My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
Scott Crawford, director of operations at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ont., is excellent at pointing out the milestones of Canadian players. On Friday evening, Montreal native Russell Martin played in his 29th postseason game to move past Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) into second place on the all-time list for most postseason games played by a Canadian. Martin, who has now suited up for 31 playoff contests, will have to compete in seven more to match Woodstock, Ont., native Tip O’Neill.
When he retires, former Blue Jay Chris Carpenter should be remembered as one of the best postseason pitchers ever. Since being low-balled out of Toronto by then-Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi after the 2002 campaign, Carpenter has posted a 10-2 record and a 2.88 ERA in 16 postseason starts.
For those of us old remember to remember the 1982 World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals: is Jason Motte not the spitting image of Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter?
I was sorry to hear that former Detroit Tigers slugger Champ Summers passed away on October 11 after a long battle with kidney cancer. Summers played parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues with the A’s, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Giants and Padres. For the record, his real name was John Junior Summers, but he was nicknamed “Champ” at birth, when his father took one look at him and said, “He looks like he just went 10 rounds with Joe Louis.”
By my count, there’s only one former Montreal Expo active in the postseason. Giants reliever Guillermo Mota pitched with the Expos from 1999 to 2001.
Five former Blue Jays are still playing: Carpenter (St. Louis), Marc Rzepczynski (St. Louis), Jayson Nix (New York), Octavio Dotel (Detroit) and Marco Scutaro (San Francisco). Former Jays catcher Mike Matheny is also managing the Cardinals.
Three New York Yankees played in the minors in Canada: Alex Rodriguez (Triple-A, Calgary, 1994), Nick Swisher (Low-A, Vancouver, 2002) and Eric Chavez (Triple-A, Edmonton, 1998).
Two St. Louis Cardinals also pitched in the minors in Canada: Chris Carpenter (Short-Season A, St. Catharines, 1999) and Kyle Lohse (Triple-A, Edmonton, 2001).