Jul 31, 2011; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Beeston honors former player Roberto Alomar (not pictured) during a ceremony to retire his number 12 before the game against the Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Rangers 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Picking Through the Leftovers of Hotstove Luncheon

Despite all the fabulous work I having been doing for both the Toronto Blue Jays and Vancouver Canadians over the past year, unbelievably, I was not invited (as a member of the fifth estate) to the hotstove luncheon Jays/Canadians love in this past Friday at the Hotel Vancouver.  More frustratingly still, the press that were there haven’t really written all that much about what actually went on.  Either that, or I’m not looking hard enough (to be perfectly fair, I probably haven’t put 120% into the looking).

Despite all that, I did manage to catch the radio interview with Alex Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston.  While eating some cheese on toast I attempted to tweet out the salient points of the spot to my miniscule amount of followers.  As there were a few interesting tidbits, and my aforementioned classroom sized twitter following, thought I would expand a bit on what was said in a post.

If you remember, there was a bit of back and forth in the media when the Loewen signing was announced as to whether he would be asked to the big league camp.  Turns out it was the World Baseball Classic which got him the invite.

As the conversation progressed, both AA and Beeston were asked ‘as Canadians’ will the Jays continue to support the Canadian team in the WBC by releasing qualified players.  Anthopoulos hesitated, citing injuries, other factors, etc as some reasons why players, Canadians included, may not be allowed to participate.  Beeston then jumped in, stating unequivocally that ‘while he was there, all Canadian players would be both encouraged to play and released to the WBC’.

Not super relevant currently as only affects a few players, and only Brett Lawrie from the major league roster, but the Jays have quite a few Canucks in lower minor leagues, so may be important in 2017.

Also may explain why Loewen was signed in the first place.  As despite some Jays commenters pipe dreams that he will magically learn the knuckleball from R.A. Dickey, making his way back to the majors as a pitcher, it is a pipe dream, he is a depth outfielder at best.

This was really interesting.  Just the way Alex explained it so flippantly.  ‘Ya, it started out with us trying to acquire Josh Johnson, but then I started just adding names.’  Seriously makes you wonder if he hadn’t decided to stop, if they could have traded for the entire Marlins roster and the stadium to boot.  Probably a nicer spring training facility than Dunedin.

I have heard concerns from some Jays fans about the Melk Man’s clubhouse presence if the Giants, the light hitting Giants at that, didn’t want to add him to their playoff roster despite the end of his suspension.  Anthopoulos put any fears to rest saying they did ample amounts of research both with the Giants and John Gibbons and all came back positive.  San Francisco were simply not going to put a guy on the roster who hadn’t seen any live pitching in about two months.

Obviously, with Lawrie being from Langley, he was a hot topic of conversation. After the usual jokes about how intense Brett is, the host, Matt Sekeres, did ask about the struggles Lawrie had at times last season and whether the microscope he was under may have contributed to them.  Anthopoulos tried to say, in as nice a fashion as possible, that if had been up to him, he would have hidden the third basemen a bit more.  And once again, Beeston made it very clear that it was his decision to use Lawrie as the face of the franchise.  This is just my opinion, but I got the sense that Beeston was jumping the grenade, as the most recognizable member of the business end of the Jays, for a collective decision that went a bit sour.

Speaking of Brett Lawrie.  He joined the radio broadcast later for a spot.  I won’t go into much depth as it was just cliche after cliche, but it was funny when Sekeres commented straight away on the ever present energy drink:

Now, it seems like Lawrie drinks a lot of these things. I was wondering if, with the elimination of greenies in baseball, as well as Josh Hamilton’s vision problems this past year, which were apparently caffeine (read: energy drink) related, if teams were going to look at and attempt to curb excessive consumption of these sorts of beverages by their players.

As the Team1040 was broadcasting live from the event, I’m sure there was more interesting content, but my wife can only take sports radio in spurts.  I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the Lawrie interview was it.  Would have liked to hear from Brandon Morrow who was also in Vancouver, but that will have to wait for another day.

Apologies if the quotes within the article aren’t 120% accurate.  As I said, I was multi-tasking with the eating, tweeting, and catching up on the Aussie Open.  Plus Friday was four days ago and my short term memory isn’t what it was.  The best news to come out of the luncheon was the announced two year extension between Vancouver and Toronto, taking their affiliation to 2016.  You would have to think that as long as things carry on much the same as it has, the match will go on in perpetuity.



Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

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