My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– Please send all the good vibes and prayers you can to Windsor, Ont., native and former Montreal Expo Joe Siddall, whose 14-year-old son, Kevin, is battling cancer. Here’s a link to some information on how you can help: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/10/03/blood-donations-sought-in-honour-of-cancer-stricken-teen-athlete/
– The 2013 MLB post-season hasn’t been kind to ex-Toronto Blue Jays. You may have witnessed A.J. Burnett get torched for seven runs in two innings by the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, but at least the unpredictable right-hander was on the Pirates’ post-season roster. That’s more than can be said for Travis Snider. Ex-Jays Scott Downs and John McDonald were also left off the Braves’ and Red Sox post-season rosters respectively.
– With McDonald not on the Red Sox playoff roster, it solves my “conflict of Johns.” I was going to find it hard to cheer against Johnny Mac and hard to cheer for John Farrell.
– Happy belated Birthday to one of my favourite former Montreal Expos Bill Atkinson. The Chatham, Ont., native, who turned 59 yesterday, grew up on the same street as Fergie Jenkins and pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. When Gary Carter was in St. Marys to be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, he said that Atkinson possessed the best curve ball he had ever caught.
– Now that the Blue Jays season is mercifully over, I did some math to uncover what might go down as the worst trade Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has ever made. On October 21, 2012, he shipped David Carpenter and manager John Farrell to Boston for Mike Aviles. Approximately two weeks later, he then flipped Aviles and Yan Gomes to the Indians for Esmil Rogers. So essentially the price to acquire Rogers (who recorded a 4.77 ERA in 2013) was Carpenter (1.78 ERA, 74Ks in 65-2/3 innings with the Braves this season), Farrell (likely AL manager of the year), Gomes (.294, 11 homers) and Aviles (.252, 9 homers).
– I always learn something when I read Hall of Fame scribe Bob Elliott’s columns. This week I learned that the P.A. announcer at the Oakland’s O.co Coliseum is Kitchener, Ont., native Dick Callahan.
-Twenty years ago today, the Toronto Blue Jays played the first game of the 1993 American League Championship Series against the Chicago White Sox. The Jays won the game, but in that contest Kapuskasing, Ont., native Kirk McCaskill became the first Canadian to throw a pitch in a Canadian ballpark in the MLB post-season. The athletic right-hander pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Sox.
– The no-hitter tossed by ex-Jay Henderson Alvarez for the Miami Marlins on the last day of the season must feel like one final punch to the gut for the Blue Jays’ front office heading into a long off-season. Alvarez was, of course, shipped to the Marlins as part of the blockbuster last November that saw the Jays land Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio.
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