Blue Jays to field most Canadian roster in team history

43 Comments

The Blue Jays opened their purse strings in a big way on Monday, agreeing to terms with Russell Martin on a five-year, $82 million free agent contract.

Martin was born just outside Toronto and grew up in Montreal, which might have served as a factor in the club’s aggressive approach to signing him. You know, marketing and all that. Here’s an interesting note from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star

Considered among the top free agents in this year’s class, Martin will become the 21st Canadian to play for the Jays. But he is easily the most high profile and is set to lead the most Canadian Jays’ team in franchise history.

Never before has the club boasted more than one Canadian position player in the starting lineup, and next year they could have three in Martin, Langley, B.C.-native Brett Lawrie and Mississauga’s Dalton Pompey.

Kennedy says the Blue Jays have been trying to stir country-wide interest in the club “more than ever in recent years” with a Winter Tour through the Canadian provinces, more of an emphasis on the maple leaf in hat and uniform logos, and by celebrating Canada Day with a matinee game at Rogers Centre. They’ve also begun playing preseason games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and those have been a tremendous success.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.