My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
One of the most talked-about items at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ont., is the jersey that slugger Jose Canseco wore during his spring training stint with the Montreal Expos in 2002. I thought of this when Canseco tweeted last week that if was inducted into the Canadian ball shrine, he would go in with a Blue Jays cap on his plaque. I can’t see this ever happening, but the controversial 47-year-old outfielder, who signed a contract with the Worcester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League this week, did belt a career-high 46 homers with the Jays in 1998. And who can forget his fifth-deck round-tripper off of Mike Flanagan in Game 4 of the 1989 American League Championship Series?
Congratulations to former Expo Derek Aucoin and his wife, Isabelle, on the birth of their baby boy, Dawson. Having interviewed Derek, I think I can safely say that their bundle of joy was named after his hero, Andre Dawson.
Good to see that Chris Robinson, who hails from my hometown of Dorchester, Ont., has found employment with the Baltimore Orioles organization. The 6-foot, 220-pound catcher is competing for the O’s Triple-A squad in Norfolk after being released by the Texas Rangers on March 30.
Five years ago, left-hander Jeff Francis (Vancouver, B.C.) was winning 17 games for the Colorado Rockies and Mark Teahen (Canadian citizen) was hitting .285 for the Kansas City Royals. They both started this season in Triple-A in the Reds’ and Nationals’ organizations respectively. I hope we haven’t seen the last of them in the big leagues.
I was just scrolling through the Blue Jays’ Triple-A Las Vegas roster. Raise your hand if you knew that Tim Redding was still pitching? The 34-year-old right-hander, who won 37 big league games between 2001 and 2009, split last season in Triple-A in Phillies’ and Dodgers’ organizations and was apparently in camp with the Jays this spring.
I just finished reading Tom Cheek’s fascinating book “Road to Glory” (more than 20 years after its initial release). An interesting piece of information that I learned from this book was that the Oakland A’s originally wanted Tony Fernandez and Jesse Barfield for Bill Caudill in the winter of 1984. They Jays balked at this asking price. The A’s then asked for Fernandez and George Bell, before settling on Dave Collins and Alfredo Griffin.