Posted tagged ‘mlb’

First Round, 22nd Pick

September 17, 2018

Man on the radio,
I’m driving while the city sleeps.
Tell me about the new draft pick.

He’s from Medford and runs with a proverb:
Height doesn’t measure heart.
It gives him a chip on his shoulder and
the meaning of life.
His life.

Man on the radio,
What’s the kid’s story?

Imagine being told you’re too small.
He got angry and
worked to prove everyone wrong,
using a fastball, slider and confidence.

Man on the radio,
what does his future look like?

He will tear his anterior cruciate ligament, but recover faster than anyone else.
He will help his team to the promised land after a 22-year odyssey.
He will earn a degree and several playoff starts.
He will win gold for his country.
He will build a fashion empire and maintain a mansion.
He will have ups and downs.
He will face adversity and a recurring blister.
He will energize the fan base.

You might be turned off by his bravado,
but baseball isn’t fun without character.
His character.

Man on the radio,
How will it all end?

Let the story play out.
Let the story play out.

ER

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Dilemma On The Mound: A Baseball Microstory

September 10, 2018

Joe was at a career crossroads.

He was facing a superstar and plagued with a dilemma.

The superstar had an irritating demeanor and wreaked havoc on Joe’s team.

Joe had two choices: Intentionally hit the superstar or try to get him out.

Hitting the superstar had consequences, but he’d gain the respect of his teammates and coaches. Pitching to the superstar – even if successful – would demote him to AAA.

“Beaning” was the old way, but being a team player was a hard temptation.

Taking a deep breath, he decided uncomfortable busses and dirty motels were better than a toxic camaraderie.

ER

Josh Donaldson: He brought the rain and it was magical AF

September 3, 2018

Josh Donaldson’s tenure with the Blue Jays was a blessing. The events surrounding his departure really, really, REALLY suck. However, this is not as tragic as some have made it out to be.

Josh Donaldson was not going to finish 2018 in a Jays uniform. I made peace with this notion well before the season started. Unless the team was a legit contender for the second wild card spot, this was it for the Bringer of Rain.

I prayed he would be traded during the off-season. Prayed the Jays would get a king’s ransom in exchange. I get why they waited for the middle of the regular season – contending teams would be increasingly desperate to land Donaldson’s services and therefore, empty their shelevs of young, developing talent.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Josh gingerly walked off the field in May, never to return wearing a Jays uniform; his value drastically fell.

Who’s to blame? Nobody.

Donaldson didn’t intend to miss a significant chunk of the season. Mark Shapiro, Russ Atkins and the rest of front office didn’t anticipate something like this to happen, nor would they want it to happen.

Of course, social media is more than happy to point fingers.

On social media, Shapiro and Atkins have screwed up everything!!!! Some have claimed they have set the team back by decades. Others have filed a non-confidence motion. Heck, if Shapiro and Atkins saved 1000 orphans from a towering inferno, they’d still be villanized.

So let’s take a breath.

The Blue Jays are rebuilding. It has been evident for a while. Whether you like it or not, they are a team in transition. Keeping Josh Donaldson would be counter-productive. A player of his caliber and age – if healthy, obviously – would naturally yield younger, developing talent. It’s not a perfect formula, but it only makes sense to collect several “prospects” in exchange for Donaldson and hope some – if not all – live up to their full potential.

The only mistake Shapiro and Atkins made was not trading Donaldson before the season. An error that defines the concept of hindsight.

Here’s something else to consider: Do you really believe Donaldson wanted to be a Blue Jay after 2018?

Think about it. He’s in his early 30s and about to become a free agent. He wants to win now. He expects to win now. Why would he stay in Toronto and endure a rebuild that doesn’t have a definitive timeline? Donaldson has earned the right to play for whoever he wants; so the Jays might as well get something for him, even if it’s unfortunately not a king’s ransom.

While Donaldson and Atkins have both paid the appropriate amount of lip service post-trade, we may never know what actually happened behind the proverbial closed doors. Maybe there were diagreements. Maybe feelings were hurt.

There will be some who desperately need to know what occurred for their own agendas. But for me….I just don’t give a damn.

When I think about Josh Donaldson, I won’t think about his departure. I’ll think of the man who told the world that this was the “get it done league.”

I’ll think of the man who dove into the first few rows at Tropicana Field to catch a foul ball.

I’ll think of the man who crushed a walk-off home run at the final home game of the 2015 season, sending the crowd into a frenzy; including yours truly from my right field seat in the 200s.

I’ll think of the man who knocked in the tying run in game five of the 2015 ALDS, setting the stage for Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip.

I’ll think of the man – who I witnessed from my perch in section 525 – dive gracefully across home plate, clinching game three and an ALDS series sweep in 2016.

Damn right his name should be added to the level of excellence. He was the American League’s most valuable player in 2015. The only other Blue Jay who won AL MVP is already on the LOE.

Josh Donaldson was the glue, the missing piece, the magic tonic. He brought the rain and it was MAGICAL! His unfortunate departure will never overshadow his impact.

I really hope things work out for him in Cleveland and of course, with the Blue Jays’ long-term plan. Seeing a popular player get traded is never pleasant.

Just remember: It’s going to be okay.

ER

Hiatus

August 27, 2018

Inspired by Mr. Zwelling’s account of Mr. Axford’s summer of 2017

Going home

to see my children

Going home

because I have been released

Going home

for an extended break

Letting go

as I sit on the couch

distancing myself from exercise,

the life I have experienced,

stress and doubt

I will take my children to a game,

paying for our own tickets

We will sit behind the bullpen

The same bullpen I once sat in

We will eat hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches,

as I disconnect from my competitive spirit

Remarkable

how I have never watched the game,

only participated

My return will be determined at a later time

For now,

I am not a bullpen arm

I am Father, son, partner

ER

An ugly reality, but it is what it is

August 20, 2018

Struggling with writer’s block lately. So….some random thoughts:

  • Several times this season, I’ve found myself saying, “Oh, yeah. I forgot about Tulo.”
  • Josh Donaldson and Aaron Sanchez have both missed a signficant amount of time. If this was 2015-16, we’d freak out. Today, such a fact is met with a shrug. It is what it is.
  • Really? Just six games for Jose Urena?
  • I like Ryan Borucki because he models himself after Mark Buehrle. The kid starts his windup as soon as he gets the sign. He’s going to be a treat (hopefully).
  • There (probably) isn’t a single Jays fan who actually thinks Gibby will be back for 2019.
  • Remember, the Blue Jays are a team in transition. That means – if I can borrow the expression – things will get worse before it gets better. Hang in there. It’s going to be okay.

    And now…..back to my battle with writer’s block.

    ER

    Retro Blue Jays – Whitt and Cheek on Community TV

    August 10, 2018

    Posted by Home Town Cable Network.

    I’ve always had a fascination with community/public-access broadcasting. For starters, it’s obviously different than traditional commercial media. This particular format was also one of my first forays into the world of media – Ottawa’s CKCU, early-to-mid 2000s.

    It’s hard to explain, but there’s something about the unpolished, raw presentation that seems authentic to me. This is prevalent with the following interviews of former Blue Jay catcher and coach Ernie Whitt and the late Tom Cheek.

    Based on the setting, the footage was recorded at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, likely before the 1985 Pearson Cup.

    The clips are part of the Home Town Cable Network which, according to its website and Facebook page, serves Northern New York State; with their office located in Champlain, New York.

    One of the interviewers – Dick Letourneau – is no Bob Costas and calling Whitt’s team the “Maple Leafs” at the beginning of his interview was far from a smooth start. But he does ask some interesting questions.

    For his part, Whitt answers the questions truthfully; though he seemed a little taken aback by Letourneau’s style of interviewing.

    Tom Cheek – as he always was – told a great story, threw in a joke and always brought an incredible amount of professionalism. I wonder how many people knew he was a fill-in for Expo games before he came to Toronto.

    Despite their rough look, the interviews are unique. They might not shine, but they’re fun to watch.

    x

    As an aside, Home Town Cable Network’s website has dozens of baseball clips. The majority of which involved the Expos.

    ER

    Re. The Roberto Osuna Trade

    August 2, 2018

    It had to be done.

    Roberto Osuna allegedly committed a heinous act, which is still a matter before the courts. We don’t know the facts; but whatever happened justified a 75 game suspension. We haven’t heard from Osuna since charges were laid agaisnt him. All we know is that he’s appears to be remorseful about circumstances and intends to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer.

    Guilty or not, his reputation is tarnished.

    There was no way the Blue Jays could allow him to pitch for their team. It would’ve been grossly disrespectful to a savvy fan base, victims of abuse and the alleged victim in this case.

    It would’ve also been grossly hypocritical for the team’s parental owner, especially after the broadcasting wing fired Gregg Zaun – and rightfully so – for his inappropriate actions.

    As many have pointed out, this wasn’t a baseball trade. It was about doing the right thing. The path to get here may have been questionable, but the end result was the right action. In the grand scheme of things, what Houston sent in exchange for Osuna is irrelevant.

    It’s a sad ending. It’s a disappointing ending. It’s an awful ending.

    ER


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