BALTIMORE — It is stinkin’ hot here in Baltimore. It’s about as hot temperature-wise as it was in Florida, but here you feel like you’re just wearing the weather. The humidity is unbelievable and this outdoor pressbox is like a sauna.
While sitting and chatting with Jays skipper Cito Gaston today, Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer was standing nearby. Someone asked Gaston if he’d ever had the unfortunate task of trying to hit against Palmer back in the day.
“I might’ve faced him in Spring Training, but he was in the American League all that time and I was in the National League,” said Gaston, who then chuckled. “And that was a good thing. I know Gino has faced him…”
At that, Gaston called Jays hitting coach Gene Tenace over and pointed to Palmer: “How’d you do against that guy over there?”
“Terrible,” said Tenace, shaking his head and walking away. “I helped him get to the Hall of Fame.”
A strange observation from today: inside the Jays clubhouse was a bunch of balloons. The largest was in the shape of a turtle and it read: “Have a speedy recovery.” A few of the others had messages like “You’re awesome” and “Thinking of you.” A note attached had a short poem and finished with the line “We still believe!”
No players had a clue who sent the mystery balloons.
Oh, actual news? Well, as the Toronto Sun reported today, Mel Queen is back in the Jays organization, working with Minor Leaguers. Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said, though, that contrary to the report, Queen was not brought back to “evaluate the farm system” and it was also false that Rob Ducey was on deck to be the next farm director.
Ricciardi said he helped bring Queen back to give the Jays former pitching coach a chance to work in the game again after being out for so many years. Ricciardi said that the 66-year-old Queen will help with “special projects,” working individually with pitchers in the system. That’s all there is to it, says the GM.
Ricciardi and Gaston also noted that lefty John Parrish will get at least one more turn in the rotation. Ricciardi went on to say that Parrish would be evaluated after his next outing and added that the club wants to get David Purcey up for an extended look at some point this season.
TORONTO (48-50) at BALTIMORE (47-50)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at a sweltering Camden Yards
Joe Inglett, RF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Matt Stairs, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Adam Lind, LF
David Eckstein, SS
PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch (8-6, 4.16)
Brian Roberts, 2B
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Aubrey Huff, DH
Melvin Mora, 3B
Luke Scott, LF
Kevin Millar, 1B
Ramon Hernandez, C
Brandon Fahey, SS
PITCHING: RHP Radhames Liz (3-2, 7.57)