Adam Lind turns 40 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 only a few 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 made 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 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.
Steve Delabar is turning 40 today.
We picked up Delabar, in a trade with the Mariners, for Eric Thames at the end of July 2012. Thames has had an interesting career since, playing in Korea for three years and signing with the Brewers. He spent 2020 with the Nationals. In 2022 he played a few games in the A’s system but didn’t return to the majors.
Delabar had an interesting backstory. He was drafted 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. Steve could throw hard again using it, 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 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 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 eight innings for the Reds and was in the Rangers system in 2018..
Steve tested positive for PEDs in 2017 and was suspended for 80 games.
He retired from pitching in 2018 and went back to coaching.
Happy birthday, Steve. I hope it is a good one.