I gave up attaching any significance whatsoever to “Truck Day” last year when I realized that Boston’s version of it — the alleged original about which people were angry that other teams were ripping off — had corporate sponsorship. From an airline. Airplanes? When neither the “truck” nor the “day” part of it is organic, unique or even arguably sacred anymore it may as well be some baloney Hallmark holiday that should be ignored.
But I kind of like The Platoon Advantage’s take on Truck Day. They’re using it to celebrate the life and career of former Yankee Truck Hannah. Let’s see someone sponsor him.
Know what I could go for? Bus day. In which all of the team’s 40-man roster assemble at the ballpark and alight a Greyhound — or a charter if they must — and head to spring training. Fans can say goodbye to them like kids going off to camp or something. It’d be swell.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.