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Friday Bantering

American League Wild Card Game 1: Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Happy Friday. We have made it to the end of another week. Covid numbers in my province are spiking. A reluctance to wear masks (because all the doctors in the world have nothing better to do than to all conspire to cause us the most minimal of annoyance) and some big group activities have us close to the point where we are going to have to close down again.

Lourdes Gurriel is nominated for a Gold Glove, something that caught me by surprise. Lourdes is pretty good at coming in on the ball. He has that sliding catch where he slides a little right of the ball and makes the catch on his left, which is pretty spectacular looking. And Lourdes has a good arm. But going back or to his left or right, he’s not great.

Outs Above Average has him at a -2, somewhat below average. UZR/150 has him at a 3.5, a bit above average.

He’s in the running against Alex Gordon (11.1 UZR/150 and a -2 Outs Above Average) and Kyle Tucker (5.8 UZ and a 3 Outs Above Average).

I think that Lourdes could get to where he is a candidate for a Gold Glove, but I don’t think he is there yet. Obviously, I’ve been outvoted.

Congratulations Lourdes.

On Twitter, our friend, Ian Hunter, asked without looking, can you name which Blue Jays player was on deck when Joe Carter hit his Touch Them All home run.

The answer was Alfredo Griffin. Griffin pinch-ran for John Olerud in the 8th inning. Olerud wasn’t that bad a base runner. And at 35, in his last MLB season, Griffin wasn’t that great a runner. Cito had the reputation of not making many moves (something that I didn’t mind. He didn’t waste outs bunting or using the hit and run). But sometimes, he would let the critics get to him, and he would ‘do something’ for the sake of doing something, and it often seemed forced and wrong.

Anyway, the story is that Cito told Griffin that he wasn’t going to pinch-hit for him. Griffin hit .211/.235/.242 that year. If he came to bat, there would have been more critics of Cito.

Mark Shapiro did his end of season talk with the press. Among the things said:

  • He expects to be offered a contract extension and wants one.
  • There are going to be some minor improvements in Rogers Centre over the winter, but no major work.
  • Next year’s payroll hasn’t been set, but he feels that he will be allowed to spend ‘much like last year’. But the team has no idea what ticket sales will be like next year, or if there will be people in the stands or, for that matter if they will play in Toronto.
  • He said that defense and strike-throwing are areas that need to improve (no kidding).