Sunday, June 19, 2011
I'm sitting at home today watching the Blue Jays Pre-Game and there's a touching segment on John MacDonald and his homerun on Father's Day last year.
Unfamiliar with the story, let me bring you up to speed...John MacDonald's father passed away 5 days before Father's Day last year. His first game back off bereavement leave was on Father's Day. Toronto would give MacDonald leave for the final 11 days of his father's life. Jack (father) MacDonald asked his son to hit a homerun for him. John hit a Jeremy Affeldt pitch over the right field wall. The Jays would
It's a story that one year later is just as touching. The fist pump while rounding first base, the obvious emotion of the event and his teammates reaction when he got back to the dugout.
Take a look at the moment here.
"I think (the homer) was for both of us," McDonald said. "The fact I got it out of the way quick was nice. I told him they're not that easy to hit."
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I have a theory when it comes to sports that each league will thrive when its key franchises are rolling along with great success. So then, the question becomes, who are the MLB’s key franchises?
In my humble opinion they’re franchises that have had a degree of success and have been associated with a high level of talent and skill for longer than a couple of years. That’s right, Arizona Diamondbacks…you’re not there…yet.
My humble opinion on this, by division:
I lived with two guys from Kansas City when I was in grad school and their persistence to watch the Royals led me to watching quite a bit more Royals baseball then I ever would before. From an anecdotal perspective, and to quote Posnanski “this town deserves a baseball winner. Well, every town deserves one now and again”.
As a Blue Jays fan I’ve been tormented by the fact that we play in the most ridiculous division in professional sports. The Yankees and Red Sox will out-spend the league, and as I mentioned last night, Tampa is working harder than any team in the league to find undervalued talent or to sign their young stars. But in that same torment is quickly relatable to a Royals fan. Constant talk about the young talent in the minors, several re-building efforts and a long playoff drought led to many nights sitting around a fire pit drinking bad American beer and commiserating about our favourite teams.
Watching the Royals last night, when they beat the Jays in 11 innings, I was very impressed by Eric Hosmer. This should come as no surprise to anyone. He’s the real deal. Hosmer has compiled an .834 OPS with 5 HR and 20 RBI in one month. That’s enough to push Billy Butler (another great player) out of the 1B spot and into daily DH duties. Hosmer going 2-5 with the game winning RBI single seemed only appropriate as Jays fans salivate over *The Legend of Brett Lawrie*.
To close, I’d like to quote Posnanski again. He’s been a favourite of mine ever since I was a young kid with a Sports Illustrated subscription. Tonight the Jays face Vin Mazzaro, who gave up 11 hits, 14 runs and sports an ERA of 22.74 coming into action tonight. This has to bode well for the Jays, no?
“This town has endured all those things. More, though, it has endured a decade and a half of being all but irrelevant across the country. This was once one of baseball's model franchises. This was once one of America's best baseball towns. For many years, though, Kansas City baseball has been choked by money constraints and missed opportunities and awful decisions and bad luck -- not necessarily in that order. And that made the Royals all but invisible across America. Anyway, it usually felt that way”
“And here in the bottom of the 11th inning, the Royals load the bases. There are two outs. Eric Hosmer comes up. He's 21 years old. He's the most exciting young player in Kansas City since Carlos Beltran. I am no scout, but when I saw Hosmer swing the bat during spring training I thought: "This guy is going to be a star." The fans, the ones who remain, are standing and cheering, and it's not an overwhelming sound, but it's a good sound”
“And Eric Hosmer drills a no-doubt, line-drive single to center. The Royals win”
Monday, June 6, 2011
Lind, Adam --- Beltran, Carlos
Romero, Ricky --- Wright, David
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Last night I went to watch the Blue Jays/Indians game at the
Skydom…Rogers Centre. I’d be lying if I said it was because I thought it would be an exciting game, I went because I own Josh Tomlin and Kyle Drabek in several fantasy baseball leagues.
I have a fantasy baseball problem. It’s not that I’m in 5 leagues, quite the contrary, it’s that I have a love-affair with young pitching. You could call my position players awesome, and my pitching…well, some of them might not have driver’s licenses yet.
There hasn’t been a need to defend Kyle Drabek yet this year. Blue Jays fans are willing to sit through the kid cutting his teeth on MLB batters knowing that the piece of cheese at the end of the maze was the key part of the Roy Halladay trade. But the piece of cheese is starting to get a little smelly. Drabek skipped AAA altogether and jumped from New Hampshire straight to the Blue Jays last fall. He’s struggled with control at every level of his career, and management seems to be ok with him continuing to “learn” at this level. He’s not learning though. He’s only had one start this year where he had fewer than 3 walks, and he’s had 4 or more 6 times. When a team is quick to pull the trigger on sending Travis Snider and Brett Cecil to the minors, and has no problem keeping Mike McCoy on red eye flights between Vegas and Toronto, yet won’t demote a struggling powder keg of a starter…it doesn’t indicate a willingness to win. As a fan, this doesn’t make me want to spend time in the stands at the Rogers Centre.
Simply put, when the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup starts to look impressive compared to yours, it’s time for a wakeup call. Yes, Adam Lind will be back soon. Yes, the Great Canadian Hope Brett Lawrie is coming sooner than later. Yes, we’re only 3 games out of first.
This team has looked amazing at times this year. I think we can chalk up a win on grabbing Corey Patterson. He’s been exciting to watch, and frankly, has been killing it lately. Yunel Escobar is almost silently having one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen from a Jays shortstop. Ricky Romero is introducing himself to the league again by saying “remember this? No? Let me remind you” and killing it.
On the flip side, Josh Tomlin was pretty impressive last night even though he gave up some runs late. He was hitting his spots and put some strikeouts on the board. His “stuff” reminds me of Brett Cecil’s last year. No one is too sure how it’s working as well as it is…but it is. Run with it, while that’s the case.Are the Indians for real? Probably not. But they were much more exciting to watch last night (and on Tuesday night) than the Jays were.