Munenori Kawasaki turns 39 today.
Kawasaki played with us for 2 season, plus a few games of a third. He hit .242/.326/.301 in 201 games. It added up to a 1.6 bWAR.
Of course it wasn’t his play that we loved, it was his personality.
Perhaps the most famous post game interview in Blue Jays history.
And, as always, a fan favorite.
And he could dance.
Happy Birthday Munenori.
Jose Molina turns 45 today.
Molina was your basic good glove/bad bat type catcher.
He played 15 seasons in the majors, playing for five different teams. Two of the seasons, 2010 and 2011 were with the Jays. He played 112 games with the Jays, hitting .263/.323/.396 with 9 home runs, which isn’t bad at all. He hit better with the Jays than any other team, a 94 OPS+, when his career number was 64. Maybe it was Cito’s coaching.
Career he hit .233/.282/.327 with 39 home runs in 947 games. He played for the Cubs, Angels, Yankees, Jays and Rays. It was his glove that kept him in the game all those years. He threw out 37% of basestealers and his pitchers talked highly of him. And his brothers Yadier and Bengie also caught in the majors. Bengie spent a second with the Jays.
Happy Birthday Jose.
Nelson Liriano turns 56 today.
Nelson was a Blue Jay from 1987 until halfway through the 1990 season.
in his rookie season he played 37 games for us, hitting .241/.310/.342 and somehow he earned Rookie of the Years votes. Well, Rookie of the Year vote, he got one vote. He must have saved some Writer’s cat from a tree or something.
In 1988 he played 99 games, hitting .264/.297/.333. He played 132 games in 1989, plus 3 games in our ALCS loss to the A’s. In 1990 he played 50 games for us and then, at the end of July he was traded to the Twins for John Candelaria.
In total, for the Jays, he played 318 games, hit .251/.311/.345 with 11 home runs and 44 steals, good for a 2.2 bWAR.
After Toronto he played for the Twins, Royals, Rockies, Pirates, Dodgers and Rockies again. In total he played 11 seasons, hit .260/.324/.366 with 25 home runs, 26 triples (how many guys play 11 seasons and have more triples than homers?).
He was pretty much replacement level for his career. Fairly average defensively and, well, some less than average with the bat. But he played 823 games, so he had something that mangers wanted.
We had a stretch of week hitting second basemen there for a while. Garth Iorg, Manny Lee, Nelson, makes you understand why we traded for Roberto Alomar.
Happy birthday Nelson.