A few days ago Marcus Stroman posted a picture of Mark Buehrle and himself enjoying the sunset in Florida confirming that the southpaw had in fact become the de facto role model for the youngster. Stroman put it best when he considered himself Buehrle's adopted son, which means that the former White Sox pitcher is probably feeling a little worse than most that his child went down to a season-ending injury. The show most go on though, as much as I'd like to hibernate for precisely one year, meaning that it's time to pair up the rest of the Blue Jays veterans with their newly adopted sons. This year's team is perfectly suited for this exercise as there is a pretty clear divide between the group of young guys just breaking onto the scene and the superstar veterans who have been around the block a few times.
Just to really drive home the point of how stark this contrast is take a look at the players on the entire Blue Jays 40-man over the age of 30 (hint: it's all the stars plus Maicer Izturis):
Mark Buehrle and Marcus Stroman
The inspirations for this piece are the two likeable pitchers who seem to have a bit of an unlikely relationship as young Marcus is much more outgoing than Mark, but their enthusiasm for pitching likely brings them together. Even when considering their styles the connection doesn't seem obvious with Stroman tossing heat and Buehrle blurring the line between fastball, changeup, and stationary baseballs. Unfortunately the lefty's son will be away from his adoptive father for a little bit with the torn ligament but distance makes the heart grow stronger and the pair can reunite next year....wait a second. This is Buehrle's last season with the Blue Jays. If you had made it this far into the post without crying then good luck making it any farther:
Looks like this relationship was cut extremely short before it really got a chance to shine. What a shame.
R.A. Dickey and Daniel Norris
This pair can bond over the fact that no one really gets them. R.A. Dickey has a unique way of thinking about the world and a list of hobbies that you don't find on a lot of major leaguers' baseball cards. Norris on the other hand has a lifestyle matched by very few people making over $10,000 per year and certainly not similar to any of his teammates. When these two got together very few of their peers would understand what was going on, which makes it the perfect adoption scenario as Norris would finally not feel like an animal at the zoo with all these reporters talking about his van. The pitching styles in this relationship are also in stark contrast with Dickey tossing whirling knuckleballs and Norris showcasing a repertoire reminiscent of a stereotypical southpaw ace.
Jose Bautista and Dalton Pompey
While Vernon Wells spent the past week working with Pompey at the Blue Jays spring training, it's up to Jose Bautista to inherit the father role for the rest of the season. No one understands what being a star outfielder in Toronto is like better than Jose and it's knowledge that Pompey could certainly use. The personalities of the two players are not exactly similar with Pompey constantly flashing his Canadian-born smile while Bautista is anything but jovial in between the foul lines. Maybe the father and son pairing could benefit both players as Pompey adds an edge to his game while Bautista stops complaining to every umpire within ten feet.
Russell Martin and Aaron Sanchez
Admittedly it's impossible to know what major league players are actually like behind closed doors, but Russell Martin and Aaron Sanchez seem to give off a very similar vibe. Quietly confident, both players are extremely professional and are masters of their respective crafts. This father and son relationship would be mutually beneficial as Sanchez performing will help Martin look good (you can only frame strikes that are close to the zone) and Martin performing will help Sanchez look good. Martin could also provide a little bit of an attitude to Sanchez who seems to be slightly lacking the ferocious intensity displayed by the majority of his teammates.
Munenori Kawasaki and Devon Travis
For purely selfish reasons, this duo would be an extremely enjoyable attraction for the remainder of spring training and possibly the beginning of the Buffalo Bisons' season as well. The most outgoing and notorious Blue Jays player on the team matched up with the most unknown and under the radar player would be a recipe for laughs. While Kawasaki is sure to get eyeballs on him wherever he walks or jumps or runs or dances, Travis's arrival in Toronto was talked about very little and the former Tigers top prospect hasn't yet made a name for himself with the Blue Jays. Although they play the same position, this adoption scenario would be purely off the field as Travis has very little in Kawasaki (other than some wild fielding techniques) that he should model his game after if he ever wants to be the Blue Jays starting second baseman for years to come.
With those five adoptions unofficially completed it's time for you to provide your own opinions of perfect fits on the Blue Jays roster. Thanks to Elizabeth Banks (via Minor Leaguer) for the post idea which was much more depressing to write after Stroman's injury. Also another thanks to Minor Leaguer for another great photoshop!
@Minor_Leaguer New idea for a post: Match each veteran Blue Jay with their adopted teammate children. Dickey and Norris, for sure.— Elizabeth Banks (@ecb282) March 10, 2015