Amazing stuff here from John Lott over at Vice Sports, as he left the press box to take in the Jays’ series in Cleveland as a fan. John is too good. Also: I get asked about sitting in the press box a lot, and frankly, it’s a glorified cubicle farm. I guess if I got one I could use a pass to sit elsewhere and get drunk, but that feels like a bit of a betrayal of the privilege, even if that’s my shtick. But otherwise, who needs it? Not this guy.
Brendan Kennedy has a great one at the Toronto Star, where he looks at the friendship, and mentorship, going on in the middle of the Jays’ infield, featuring Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Is there literally anybody better for Devo to be mentored by? (Hint: nope!)
Another great one from Brendan at the star looks at Josh Donaldson’s case to repeat as the AL MVP — a pertinent thing this week, given that Mike Trout is visiting Toronto with the Angels, and it’s utterly ridiculous how few MVPs he’s actually won, given that he’s been the best player in the universe by far for about five years now. I think this one’s his.
Speaking of Griff, he tweets that Ross Atkins confirmed that the club would have a scout in attendance when living-breathing clickbait Tim Tebow works out for clubs next week. Might as well do your due diligence, eh? But also, Atkins says, “He has an amazing swing” — which may be true, but I says: Please don’t make me ever have to write about Tim fucking Tebow ever fucking again, Blue Jays. Please!
Speaking of Tebow, John Lott spoke to an agent — Gary Sheffield! — about the former college football star’s future in baseball a couple weeks ago for us. Check it out! And also check out a piece at Baseball Essential from David Aardsma, who threw to Tebow today and provided a scouting report. You may recall Aardsma from spring training, when he was pitching for a job with the Jays — and was excellently profiled by John for us, in a piece that was poorly titled by yours truly (pretty sure I was hung over).).
Over at ESPN.com, Jim Bowden managed to get a whole piece out of the idea that the Blue Jays should be paying Aaron Sanchez a major league salary while he’s on options in Dunedin. Uh… I’m sure they’ll do right by him. The value of sneakily saving 10 days of big league salary on a guy making the league minimum is dwarfed by the value of not making your entire roster, plus countless other players and agents, think you’re a bunch of cheap shitty dicks.
Elsewhere at ESPN.com, Keith Law is going through the players with the best tools in MLB (note: tee hee), and a few Jays have managed to make the grade: Russell Martin with a top five glove among catchers, Tulo with a top five infielder arm, and Kevin Pillar with a top five outfield glove. Makes a whole lot of sense right there.
Elsewhere still at ESPN.com, it turns out they’ve noticed that Josh Donaldson knows a thing or two about hitting.
Lansing’s Angel Perdomo has had a breakout year, and MiLB.com tells us that he’s added another accolade: Perdomo has been named to the Midwest League’s Post-Season All-Star Team. He also appeared in the League’s mid-season All-Star game, and was in MLB’s Futures Game as well.
Sports Illustrated has collected a whole bunch of Marcus Stroman food takes from social media and… layoffs, you say? Can’t imagine why with vital content like this!
I have no idea what this Beyond The Field video about Toronto from MLB.com is, but I’ve had it open in a browser tab for two days, so I need to just link it here and be done with it.
Alykhan Ravjiani tweets a clip of highlights from Josh Donaldson’s off-day bowling even for charity, which is worth a watch. And speaking of Josh, he tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that today he gets to be a fan, showing us a couple of diamonds his apartment (presumably) is overlooking, somewhere over by BMO Field. (I’m not gonna try to figure it out any more than that, you weirdos!)
Hardball Talk has an update to the Danny Valencia-Billy Butler drama that I mentioned in our last Duce, which has left Butler with a concussion and Valencia with a stained reputation. Not that it took much to strain, as this piece from the Blue Jay Hunter from a day before the Hardball Talk update (but after the incident) demonstrates. But in the spirit of fairness, I should point out that the full story doesn’t exactly paint Butler in a great light either — which doesn’t justify his being punched in the head — and that teammates and former teammates (or at least two: Eric Hosmer and Coco Crisp) tweeted that they were surprised by the negativity towards Valencia in the wake of this incident, as they both found him to be a stand-up guy and a good teammate. FWIW.
Lastly, an outstanding piece from David Singh of Sportsnet, who looks at younger generations of South Asians born in North America who are falling in love with baseball and making their way into the ranks of the sport — foremost among them the Dodgers’ Canadian GM (who was raised in the Philippines and is of Pakistani descent), Farhan Zaidi.