My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is often described as an art dealer. If he was the one who OK’d his team’s hideous new uniforms, I’d hate to see his art collection.
Well, I was wrong about southpaw Erik Bedard signing with the Blue Jays, but the Jays did have interest. The Navan, Ont. native, who inked a one-year, $4.5-million deal with the Pirates on Wednesday, told the Ottawa Sun that the Jays did indeed contact him.
The Mets added right-handers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco to their bullpen this week. A club official told MLB.com that both relievers will have the opportunity to compete for the closer’s role. That Mets official obviously didn’t see a lot of Blue Jays games in 2011.
In case you missed it, a rash of ex-Jays signed with other teams this week: David Purcey (Phillies), Dave Bush (Phillies), Alex Gonzalez (Brewers), Lyle Overbay (Diamondbacks) and Octavio Dotel (Tigers).
Speaking of Dotel, the Tigers will be the 13th major league franchise he’s played for, setting a record for most different franchises a player has suited up for. New Brunswick native Matt Stairs toiled for 13 different teams, but only 12 franchises. Sticklers like to point out that Stairs started his career with the Montreal Expos and ended it with the Washington Nationals, which are the same franchise.
Don’t forget to vote for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award, presented annually to the top Canadian player. The voting is neck and neck between Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) and John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) right now, so get your votes in today. Here’s how you can vote: http://baseballhalloffame.ca/news/ball-halls-tip-oneill-award-up-for-grabs/
In wake of the highly praised Brad Pitt movie, I decided to read Moneyball again. One story relayed in the book is that the Rockies intended to select Denard Span with their first-round (ninth overall) pick in the 2002 draft, but the fleet-footed outfielder was demanding a $2.6 million signing bonus. The Rockies refused to pay that much and then decided to select Vancouver-born hurler Jeff Francis, who was also coveted by A’s general manager Billy Beane.
Reports indicate that Harrison Ford will play Branch Rickey in a new Jackie Robinson movie. Here’s hoping that Hollywood executives don’t skip over Robinson’s trailblazing first season in integrated pro ball with the Montreal Royals in 1946.
John McDonald might be the only Blue Jay in the past 10 years that was as universally beloved as Reed Johnson. Johnson is currently a free agent, so why don’t the Jays offer him a job as their fourth outfielder/pinch-hitter?