That time Pete Rose reaches 4000 hit plateau as an Expo

Bit of Trivia you may not know. Pete Rose was a member of the Montreal Expos in 1984 for 95 games. Another fun fact came on 1984 opening day on this day at Olympic stadium and against the Phillies (his former team).

Pete Rose hit a double on his first at-bat and reached the 4000 hit plateau. The only other player to ever hit 4000 hits? Ty Cobb. Now I wasn’t young enough to fully recall it, but my dad tells me we watched it happen. Thanks to YouTube, so can you enjoy it yourself to ( and the amazing play-by-play of Dave Van Horne):

Wow. Even at 43 he had some speed. Hopefully one day he will make it into the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there.

Chris Davis and his terribly bad start to the season

Chris Davis studies his bat after a new record for a consecutive plate appearance hitless streak.

I am starting to feel bad for Chris Davis. On Thursday, he set yet another unfortunate historic mark in a loss against the Oakland Athletics. Davis, who hasn’t had a hit in his last 53 at-bats, is now hitless in last 61 plate appearances.

The new mark breaks the previously hitless record set by Tony Bernazard, who went hitless in 57 straight plate appearances in 1984. 

There are all kinds of theories being floated around. Even a writer for the Baltimore Sun posited if he should just walk away from the 92 million the Orioles owe him, because of his slump.

I’ve watched several of his most recent at-bats. It’s not like the man is striking out. He’s hitting the ball hard. He’s not striking out like he was earlier at some of the ugly pitches. Is he over payed for his current performance? Sure. However, it’s not liked he forced the Orioles to pay him such a crazy contract. It’s also not like he’s not trying. Maybe he’ll have a late start to the season and find his swing.

Thankfully it seems most Orioles fans are a bit more forgiving, and hopefully he’ll find his way back to form. Once he gets going I predict he’ll have a great streak going the other way.

Gurriel Jr. steals home & our hearts

One of the most exciting plays in baseball is base stealing. What’s better than a base steal? Someone stealing home. That takes… Chutzpah. Especially against a pitcher who usually has “the stuff”. Well in today’s game, after the Bosox celebrated their 2018 Championship, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. spoiled the celebration with an exciting home base steal against Chris Sale.

Here is the action, in case you missed it…

As Lourdes was quoted as saying: “I just saw the challenge, the opportunity and I just went for it.”

How rare is this play in baseball? Guerriel is the first Major League player to steal home this season, and the first member of the Blue Jays to do so since Kevin Pillar achieved it on March 31, 2018, against the Yankees. Unfortunately, stealing home plate is NOT an officially recorded statistic – but to me it’s one of the most exciting things to see. Check out an incomplete list of some of the best at stealing home (unsurprisingly led by Ty Cobb)

Yelich, 100% class as Trout steal homer

Early Monday afternoon at Angel Stadium Christian Yelich recognizes an amazing play by Mike Trout robbing him of a home run.

What can you say about Christian Yelich? Sure he’s an exciting player, but you can also add fan of a great play even when it’s against you. When the Brewers faced the Angels and it seemed like a certain home-run for Christian Yelich, guess who made his best superman impression? Mr. Class himself, Mike Trout. And was the response by Christian Yelich? A hat tip for such a great play…. He’s a hat tip to you Christian, for great sportsmanship.

Who’s your fave active DH?

I used to be against the DH in the National League, but I’ve been swayed to see it in both leagues. Why? Player like Edwin Encarnacion as simply fascinating to me.

As a long time Expos fan, I never really paid attention to American league ball unless it was the playoffs. Ortiz turned me on to the amazing excitement of the DH, and Edwin Encarnacion continues it. I was lucky to see him do his things a couple of times in person at the Rogers Centre and he seems to be doing the same for Mariners fans.

On Monday, he showed why he’s one of the most exciting DH’s in the game.

He became the first Major Leaguer to go deep twice in the same frame since Mark Trumbo with the Orioles on April 15, 2016. Encarnacion previously homered twice in an inning himself on July 26, 2013, for the Blue Jays.

Archer Does Gibson Impression

Reds player Derek Dietrich admired his crazy home run into the river, against the Pirates earlier today. Archer, who gave up the blast, would have known of that, and on the next at-bat, he threw at him. Cue the brawl, you knew that was coming.

I think this may be the first brawl of the season. Yahoo Sports did a pretty good run down of what happened as well as highlighting a great photo of Puig basically taking on all the Pirates himself.

In the end, Bell, Puig, Amir Garrett, as well as Pirates setup man Keone Kela and closer Felipe Vazquez were tossed for their role in the ruckus.

Should make for an interesting series when they meet up again May 27th.

File under: He must be drunk

If you were watching the Blue Jays vs the Cleveland Indians yesterday, at some point a fan drunk moron ran onto the field. They refused to show it on TV to not encourage this kind of behaviour. I think they should have, so people thinking to do the same could see the consequences (or if you want read this). Essentially the individual in question was arrested and ejected from the stadium.

Watch his shenanigans here:

When they want you on the field, they will do it the right way.

Blue Jays Rebuild Continues: Pillar Gone to SF

Recently I had the pleasure to see the Blue Jays opening day weekend, and one of the last games of Kevin Pillar. The stands were full of people wearing Pillar jerseys and capes with his nickname “Superman” on their back. And not surprising, he had a very strong defensive game. Pillar got his name known for his spectacular plays on the field.

While he didn’t have such a crazy play the night I saw him, we got to see him play his heart out in centre field and live in person. He caught several balls smacked his way with ease and made the necessary outs. However, we also got see the other side of Pillar, which was his poor offensive showing. He had four at bats and had no hits, striking out on his last at bat of the game. Not really surprising though. He was never very consistent.

Nevertheless, it’s still tough to see Pillar, the face of the Jays (for many) to be traded. I guess it feels worse when it’s for questionable players. So what did the Jays get from the San Fransisco Giants?

I grabbed my copy of Baseball Prospectus 2019, and here is what they had to say:

Alen Hanson remains a maddening player with million dollar tools and ten cents instincts.

Ouch. I moved to the next one. I read the entry Derek Law. There was nothing kind to repeat, but suffice to say, the words “career in tailspin since 2017” is sufficient.

And finally, what seems to be “best” part of the deal is the pitcher Juan De Paula, a 21-year-old native of the Dominican Republic who has now been dealt three times over his four-year professional career.Baseball Prospectus notes:

Juan de Paula flashes three above-average pitches and has ample velocity projections, making him a potential riser on prospect lists as he matures.

This is certainly a risk for the Jays, but they have no choice really but to get value for a Pillar while they could. Nonetheless, it was heartbreaking to see him go. We all know baseball is a business and many people are jaded, but this one seemed to really cut deep.

I can’t really blame him. In a time when most players don’t last a couple of years with a team, the Blue Jays organization is the only one he’s known since being drafted by them in 2011.

Now only a handful of players are left from the crazy exciting 2015 & 2016 seasons. Justin Smoak seemed to be most impacted by losing his friend and teammate . As the most recently promoted face of the Blue Jays hopefully it doesn’t derail his performance.

Overall, though, I think a new opportunity and change of scenery will do Pillar well. Certainly everyone, including the Blue Jays organization wish him nothing but the best – and it’s hard not to.

Even with obviously difficult change you see he chooses the path of being a true class act and a professional. How can you not like this guy. SF fans, you’re in for something special.

Big Announcement Coming May 15th 2019 in Montreal

Artist rendition of the new stadium in the Peel Basin of Montreal.

This is not an April Fools Joke!

For the past couple of years there have been rumors about a possible Baseball site in Griffintown in the Peel Basin. It’s a parcel of land owned a federal Crown corporation, the Canada Lands Company and it’s really the only piece of land on the island of Montreal that makes the most sense for a ballpark to go. Add to this, a new train system coming right to the doorstep of this area and it’s a very natural fit.

Background up until now

Word came a couple of months ago, that Stephen Bronfman and his Montreal Group, who want to bring a Major League Baseball team to Montreal – were actively seeking to get the land. Last week it was reported that Devimco (who owns a part of the land already) and Claridge (Bronfman’s company for land development) were close to a deal.

Land for a baseball site always seemed to be a sticking point with the Baseball Commissioner office being clear, a clear plan for a site for Baseball in Montreal, is an essential part of the return.

Stephen Bronfman in good spirits.

Bronfman was in good spirits, before the first Blue Jays exhibition game March 30th as Jack Todd noted in the Montreal Gazette. Bronfman is quoted as saying. “I think we’re close. There’s a feeling in the air,”

More importantly, when asked about the sticking point about a stadium or land being built in order to get a team.

“If Major League Baseball is asking for a shovel in the ground, I’ll go down to Griffintown and put the shovel in the ground myself,” Bronfman said, “because if they want a shovel in the ground, that means they’ve got a team for us.”

Seems to me like an unofficial announcement they got the land – but could there be more?

An Official Announcement May 15th?

Now cue the speculation and the excitement.

This past Friday TVA reported, that there is a major announcement coming on May 15th at the Griffintown site.

We know last week during an interview on TV about the Expos chances of coming back, Stephen Bronfman, let slip his father (former owner of the Expos Charles Bronfman) was coming to town for an event in May. Now we have even more info that this will be something major.

Certainly we can guess it’s an official announcement that Bronfman has secured the land. Here are the relevant quotes (translated) from the news report:

There is an important announcement regarding the return of baseball in Montreal: According to host Jean-Charles Lajoie, the Bronfman family is organizing a major event on May 15th.

“From knowledgeable sources, the Bronfman family is actively planning a very important event at the site of a decommissioned factory on St-Ambroise Street in Montreal, in the Griffintown area,” Lajoie said Friday as part of the program JiC . The site will be transformed in an exceptional way, in the sense that it will be something very special. “

This gathering could allow, according to information that Lajoie received, to disclose new information about the possible construction of a baseball stadium in Montreal.

“I can not tell you if businessman Stephen Bronfman will officially confirm the construction of this stadium,” added the host. But I daresay there could be an announcement that the land in Griffintown owned by the Trudeau government is being divested. “

Things seem to moving very quick on this file, and we will continue to watch it closely!