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Thursday Bantering: Silver Slugger Finalists

And bits of Jays stuff.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

MLB or Louisville Slugger I guess has announced the finalists for the Silver Slugger awards in both leagues. Baseball has a different definition of a finalist than the rest of us. For baseball, it means they were in the top few in the voting (Springer listed at DH is interesting).


1B: Nathaniel Lowe (TEX), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR), José Abreu (CHW), Anthony Rizzo (NYY)

2B: Jose Altuve (HOU), Andrés Giménez (CLE), Marcus Semien (TEX), DJ LeMahieu (NYY)

3B: Rafael Devers (BOS), José Ramírez (CLE), Alex Bregman (HOU), Matt Chapman (TOR)

SS: Bo Bichette, (TOR), Xander Bogaerts (BOS), Carlos Correa (MIN), Corey Seager (TEX)

OF: Aaron Judge (NYY), Julio Rodríguez (SEA), Kyle Tucker (HOU), Mike Trout (LAA), Randy Arozarena (TB), George Springer (TOR), Taylor Ward (LAA), Anthony Santander (BAL), Adolis García (TEX), Teoscar Hernández (TOR)

C: Alejando Kirk (TOR), Sean Murphy (OAK), Cal Raleigh (SEA), Adley Rutschman (BAL), Salvador Perez (KC), Martin Maldonado (HOU)

DH: Shohei Ohtani (LAA), Yordan Alvarez (HOU), Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), George Springer (TOR), Adolis García (TEX)

UT: Luis Arraez (MIN), Shohei Ohtani (LAA), DJ LeMahieu (NYY), Luis Rengifo (LAA)


1B: Paul Goldschmidt (STL), Freddie Freeman (LAD), Pete Alonso (NYM), Matt Olson (ATL), Christian Walker (AZ)

2B: Jeff McNeil (NYM), Jake Cronenworth (SD), Ketel Marte (AZ), Kolten Wong (MIL), Brendan Rodgers (COL)

3B: Manny Machado (SD), Nolan Arenado (STL), Austin Riley (ATL), Justin Turner (LAD)

SS: Trea Turner (LAD), Willy Adames (MIL) Francisco Lindor (NYM), Dansby Swanson (ATL)

OF: Mookie Betts (LAD), Kyle Schwarber (PHI), Juan Soto (SD), Starling Marte (NYM), Joc Pederson (SF), Michael Harris II (ATL), Bryan Reynolds (PIT), Hunter Renfroe (MIL), Brandon Nimmo (NYM)

C: Will Smith (LAD), J.T. Realmuto (PHI), Willson Contreras (CHC), Travis d’Arnaud (ATL)

DH: Josh Bell (SD), Albert Pujols (STL), Luke Voit (WAS), Justin Turner (LAD), Charlie Blackmon (COL),*Bryce Harper (PHI)

UT: Brandon Drury (SD), Tommy Edman (STL), Thairo Estrada (SF), Jeff McNeil (NYM), Chris Taylor (LAD)

Congratulations to Vlad, Bo, Matt, Teoscar, Alejandro and George.

The NY Times has an umpire simulator. It is kind of fun.

And Barry Bonnell and Pete Vuckovich have birthdays today.

Bonnell is 69 today.

He was an outfielder for the Jays from 1980 to 1983. I mostly remember him from Statis Pro Baseball, because he had a very good season in 1983, hitting .318/.369/.469 with 10 home runs in 121 games.

It was the Jays' first season above .500 and we had the beginnings of the team that would get us into the playoffs several times. Moseby, Bell and Barfield were new to the team. But we also had Alfredo Griffin playing short and I needed a good pitch hitter, in Statis Pro and he was the guy.

Bonnell also played for the Braves (pre-Jays) and Mariners (post-Jays). In all he played 10 MLB seasons, hitting .272/.323/.389 with 56 home runs.

After his career, he wrote a book, learned to a blacksmith, became a hitting instructor and I’m sure a couple of dozen other things.

Pete Vuckovich turns 70 today.

Pete won a Cy Young award (unfortunately not as a Blue Jay).

He was an original Jay, picked up from the White Sox in the Expansion Draft. Pete pitched in 53 games, starting 8, with a 3.47 ERA in 148 innings.

After the season he was traded to the Cardinals for Victor Cruz and Tom Underwood. We really should have kept him, he became a good pitcher with the Cards. After that, he went to the Brewers. In 1982 he won the Cy Young, going 18-6 with a 3.34 (Dave Stieb had a much better season, but the Jays finished last in the AL East and voters didn’t notice. I’m sure Dave is used to be overlooked for deserved awards).

Pete has an 11-year MLB career, with a 93-69 record, and a 3.66 ERA in 286 games, and 187 wins.

It is also Ron Shepherd’s 62nd birthday. Ron played in parts of 3 seasons with the Jays, playing 115 games, as an outfielder/pinch runner. He hit .167/.204/.278.

Happy Birthday to all three.