My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Thanks to GM Alex Anthopoulos’s policy of not confirming or denying interest in specific players, the Blue Jays have been linked to almost every big name free agent this off-season. So take this with a grain of salt: ESPN is reporting that disgraced slugger Manny Ramirez will sign with either the Orioles, A’s or Blue Jays. I have to admit Ramirez’s bat would be a nice addition to the Jays’ bench, but it’s probably not prudent to clog up a roster spot with someone who can’t play the field.
In case you haven’t heard, Matt Stairs has signed on to be an analyst for Boston Red Sox games on the New England Sports Network (NESN). The press release issued by the network noted that Stairs was from “Frederickson” New Brunswick.
I just realized that southpaw reliever Luis Perez is out of minor league options. If he doesn’t make the Jays out of spring training, he’ll be put on waivers. I’ve never been all that impressed by Perez, but the fact that he’s left-handed and out of options increases the likelihood that he’ll head north at the end of spring training ahead of Jesse Litsch or Joel Carreno.
Released by the Jays earlier this off-season, Canadian citizen, Mark Teahen, has apparently looked to his pregnant wife to help him with his fielding skills. Teahen’s January 30th Twitter update read: “Morning workout followed by my lovely wife who happens to be 4 months pregnant hitting me fungos 2 get my footwork going #GoodDay #LuckyMan”
In an article on Wednesday, Phil Rogers, a highly respected Chicago Tribune scribe, wrote that it’s “inevitable” that Joey Votto will become a Blue Jay in the future. Here’s a link: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-01/sports/ct-spt-0202-rogers-spring-training-blue-jays–20120202_1_joe-carter-blue-jays-rogers-centre
Is there a more underrated pitcher in Jays history than left-hander Jimmy Key? The soft-spoken southpaw is tied with Dave Stieb for the lowest ERA (3.42) by a pitcher who has tossed at least 1,000 innings for the Jays and is tied with Roy Halladay for the lowest WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) 1.20. There should be more talk about Key for the Jays’ Level of Excellence.
Three former Expos are still free agents: Milton Bradley, Vladimir Guerrero and Javier Vazquez.
By my count four former Jays are still free agents: Shawn Camp, Felipe Lopez, Brian Tallet, DeWayne Wise.