Adam Lind turns 34 today.
Adam Lind was on our prospect list back when I first joined BBB. I remember the argument about whether he'd turn out to be a '40 home run' guy or not. It turned out not, but then not many players do.
Lind came up as a September call up in 2006 and was great. That didn't earn him a job coming out of spring in 2007, but he was called up in the middle of April to take over left field when Reed Johnson was hurt. When Reed returned, Lind went back to the minors (he didn't exactly make a case for staying, he was hitting .230/.274/383). Again, he was a September call up.
In 2008, again he started the season in the minors, but when the team suddenly parted ways with Frank Thomas, Lind got the call up. A 1 for 19 start and an impatient John Gibbons (fairness to Gibby, he knew if the team didn't win, he was going to be fired and he was right) sent Adam back to the minors and the Jays inflicted the two headed Mencherson monster on us.
When Gibbons was fired, and Cito hired, Cito's first and best move was to insist that Lind be brought back up. Cito seemed to make Adam his pet project, putting him in left and leaving him there. You would often see Adam sitting next to the manager on the bench.
With Cito's help, Lind had his best MLB season in 2009, playing 151 games, hitting .305/.370/.562 with 35 home runs and 114 RBI. The season set Lind up for some unrealistic expectations and he would spend the next few years showing us how unrealistic those expectations were. He wasn't going to be the perennial All-Star we were wanting.
Then 2010 came and he wasn't the star he was the year before. For a few seasons he was looking like a lost cause.
Then in 2013, Gibby came back and we, finally, had a manager that understood what most of us here figured out years ago, that Lind had to be platooned. Doing that made Lind a valuable member of the team, once again.
I've always liked Lind. He's the guy you could expect to actually speak his mind in an interview. He didn't just give would the pat answers that we've grown to expect from baseball players.
While I can understand the team not wanting their players saying that's that make their training staff look stupid, I like guys that don't worry about the politics of what they say.
Adam seemed like a guy that was happy to be in Toronto and he seemed happy to be a ballplayer. Good teammate, good community member.
Adam sits 9th on our all-time home run list and 12th on hits list.
This year he’s having a good year, hitting .312/.373/.544 with 7 home runs, playing part time.
Steve Delabar is also turning 34 today.
We picked up Delabar, in a trade with the Mariners, at the end of July, 2012, for Eric Thames (whatever happened to him?).
Delabar had an interesting back story. He was drafted back in 2003. He spent a few years in the Padres system, then was released in 2008. He played in independent ball in 2009, until he fractured his elbow.
Steve gave up his playing career and worked as a baseball coach for a high school team. That’s where he came upon the ‘weighted ball’ program that became all the rage for awhile. Using it, he was able to throw hard again and he signed a minor league contract with the Mariners. He made it to the majors in 2011. He threw a mid-90s fastball, a slider and a split finger fastball
With the Jays, he became our best setup man, he made the AL All-Star team in 2014. After that things kind of went south on him. He lost his command. And spent a couple of seasons bouncing back and forth between Toronto and Buffalo, before being released during spring training in 2016.
In his 4 Blue Jays seasons, he pitched in 143 games, had a 3.97 ERA and had 179 strikeouts in 143 innings.
And he had an immaculate inning for us, back on July 30th, 2013.
Delabar played for the Reds last year. He spent most of the season in Triple-A but pitched 8 innings for the Reds.
Before the season he signed with the Indians, but, at the start of this season, Steve tested positive for PEDs and was suspended for 80 games.
Happy birthday to both, hope it is a good one.