afterthought in the city and is too far away from Toronto.
Still active, former Montreal Expos are a dying breed, so it was nice to see ex-Expo Brian Schneider re-up for another year to be the Phillies’ back-up catcher last Thursday.
Fox TV in Memphis aired a nice tribute to former Expo Charlie Lea following his death on November 11 from a heart attack. You can watch it here: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/news/local/friends_family-remember-charlie-lea-rpt-20111115
Reports indicate that the Arizona Diamondbacks might not offer left-hander Joe Saunders (12 wins, 3.69 ERA, 212 innings in 33 starts in 2011) arbitration. If he becomes a free agent, the Jays should place a call to his agent.
Much has been made about Brett Lawrie’s offensive contributions at the end of last season. But Canadian baseball statistician and author, Neil Munro, points out that the Langley, B.C., native also had a 3.67 range factor, which was easily the best of any third baseman that played at least 10 games in 2011. And while it’s true that he’s unlikely to sustain that level over a full season, there’s no question that Lawrie covers a lot of ground on the field.