ST. PETERSBURG — I don’t know how many of you guys caught it last night, but Jays shortstop John McDonald showed off his man strength in the fifth inning on Wednesday night. With one out, McDonald walked to the plate and lightly tapped his bat on home plate.
Then, Johnny Mac tapped the bat on the plate again — this time a tad harder — and the bat shattered. McDonald just stared down and the broken lumber and shook his head, an embarrassed grin forming on his face.
“Tell them what you told the catcher,” Aaron Hill said to McDonald on Thursday.
“I told the catcher, ‘I worked out today,'” McDonald said. “The catcher laughed and I said, ‘No, seriously, I worked out today.'”
Guess what type of bat it was: “Maple,” McDonald said. “It was defective. I got that bat yesterday. It was brand new.”
When asked if he’d ever had that happen to him, Lyle Overbay laughed.
“I don’t have that kind of pop.”
LINEUP ISSUE: The Blue Jays lineup card that hangs in the clubhouse on a daily basis always includes the pitchers in the bullpen on the list. Today, there was a blob of white out over someone’s name and “Camp” scribbled over it in pen. Upon seeing the lineup, which is always prepared by bench coach Brian Butterfield, Shawn Camp poked some fun at the coach.
“Hey, Butter,” said Camp, pointing to the card. “That’s real comforting.”
UPDATES: Shaun Marcum made his first start with Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday — seven innings, three runs, five hits, nine strikeouts, two walks, 104 pitches, 71 strikes and a loss. Marcum will likely make one more start for the Chiefs on Monday before being promoted back to Toronto and inserted into the rotation again. … On Wednesday, manager Cito Gaston said it was “more than likely” that Scott Rolen would start in the finale against the Rays today. Well, Rolen isn’t in the lineup. Gaston decided to give the third baseman one more day of batting practice and he’ll likely start on Friday in New York. … It’s being reported that the Angels — in need of a shortstop — have talked to the Jays about infielders David Eckstein, John McDonald and Marco Scutaro. The waiver trade deadline is by the end of the day on Sunday.
TORONTO (68-64) at TAMPA BAY (80-51)
at 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field
Joe Inglett, LF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Jose Bautista, 3B
John McDonald, SS
PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch (9-7, 4.01)
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
B.J. Upton, CF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Cliff Floyd, DH
Willy Aybar, 3B
Eric Hinske, LF
Gabe Gross, RF
Shawn Riggans, C
Jason Bartlett, SS
PITCHING: RHP Edwin Jackson (10-8, 3.93)