My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– Former Montreal Expos great Vladimir Guerrero, who played in the Blue Jays’ minor league system for a short stretch last season, has signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks, where he’ll suit up alongside onetime Marlins’ 20-game winner Dontrelle Willis and Josh Barfield, son of Jesse.
– If you’re counting, 15,852 fans showed up at Coca-Coca Field on Thursday for the Buffalo Bisons’ home opener. This is the club’s first season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate. On the same night, just 11,634 were on hand to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates lose 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.
– Speaking of the Bisons, there are two Canadians on their roster: Adam Loewen (Surrey, B.C.) and Mike Nickeas (Vancouver, B.C.).
– New Brunswick native and future Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Matt Stairs has joined Twitter. You can follow him at @mstairs12.
– With the Jays’ new win-now edict, GM Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons will evidently exercise little patience this year. After just one inning in which he allowed one run and walked two batters on Friday, reliever Jeremy Jeffress was designated for assignment. Right-hander David Bush, who pitched for the Jays in 2004 and 2005, will take his roster spot.
– With Omar Vizquel’s retirement after last season, I started wondering how many former Calgary Cannons are left in the big leagues. The Cannons were a Triple-A, Pacific Coast League club that ceased operations after the 2002 season. Vizquel enjoy stints in Calgary from 1988 to 1990 and in 1992. By my unofficial count, there are just two ex-Cannons who are actively playing in the big leagues: Jason Grilli, who’s the closer with the Pirates and Ryan Dempster, a starter for the Red Sox. Alex Rodriguez, who’s on the disabled list, also played with Calgary for 32 games in 1994.
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