Thursday, February 26, 2009

Whoa, Canada

Millar, Loewen, and Bordick make a new home in the Great White North

Despite the headline, this post has nothing to do with Alex Rodriguez homering in the Yankees' spring training opener against the Blue Jays. Instead, the focus here is on former Orioles who are now with the Blue Jays. Somebody needs to tell the Jays that we haven't been very good lately (Woe, Canada?). If nothing else, at least it makes for some compelling storylines.

First, there's the obvious, the Jays' acquisition of "Orioles Magic, The Sequel" star Kevin Millar, who has parlayed his "veteran player who won a World Series and can therefore be a clubhouse leader" reputation to extend what otherwise might have been a very brief twilight to his career.

Then there's the "on the contrary, there are second acts in (baseball) life" story of Adam Loewen, an aspiring outfielder in the Jays' system. As Rick Ankiel demonstrated in 2007, this pitcher-turned-position player comeback story is compelling enough on its own, especially when said player goes on a home run binge (pre-HGH revelations). However, those crafty Canadian writers are doing one better by talking Little League World Series heroics.

"Long before the Baltimore Orioles selected him fourth overall in the 2002 draft, the Surrey, B. C., native stepped to the plate at the 1996 Little League World Series and drove a pitch onto the iconic outfield berm of the tournament's long-time home in Williamsport, Pa.

'It was off Saudi Arabia, ended up beating them 3-2,' said Loewen. 'It was the only game we won, so that was a highlight.'"

Bonus points for the Saudia Arabia reference.

Finally, there's Mike Bordick, fresh off his "esteemed" placement on Maine's Mt. Rushmore of Sports, who has been hired as the Jays' minor-league roving infield instructor.

It's hard not to like Mike Bordick, by which of course I mean that I liked him so you should, too. You can't argue with the most consecutive error-less games (110) and chances(543) by a shortstop, although neither was apparently worth mentioning in the Blue Jays' press release, nor was it enough to earn him a gold glove when he set the record with the Orioles in 2002. Boys' Latin's loss is Toronto's gain. Good for Bordick.

Other O's: There's probably no need to remind you of BJ Ryan's continuing role with the Jays, but I did overlook recent Toronto acquisition Brian Burres, who tossed a shutout inning yesterday against the Yankees. (Tip of the cap to Dustin Parkes for the reminder).

Blue Jays flashback: April 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of the team's Two-Dollar Tuesday fiasco. Whoa, Canada indeed.


2 comments:

Dustin Parkes said...

The Jays signed Brian Burres too.

Matthew Taylor said...

Thanks, Dustin. I've updated the post.