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Happy Birthday Adam Lind

And Steve Delabar

MLB: SEP 24 Mariners at Blue Jays
If we were going to vote on the worst facial hair in Jays history, Adam would get my vote.
Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Adam Lind turns 39 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. It turned out not, but then not many players do.

Lind came up as a September call-up in 2006 and was fantastic. 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 returned to the minors (he didn’t exactly make a case for staying, he was hitting .230/.274/383). But, again, he was a September call-up.

In 2008, again, he started the season in the minors, but Lind got the call-up when the team suddenly parted ways with Frank Thomas. When he started 1 for 19, an impatient John Gibbons (fairness to Gibby, he thought if the team didn’t win, he’d be fired, and he was right) sent Adam back to the minors, and the Jays inflicted the two-headed Mencherson monster on us.

After Gibbons was fired and Cito Gaston 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. Unfortunately, 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.

2010 wasn’t good. He hit .237/.287/.425. For the next few seasons, he looked like a lost cause.

Then in 2013, Gibby came back. We 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 actually to speak his mind in an interview. He didn’t just give would the pat answers that we’ve grown to expect from baseball players. And, when he was here in Calgary on a promotional tour, he enjoyed playing with kids at the team events. I’m always impressed with people who are good with kids.

Of course, speaking his mind didn’t always go over well with the front office. I can understand the team not wanting their players to say that that makes their training staff look stupid, but I like guys who 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 pleased to be a ballplayer. Good teammate, good community member.

Adam sits 9th on our all-time home run list (146) and 12th on hits list (931).

Back in November 2014, Adam was traded to the Brewers for Marco Estrada.

After the trade, Adam spent a season with the Brewers, Mariners and the Nationals. 2018 he split the season between the Red Sox and Yankees’ Triple-A teams.

Career Adam had a .272/.330/.465 line with 200 home runs in 1344 games. If you try to look him up on Google now, you read about some reality TV person who seems to be having a rough life.

Happy Birthday, Adam. I hope you have a good one.

Steve Delabar is turning 39 today.

We picked up Delabar, in a trade with the Mariners, at the end of July 2012, for Eric Thames. Thames has had an interesting career since, playing in Korea for three years and then signing with the Brewers. He spent 2020 with the Nationals

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 a while. Using it, he could 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 for him. He lost his command. And he 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. I was at the game.

Delabar played for the Reds in 2016. He spent most of the season in Triple-A but pitched 8 innings for the Reds and was in the Rangers system last year.

Steve tested positive for PEDs in 2017 and was suspended for 80 games.

He retired from pitching back after that season and took a job coaching a high school team.

Happy birthday, Steve. I hope it is a good one