Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Lawrie. Franklin Barreto. Kendall Graveman. Sean Nolin.
Those names still sound like music, even a year-and-a-half later.
They are, of course, the players who the Toronto Blue Jays dealt to the Oakland Athletics in late 2014 in order to obtain Josh Donaldson, who we now all know as the reigning (er… raining?) American League MVP.
Donaldson has picked up where he left off last season, too, currently sitting just a shade behind Manny Machado for top spot on FanGraphs’ AL WAR leaderboard. And unlike far too many outstanding Jays players before him, the American media is very much paying attention.
Oh, I know, it’s not like people didn’t know who Jose Bautista or Roy Halladay or Carlos Delgado were during their peak years here, but the MVP thing (and, if we’re being honest, perhaps the fact that he’s both American and not a stoic baseball cyborg) has taken it to another level.
Case in point: on Tuesday night, Donaldson will be profiled by 60 Minutes spin-off 60 Minutes Sports, which is apparently a thing that exists and that airs on the Showtime network in the US (I have no idea if it’s going to be airing in Canada — Do we get that network here? What’s cable?).
Hey, and here’s a preview clip from the episode, which gets into some of the heavy stuff we know that Donaldson experienced early in his life, and his rather remarkable baseball odyssey. Seems like it should be pretty good. And bonus points for both the great stuff with his mom — who stole the show throwing out the first pitch at Rogers Centre a couple weeks back — and for showing that catch last year in Tampa!
It’s almost easy to take for granted just how unbelievably good Donaldson is and how lucky we are to get to watch him do his job every night. Almost. And like Bautista before him (and during), while he may have been too much of a late bloomer to ever really make a serious push for the Hall of Fame, we sure as hell are seeing a Hall of Fame-calibre peak. It’s a damn wonderful thing to behold.