When John Buck got hurt, the Tao of Stieb beat me to the punch on Twitter to register his excitement about J.P. Arencibia getting his shot with the big boys. For this, he was called an idiot. Who’s the idiot now?
Without doing any research at all, I’m going to go ahead and call Aaron Cibia’s MLB debut the best of any player ever.
In case you missed it, here’s the video of his amazing day at the plate.
The most impressive thing that Arencibia did, to me anyway, was to make the usually-moribund crowd at the SkyDome come to life. Sure, the 8 home runs the Jays hit in total likely had something to do with it as well, but make no doubt: Arencibia was the star of the show. Aaron Hill also hit two dingers, but didn’t earn a standing ovation for every at bat. The Catcher of the Future Now even earned a bit of a standing O when he flied out to right in his last at bat.
I stuck around for a little while after the game and I saw the nice moment J.P. had with his mom. Their hug was nice, but as I saw Mrs. Arencibia walking up the aisle, she was wiping tears from her eyes. As much as a scene involving two strangers being emotional about something that ultimately doesn’t matter can touch me (and that’s an unreasonable amount) it did. I’m happy as a Jays fan, but I’m even happier for J.P. and his mom.
One more thing
I usually watch the games from the 500 level. The seats are good enough and cheap enough that I’m more than happy to watch from above. Today though, I used my voucher from the relocated Phillies series and got a prime seat behind the Tampa dugout. Other than the Jays offensive masterpiece, the most enjoyable part of the day for me was watching Yunel Escobar play shortstop.
Watching from the 500s, you can see the great plays he makes. Watching close up, you can see how much fun he has doing it.
Great players are impressive, great players who play with a smile on their face are something else entirely. Escobar has fun out there and I love it. Watching him toy with B.J. Upton when Upton was on second was great fun for me and it looked like for both of them as well.
If Arencibia and Escobar are both here for the long haul (and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be), we Jays fans are going to be in for a real treat.