My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Look on the bright side Blue Jays fans: The Rangers may have outbid Toronto for Yu Darvish, but the Jays outbid Texas for 41-year-old left-handed reliever Darren Oliver (sarcasm intended).
The Washington Nationals’ decision to deal four top prospects to Oakland for the wild but effective Gio Gonzalez evokes memories of the Expos’ deal for Bartolo Colon on June 27, 2002. To land the portly ace, the Expos parted with three top prospects named Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips.
Interesting stat of the week: Former Jay Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch (11) more than twice as many times as he walked (5) in 2011 while with the Cubs.
Until I read that Jack Morris’s career WAR (a statistic that measures how many wins a player adds above what a Triple-A replacement player at their position would contribute) was lower than former Twins starter Brad Radke, I believed the longtime Tigers ace should be in the Hall of Fame. Now I’m not so sure.
There was no finer man in Canadian baseball circles than Randy Echlin who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on August 12. It’s a nice gesture that the Canadian Baseball Network has decided to name their annual award for the top Canadian minor league hitter after the former judge. Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) and Taylor Green (Comox, B.C.) were named co-winners of this year’s award.
Toronto Sun reporter Mike Zeisberger wrote a nice tribute to Bob Elliott, after Elliott was named the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s J.G. Spink Award recipient for 2012. In the tribute, Zeisberger includes an interesting tidbit about the Blue Jays’ 1993 trade deadline activity. Prior to officially acquiring Rickey Henderson from the A’s, Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick had also worked out a deal with the Mariners for Randy Johnson. Gillick backed off on the Johnson deal when the Henderson swap was finalized, but it’s still fun to imagine The Big Unit pitching in Toronto.