My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– With his struggles at the plate this season, Brett Lawrie definitely isn’t leading the Toronto Blue Jays in OPS (On-base percentage + slugging percentage). He does, however, top the Jays in OAS (Obscenities After Swings). So far, Sportsnet hasn’t found a way to muffle their mikes quick enough after Lawrie’s outbursts.
– The most difficult thing about watching the Jays lose repeatedly to the Yankees this season has been that they’re being dominated by a lineup that includes three ex-Jays – Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix – that Jays fans and the club’s front office couldn’t get out of town quickly enough.
– I always like to stay on top of what has happened to members of the vaunted 1994 Montreal Expos squad that a player strike robbed of a postseason berth. Right-handed reliever Gil Heredia, who posted a 3.46 ERA in 39 games that campaign, is now the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Class-A Advanced affiliate Visalia Rawhide of the California League.
– In the category of “that figures,” Kelly Johnson owns a .488 slugging percentage, has knocked in 24 runs and has reduced his strikeout frequency dramatically in 38 games with the Tampa Bay Rays this season.
– In my previous blog entry, I wrote about the two games that 2013 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductees George Bell and Tim Raines both homered in as teammates with the Chicago White Sox. A couple of days later, I realized that I had slighted their fellow Canadian ball hall inductee Rob Ducey. Ducey and Bell both went deep in the same game as Blue Jays teammates on September 14, 1987 against the Baltimore Orioles at Exhibition Stadium. That was the game that fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Whitt also clubbed three homers and the Jays set a big league record by belting 10 round-trippers.
– In a discouraging piece of Canadian baseball news that was not widely reported, Victoria, B.C., native Rich Harden’s attempted comeback with the Minnesota Twins isn’t going well, according to Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger. The 31-year-old Harden, who missed all of last season following rotator cuff surgery, was shut down after experiencing soreness in his rehab efforts a few weeks ago.
– MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that Canadian citizen and former Jay Mark Teahen asked for and received his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday. He is now a free agent. Earlier this month, a trade had been worked out that would’ve sent Teahen to the Cincinnati Reds, but that deal was quashed when the Reds had concerns about his physical. Like Harden, Teahen last played in the big leagues in 2011.
– How bad are things for ex-Jay Jon Rauch? After posting a 6.89 ERA in 15-2/3 innings this season, he was designated for assignment by the lowly Miami Marlins last Friday. Rauch’s stock has diminished so much that not even Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, who’s desperate for relief help and seems to claim everyone on waivers, doesn’t appear to be interested.
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