Tag Archives: Fredericton Royals

Because Matt Stairs said so

If you follow me (or almost any other Jays fan) on Twitter, you likely know how I feel about the team’s roster moves yesterday, as my feelings are far from unique.

“Brett Lawrie, yay!” quickly turned into, and @s_findlay put it best, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME JAYS. Travis Snider! What the fucking fuck! Fuck this. #incoherentrage”

But on this day when the Jays begin the career most-highly touted Canadian prospect in probably ever, I think it’s important to talk a little bit about the guy who is, for my money, the most-entertaining Canadian player ever: Matt Stairs.

The retired-from-baseball-just-the-other-day Fredericton native holds MLB records for the most-teams played for and most pinch-hit home runs. He mashed an awe-inspiring playoff tater when he played for the Phillies — a homer which lead to probably the only good quote about getting one’s “ass hammered” (SFW, unless you can’t say “ass” in your office) and also inspired a great T-shirt:

Stairs has even earned love from the stats geeks, with Bill James going so far as to say that, given better circumstances, Stairs could be a Hall of Famer:

“Look at it. Somebody decided he was a second baseman, he tears through the minor leagues, gets to Montreal, the Expos take one look at him and say, ‘He’s no second baseman, get real.’ He bounces around, goes to Japan, doesn’t really get to play until he’s almost 30, then hits 38 homers, slips into a part-time role and hits 15-20 homers every year for 10 years in about 250 at-bats a season. … You put him in the right park, right position early in his career … he’s going to hit a LOT of bombs.”

As if everything above wasn’t enough, Stairs, by all accounts, is a great guy.

And great guys, they don’t forget where they came from. Which makes it too bad that Baseball Canada has ruled Stairs ineligible for the upcoming Canadian Senior Baseball Championship.

It’d just be too good, I guess, to let Stairs finish off the year with the team where it all started for him — the Fredericton Royals. Too good, especially since, of course, the championship is being played in his home province.

Stairs being Stairs, though, he hasn’t ruled out any involvement in the tournament, saying he’s considering a coaching role. That’d be nice for all involved, but it’s too bad that the good people of Miramichi, N.B., won’t get to hear his excellent walk-up music.

UPDATE: Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Time just alerted me to his own post on Matt Stairs. Jaffe takes a look back at the most memorable games in which Stairs has played and the list is, unsurprisingly, pretty long. Worth a read for sure.

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Filed under Baseball Canada, Toronto Blue Jays

Don’t make Doc the new Sundin

What’s the difference between Roy Halladay and Mats Sundin?

Doc wants to win.

(Sorry, eyebleaf, I know Mats wanted to win, too, but stick with me.)

At the top of their professions, both guys were stuck on mediocre Toronto-based teams. Both guys were coveted by basically every team in their leagues. Both guys had no-trade clauses. Both guys seemingly wanted to finish their careers in Toronto. Both guys were subjects of hysterical trade rumours. Neither guy wanted any part of the media circus. And now, with the latest out of Doc’s camp, neither player is willing to be a rental during the last year of their contract.

If you can believe Doc’s agent, Halladay will approve a trade during the off-season. But if he starts spring training as a Blue Jay, he’ll end the season as a Blue Jay.

That, as ESPN’s Buster Olney says in the link above, means the Jays will only get two draft picks in compensation instead of whatever haul a trade would bring in. He also says it’s now “less than 50-50” that a trade will happen in the off-season because Doc’s contract expires after 2010. Guess he hasn’t heard that the Jays are allowing a window for potential trade partners to negotiate an extension.

Personally, I hope Anthopoulos gets a deal done ASAP. Doc will get a chance to win and the Jays will get something more than draft picks in return. I’ll miss Doc, and it would be cool to see him carve up Toronto’s opponents for one more year, but he deserves better than the idiocy Sundin had to deal with during his last year in Toronto.

Link Dump

• Griffin sets the record straight on what went down last season in regards to Doc and how Ricciardi didn’t botch the trade talks.

• No surprise here, but A.J. wants his bestest bud in the whole world to join him in New York.

• Think this Halladay situation is bad? Imagine you’re a Twins fan. Not only is Mauer arguably the most valuable player in all of baseball, he’s from the Twin Cities.

• Matt Stairs now has a street named after him in his hometown of Fredericton, N.B.  The street is right outside Royals Field, where Stairs got his start with the Fredericton Royals of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League.

• As Bud Selig gets ready to step down, Federal Baseball says good riddance. And they’re right. The way he treated the Expos was disgraceful.

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Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays