September 2010

Beaches, Bautista & belated lineups

Hawaii.jpgBlue Jays manager Cito loves to travel, so it’s no big surprise that he has a list of trips he’d like to take now that he has retirement in his sights.

Before it’s all said and done, Gaston would like to do a tour around Europe, see Australia and New Zealand, and visit South Africa.

First things first, though, Gaston’s heading to Hawaii in October. While baseball is throwing its annual postseason party, Gaston is going to be kicking back on a beach with some good friends.

“I’m taking Geno and Nick Leyva to Hawaii,” Gaston said, “just to show them my appreciation for what they did for me over these years I’ve had them around, and my gratitude for what they’ve done for me.”

Leyva is currently Gaston’s bench coach and he’s worked on the Jays staff under the manager since 2008, and previously from 1993-97. “Geno” is Gene Tenace, who worked as Gaston’s hitting coach in the 2008-09 seasons, and also was a part of Toronto’s staff from 1990-97 with Gaston.

NO. 49: Jose Bautista was fortunate that his 48th home run — one that set the Blue Jays franchise record for homers in one season — did not leave Fenway Park on Friday night. It fell a few feet short, a fan threw it back and Bautista had it in hand shortly after reaching the dougout after his home run trot.

No such luck on Saturday.

In the first inning, Bautista drilled a 1-1 pitch from Boston’s Josh Beckett, sending it towering over the Green Monster and bouncing down Lansdowne Street. That marked Bautista’s 49th of the year and his eighth against the Red Sox, marking his most against any one team this season.


at 7:10 p.m. ET, Fenway Park

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgBLUE JAYS (74-73, 15.0 GB AL EAST)
1. Fred Lewis, LF
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, 3B
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Adam Lind, DH
7. John McDonald, 2B
8. Jose Molina, C
9. Travis Snider, RF

Pitching: Ricky Romero (12-9, 3.72)

Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifRED SOX (82-65, 7.0 GB AL EAST)
1. Marco Scutaro, 2B
2. Darnell McDonald, CF
3. Victor Martinez, 1B
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Bill Hall, LF
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

Pitching: Josh Beckett (5-4, 5.83)


Game 147 lineups: Jays at Red Sox

After an unexpected absence, I’ve finally returned to the Jays beat. While home for my son’s first birthday party, my Grandma Bastian, Maggie, was rushed to the hospital and was in a coma for more than a week. I stayed home to be with family and at her side.

My “Grammy” — never called her Grandma or Gram — passed away on Sunday at the age of 94. She lived a long and amazing life. Her death wasn’t necessarily unexpected, but it did not make the past couple weeks any easier. It was good to be home.

But, it is also good to be back working.

Grandma Bastian did manage to do e-mail — she had a small machine strictly for text — but she never got the hang of using the internet. That was a shame, because she was a big baseball fan and couldn’t get to my stories online. She loved reading the sports section of the Chicago Tribune on a daily basis, though.

Sometimes she’d cut out newspaper clips and mail them to me. A few times, I’d print out some of my stories and mail them her way so she could see what I had been up to as well. She remembered Babe Ruth and loved telling me tales of listening to Cubs games on the radio in the 1930s.

Her stories always had me in awe and were a big reason why I wanted to be surrounded by baseball for a living. That’s why it’s nice to be back at the ballpark today.

Here are the lineups…


at 7:10 p.m. ET, Fenway Park

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgBLUE JAYS (69-63, 13.0 GB AL EAST)
1. Fred Lewis, LF
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Aaron Hill, 2B
7. Adam Lind, DH
8. John Buck, C
9. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

Pitching: Brett Cecil (12-7, 4.12)

Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifRED SOX (82-64, 6.5 GB AL EAST)

1. Marco Scutaro, 2B
2. Darnell McDonald, RF
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Mike Lowell, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Bill Hall, LF
9. Ryan Kalish, CF

Pitching: John Lackey (12-10, 4.45)


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Game 133: September callups, lineups & notes

RC10.jpgOne year ago today, the only September callup I cared about was bursting onto the scene far away from any ballpark.

My wife and I expanded our roster by one, welcoming our son Hayden into the world. Man, time sure does fly. We’ve got a big birthday bash planned for this weekend back home, so you’ll have to forgive me for not making the trek to Yankee Stadium.

In the photo here, that’s Hayden and I hanging out in the Blue Jays’ dugout during the last homestand in Toronto.

As for the actual September callups…

Catcher J.P. Arencibia was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas and lefty David Purcey was activated from the disabled list, as expected, prior to Wednesday’s game against the Rays. More callups will likely follow on Tuesday.

Other updates…

Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay, who has been battling concussion-like symptoms sans concussion, felt “exhausted” after batting practice on Tuesday, according to manager Cito Gaston. That said, Gaston kept Overbay out of the lineup on Wednesday and was not sure if the first baseman would be cleared to play Friday or Saturday. There’s no need to rush Overbay back on the field right now.

Gaston added that shortstop Yunel Escobar was still experiencing some tightness in his back when swinging. That being the case, the Jays manager was not sure Escobar would be able to make it back into the lineup on Friday, either. Escobar remains day-to-day, but might play this weekend at some point.

And, from the hard-hitting journalism department, Arencibia rejoined the Jays without the long locks he was sporting last time around. Turns out one of his biggest fans didn’t like JPA’s look when he got all that national attention after his monster Major League debut.

“My [9-year-old] niece told me I looked ugly,” Arencibia said with a laugh. “She saw the stuff on ESPN and she didn’t care about anything that I did, which is great. She just told me I looked ugly with my hair, so I cut it.”


at 7:10 p.m. ET, Tropicana Field

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgBLUE JAYS (69-63, 13.0 GB AL EAST)
1. Fred Lewis, LF
2. John McDonald, 3B
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, 1B
6. John Buck, C
7. Aaron Hill, 2B
8. J.P. Arencibia, DH
9. Mike McCoy, SS

Pitching: Shaun Marcum (11-7, 3.61)

Thumbnail image for Rays2.pngRAYS (81-51, 1.0 GB AL EAST)
1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Desmond Jennings, RF
3. Carl Crawford, LF
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
7. Brad Hawpe, DH
8. Dioner Navarro, C
9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Pitching: David Price (15-6, 3.01)



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