A conversation about MLB, on the field, off the field.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

From the basement March 11 07

I found my old Vancouver Canadians hat this winter when I cleaned out the basement. One of my in laws from BC gave it to me years ago, nice gift. As a tribute to the demise of Triple A baseball in Canada ( Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton & soon Ottawa ) I will wear it when I go to Ottawa Lynx games this season. What happened to affiliated ball in Canada? London had AA at one time, there was pro ball in Medicine Hat, obviously the Expos, the aforementioned Triple A
teams....Jeffrey Simpson tried to explain it in the Globe & Mail last summer, and I think got it wrong.

I hope I'm wrong but I think Edmonton & Calgary aren't long for the Northern League either.

Maybe next season, with no pro ball in Ottawa any longer, I'll head to Quebec City for a few Can Am league games. I read this week that Rich Garces just signed with a Can Am league team. He had some really strong seasons with the Red Sox.

Friday nite I tuned in to some of the Indians vs Pirates game. A definite inidication that it is still very early in spring training, there are 2 players in the starting lineups that even a Geek like me has never heard of. Don Kelly was the starting SS for the Pirates and Wyatt Toregasis the starting C for the Indians.

This afternoon I watched some of the A's vs Angels game and former Lynx fan favorite ( when there were Lynx fans ) Curtis Pride played for the Angels. He's 38 now, what a great career. He signed with the Mets in 86 and made his big league debut with the Expos in 93. Curtis has played in the bigs in parts of 11 seasons since, amassing 796 AB's. He was a very good player here, good outfielder, fast on the basepaths and good sock.

Daric Barton just hit one out for the A's. Mark Gubicza ( wow, a long time since I heard that name ) the color guy on the Angels broadcast, goes into some schpiel about pitch selection. I know he's a former big league pitcher and I'm a guy in his basement but I always think this sort of analysis is overstated. If the pitcher "hits his spot", "makes his pitch", whatever, more often than not the ball won't be hit hard. The ball gets hit hard when the pitcher misses. It's sports, it's about athletes executing plays, it ain't chess.

I guess Jeromy Burnitz doesn't want to ride the buses in Triple A, he's announced his retirement. He hit 16 homers in 313 AB's with Pittsburgh last year, I'm certain he could get a minor league deal with somebody if he wanted. I remember watching him here on his way up as a Norfolk Tide. Will he get the itch again?

I see Mark Prior will make his next appearance in a minor league game. I'm not surprised, I watched him pitch yesterday and felt sorry for him. His fastball was 86 - 88 ( according to the Cubs broadcast, so subtract a homer factor off those numbers ) and threw very few breaking balls. Is he done forever as a frontline starter?

Damian Jackson is pissed that the Dodgers released him today, says he's done with baseball. I doubt it, he's still 33, I suspect he'll be in Triple A somewhere this season. Players of his caliber command a pretty decent wage in Triple A.

I was reading about Corey Koskie this weekend and you have to wonder if his career isn't soon over. If so, he has been one of the best Canadian players of his era.

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