August 2009

Game 104: Toronto at Oakland


The only thing the Blue Jays would say about the reason Scott Rolen requested a trade was that the third baseman wanted to be moved for “personal reasons.” Beyond that, the general response was, “You’ll have to ask him about that.” I was told yesterday it was for family reasons and Rolen addressed the matter with the Reds media today:

“I’m thrilled to be here. This is as close to home as I can be. My parents brought me here to watch ballgames, and where I’m from there is a St. Louis, Cincinnati split right down the middle. I’m a Midwestern guy, and I enjoy being here. I certainly enjoyed my time in St. Louis with Walt [Jocketty] and I enjoy this part of the country. This is a spot I wanted to get back to and be here for awhile.

“When I was in St. Louis, I was real comfortable in that area. I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, and my wife and parents travel quite a bit, my brother lives in this area. I’ve always wanted to try and finish up at home or get back to this area, this part of the country. I did approach J.P. [Ricciardi] and asked if he would consider moving me back to this area, to the Midwest.

“[Cincinnati] certainly would be my number one choice. J.P. approached me at one point and said he would look into it and try to accommodate me. I know he worked real hard, and I know Walt worked hard. I’m very thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to get back to where I’m from, to where my family is.”

So, there you have it. And, hey, as a Chicagoan who has been living in Toronto for a number of years now, as great of a city as it is, it isn’t home and that aspect can be hard on a family. Now, one could argue that Rolen should be thrilled to be playing anywhere for $11 million. But, he is nearing the end of his career and home is home, I guess. His family may have had a hard time adjusting to being in Canada. Who knows?

Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Roenicke — two of the three players dealt to Toronto for Rolen — are both in Oakland with the Jays now. Roenicke is wearing “33” — Rolen’s former number with the Jays. Encarnacion is wearing “7” and is starting tonight at third base. Batting cleanup? Lyle Overbay.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (49-54)
Fourth place AL East, 13.0 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Joe Inglett, LF

Starter: LHP Brett Cecil (4-1, 4.27)

Thumbnail image for athletics.gifOAKLAND ATHLETICS (44-58)
Fourth place AL West, 17.5 GB

1. Adam Kennedy, 3B
2. Rajai Davis, CF
3. Kurt Suzuki, C
4. Scott Hairston, LF
5. Jack Cust, RF
6. Tommy Everidge, DH
7. Bobby Crosby, 1B
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Starter: RHP Trevor Cahill (6-9, 4.77)

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