My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– The Canadian Baseball Network reported on Thursday that North Vancouver native Scott Richmond is now pitching in the Texas Rangers organization. The former Jay had signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization in the off-season.
– The Buffalo Bisons, the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate, have three former Montreal Expos on their pitching staff: Miguel Batista, Claudio Vargas and Expos’ 2002 first-round pick Clint Everts.
– Speaking of the Bisons, Surrey, B.C., native Adam Loewen, who started the season in Buffalo, was quietly demoted to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The pitcher turned outfielder/first baseman is hitting .222 with two homers in 22 games with the Fisher Cats.
– The curse that was apparently cast over the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2012 starting rotation continues. Former Toronto right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who was dealt to the Miami Marlins in November, was placed on the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He has yet to toss a regular season pitch for the Marlins.
– When I was nine years old, I recall watching a 38-year-old Tom Seaver post a 5-13 record and a whopping 5.50 ERA in 21 games with the Cincinnati Reds in 1982. I remember wondering what the big deal was with him. How could he be one of the greatest pitchers of all-time? But I missed seeing Seaver in his prime and in that awful 1982 season, the then 37-year-old right-hander was attempting to pitch through a right shoulder injury. After he recovered, though never again the dominant Tom Terrific of the ’70s, he managed 15- and 16-win seasons with the Chicago White Sox in 1984 and 1985 respectively. The reason I bring this up is that there are likely kids out there who have watched Roy Halladay pitch through a similar right shoulder injury over the past two years and wondered how he could be considered a Hall of Fame pitcher. That’s too bad. Halladay was the top moundsman in the game for a good six-to-eight year stretch. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday and is vowing to pitch again. But like Seaver after the 1982 season, the now 36-year-old Halladay will likely never be the same.
– Former Montreal Expo and Toronto Blue Jay Otis Nixon is in trouble with the law again. You can read about it and see his less-than-flattering mug shot here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/05/09/otis_nixon_crack_cocaine_ex_atlanta_braves_speedster_arrested_on_drug_charges.html
– On Tuesday, Canadian starting pitchers Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.) and Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.) faced off in a contest at Fenway Park. It was the 18th time that two Canadian hurlers have toed the rubber against each other. Pitching seven scoreless innings, Diamond outdueled Dempster, leading his Twins to a 6-1 win over the Red Sox. For a complete list of every game in which Canadian starting pitchers have matched up over the years, follow this link: http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/canuck-vs-canuck-dempster-wins-16th-match-up/
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That’s a sad story about Nixon. If you want to read an equally troubling one, read about Denny Mclain’s last year’s in Detroit and his life until today. I’m surprised the Tigers let him anywhere near Comerica. I’ve always loved sports. I always will. But at 48 I’ve come to understand that every athlete is first and foremost human and they have to live with the consequences of their actions on and OFF the playing field. Last night I saw former Tennis great Jimmy Connors plugging his new book on television. He apparently included an incredibly personal and painful fact about himself and Chris Evert in the book without telling her first. Why? Again, sports is a past time. It’s not life. Athletes are no different than every one of us. They have to live with their choices and actions. The cheers don’t go on forever. Nor should they.
Thanks for sharing this well-written comment, David. On a side note, I saw McLain at a table outside a store on the main street in Cooperstown on induction weekend last July peddling a new book.
Loewen is in tough. I wish him all the best and hope to see him in the show with somebody in the future.
Good for Richmond. Great guy!
Thanks, Scott. Interesting how some media have just reported the Richmond signing in the last couple of days. The Canadian Baseball Network (headed by the great Bob Elliott) reported this last week.
I love lists like the matchups of Canadian starting pitchers posted here. Thanks Kevin for passing it on.
Thanks for the comment, Len. Hope you are well.
I remember how high people were on Alvarez at the beginning, but its unfortunate he is really an after though at the moment.
Devon Teeple – Founder / Executive Director – The GM’s Perspective
Thanks for the comment, Devon. I remember hearing that Alvarez threw in the upper ’90s and was virtually a can’t miss prospect. Unfortunately, I think even when he was throwing that hard, his pitches were straight with little or no movement. Most big leaguers feast on straight fastballs, no matter the velocity.