My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– Struggling ex-Toronto Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero – who was dropped from the club’s 40-man roster on Saturday – could draw inspiration from Adam Lind, who, just over 12 months ago, was similarly removed from the Jays’ 40-man roster. Now 59 games into the 2013 campaign, Lind is leading the Jays in batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.411) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.922).
– Former Jay and Canadian citizen Mark Teahen was released from the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express on Monday. The left-handed hitting utility player hit .171 in 10 games with the Express after landing with the club on May 23. Teahen, who started the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2011.
– Every time I visit www.baseballreference.com I learn something new. Today, I discovered that Larry Walker’s nickname was “Booger.” And no, I don’t want to know the story behind that nickname.
– So when veteran lefty Darren Oliver returns from the disabled list, which reliever will the Jays send back to the minors? Southpaw Juan Perez has allowed one hit in 4-1/3 shutout innings since his recall from Triple-A Buffalo on May 29, while right-hander Neil Wagner, who was promoted at the same time, hasn’t allowed a run in his four appearances.
– Not only was Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson’s first professional managerial gig in Canada with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964, but in his 1990 biography “Sparky!” (which I’m finally reading), he identifies Clay Bryant, his manager when he played with the Montreal Royals in 1958, and Chuck Dressen, his dugout boss when he suited up as a player for the Maple Leafs in 1962, as two of the three most influential people on his managerial career. The third was Lefty Phillips, a part-time scout with the Cincinnati Reds, who coached and mentored Anderson as a teenager.
– In last week’s column, I shared that 1994 Montreal Expo, Marquis Grissom, had started his own baseball program in Fayetteville, Ga. This week I discovered that one of his 1994 teammates, Lou Frazier, also has his own baseball program in Scottsdale, Ariz., called “Louie Sluggers.” A part-timer with the 1994 Expos, Frazier swiped 20 bases in 76 games that season. Frazier also played in three other Canadian cities – London, Ottawa and Calgary – as part of his 14-year professional baseball odyssey.
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