Jose Bautista turns 35 today.
My Blue Jays wouldn't have been near as fun to watch, over the past few years, without him. He's given us so many great moments over the years. None better than than the home run in game 5, but many many other great moments.
When we traded for him, back in August of 2008, the trade didn't even merit a post on our site. It turned out to be the best trade of JP Ricciardi's time as manager and it didn't didn't get it's own post. He played in 6 games before getting his first hit as a Jay, and people weren't exactly thrilled with him. He hit has first home run on September 2nd.
He now has 243 home runs, as a Blue Jay, number 2 on our franchise list, 93 behind Carlos Delgado (he is going to need a new contract to get to the top spot). He's also 3rd on the list for bWAR among batters, at 36.6, next year he'll pass Carlos Delgado (36.7) and Tony Fernandez (37.3) to take top spot. He's also 5th on the team list in OBP (.384), 2nd in slugging (.538), 6th in runs scored (630), 6th in RBI (632) and 2nd in walks (675).
Beyond that , he's been the face of the Blue Jays for the last several years. He's had to share the limelight more this season, than in years past, but it really doesn't look like he minds.
Jose is intense, which isn't a strong enough word. He wants to win very badly. Sometimes his 'intenseness' rubs people the wrong way. I honestly never thought I'd see a player that would match him for intensity, then we got Josh Donaldson, who seems his twin in that way. It amuses me that Jose has, generally pretty quietly, stepped in between Josh and umpires when, it seemed like Donaldson was about to get himself thrown out of a game, on a few occasions this year. I kind of like guys who really really wan to win, though I'll admit, I do like it when Jose shows us his sense of humor.
I'm curious what the future holds for Bautista. 35 is getting up there, for a baseball player. In OOTP baseball, I always get rid of a player before the age of 35, because, in the game, they don't age well. In real life, he's signed through next year. After that, who knows.
I think, after next year, he'll have to be moved from right field. I think first base would be a good spot for him. I'm not sure how much talking the team would have to do to convince him to move there. And I don't know how much money it would take to sign him after next year. I think he likes it here, but I'm not sure how much the team will be willing to spend or how many years they will be willing to give a 36 year old slugger.
Anyway, happy birthday Jose. Maybe a win would work well as a present.