My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Provided that the soreness in his left knee subsides, Reds first baseman Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) will be the only Canadian at the All-Star Game in Kansas City next Tuesday. Twins southpaw Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.) was another Canuck worthy of consideration. In 11 starts for Minnesota this season, Diamond has seven wins and a tidy 2.73 ERA.
Thank you goes out to hardworking Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer Andrew North for sharing a SABR note that indicated that Woodstock, Ont., native Tip O’Neill hit for the cycle twice in one week in 1887 (April 30, May 7) for the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. This came up after former Blue Jay Aaron Hill hit for the cycle twice in an 11-day span for the Diamondbacks in June.
Great news if you’re an Expos fan. Author and broadcaster Alain Usereau will be releasing an English version of his Montreal Expos book later this year. The book is called “The Expos in Their Prime: The Short-Lived Glory of Montreal’s Team, 1977-1984.” You can pre-order a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Expos-Their-Prime-Short-Lived/dp/078647081X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1341252725&sr=8-2&keywords=usereau
Glad that North Vancouver native Scott Richmond got the opportunity to become the third Canadian to pitch for the Jays on Canada Day before he was sent back to Triple-A. Port Hope, Ont., native Paul Quantrill and Kelowna, B.C., native Paul Spoljaric were the two previous Canucks to pitch for the Jays on Canada Day.
In the July 16 issue of Sportsnet magazine, Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez fields questions from fans in the “Ask The Insider” section. His response to a question about whether the Jays will add Carlos Delgado to the club’s Level of Excellence is a head-scratcher. Martinez says the fact that Delgado was never part of a winning team will hurt his chances. “I think he’ll be considered because of his consistency, his power production and how he ranks all-time, but I’m not sure he’s going to be included. The names on that Level of Excellence are pretty impressive.” Say what, Buck? Delgado’s numbers dwarf those of any player already on the Level of Excellence. Not having him on the Jays’ Level of Excellence would be like not having Babe Ruth in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Condolences go out to the family of San Diego Padres pitching coach Darrel Akerfelds, who passed away on June 24 at the age of 50 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. A first-round pick of the Mariners in 1983, Akerfelds pitched in parts of five big league seasons with the A’s, Indians, Rangers and Phillies. He threw his last professional pitch with the Angels’ Triple-A Vancouver Canadians in 1995.
Andrew Damelin, one of my readers, is a finalist in the Score’s “Drafted” competition to become Canada’s next sportscaster. His video about being a long-suffering Blue Jays fan is clever and funny. You can watch it and find out how to support him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EULINzfeW0