My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
A belated congratulations to New Westminster, B.C., native Justin Morneau who belted his 200th career homer off of Cleveland Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin on August 6. The Twins slugger becomes the fourth Canadian to belt 200 big league homers, joining Larry Walker (383), Matt Stairs (265) and Jason Bay (209).
Morneau’s teammate Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.) has been suspended for six games by Major League Baseball for throwing a pitch that sailed behind the head of Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton in the third inning of Thursday’s game. The Canadian lefty’s pitch came after Rangers right-hander Roy Oswalt plunked Twins catcher Joe Mauer on a 3-0 count in the top of the inning. Diamond, who has 10 wins and has blossomed into the ace of the Twins staff this season, is appealing the suspension.
And still more on the Twins: Ex-Blue Jay Darin Mastroianni has become a regular in the club’s lineup over the past couple of months. The former Jays’ 16th-round pick, who played one game for Toronto last season, is hitting .273 and has swiped 15 bases in 58 games for the Twins.
One of the best feel-good stories of 2012 is Calgary native Jim Henderson getting the call to the big leagues. Originally drafted in the 26th round by the Montreal Expos in 2003, the 6-foot-5 Canadian right-hander spent 10 years in the minors before making his big league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers on July 26. Over the past month, he has joined Port Dover, Ont., native John Axford as a valuable member of the Brewers’ pen. In 15 appearances, Henderson has recorded three saves and three holds, and has struck out 18 batters in 11-2/3 innings.
Congratulations to Gatineau, Que., native Phillippe Aumont who made his big league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound right-hander hurled a scoreless inning against the Reds.
In case you missed it, former Blue Jay Lyle Overbay has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. Released by the Diamondbacks on July 31, Overbay accepted an offer to be a pinch-hitter/late-inning defensive replacement for the Braves in September. He’s currently playing with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett and will be recalled in September.
It appears that a true piece of Canadian baseball history has hit eBay. A 1977 Toronto Blue Jays Bill Singer home jersey has surfaced with an asking price of $4,250. Singer was, of course, the starting pitcher in the Jays’ storied snowy home opener on April 7, 1977. This could be the jersey that he wore on that day. It would be nice if someone with deep pockets would buy it and donate it or loan it to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario. Here’s a link to the auction: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140834265063&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNARL:CA:1123