As I spent my day at Fenway Park yesterday, watching the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox square off for the final time in 2013, I couldn’t help but feel that there was not something right with the world. After-all, this game should have meant something completely different for the two teams before me on the diamond. The Blue Jays were meant to be the team headed to the postseason, and the Red Sox should have been the squad evaluating their roster for a winter overhaul.
Still, it was good experience to see this edition of the Blue Jays live and in person at this stage of the season. I got to see a R.A. Dickey that has befuddled Jays fans all season, effective enough to last late into the game, but victimized by the long-ball and pushed into the loss column. There were the kids taking a front row seat, with Kevin Pillar hitting a home run and Ryan Goins making a spectacular play at second base.
But hey, this isn’t a piece on my experience at the game, this is the Morning Brew!
Wrapping up yesterday’s game, Brendan Kennedy notes that Dickey stuck it out through 8 innings and striking out 11, but as was the case all season, it was the home run that killed him. A three-run shot to Jackie Bradley Jr. and a solo home run to David Ortiz put the game out of reach for the Blue Jays. Curiously enough, it was Dickey’s first start at Fenway Park ever, a start that nearly came to an end early when Dickey argued a safe call at second base on an Ortiz double.
Speaking of the great play by Goins in the field on Sunday, manager John Gibbons tells Ken Fidlin at the Toronto Sun that he’s been impressed with the young second sacker. As the sample size gets larger and larger, the argument for giving Goins a shot at the second base job next season seems to be getting more and more debated. This much is certain, Goins is going to be a part of the 2014 team in some capacity, but its going to be a winter of adjustments and growth that will truly determine what role that is. It would certainly help in regards to the other decisions facing the club this winter.
Also in the Sun, Bob Elliott talks about an encounter with Anthony Gose in Buffalo, when the young outfielder asked about Colby Rasmus. Elliott recalls coming away from that conversation thinking, “Worry about yourself rather than hoping the guy playing your position ahead of you goes 0-for-5 with four strikeouts?”. However, after watched the two since Gose’s promotion to Toronto, he’s changed his tone a bit, noting how the two have become good friends, and of all things, hunting buddies. Personally, I’m of the mind that I like a bit of competitive spirit there, I want one wanting to take the job from the other, as it will drive both to be better.
Over at MLB.com, Chris Toman has a wrap-up of the Tournament 12 showcase being played at the Rogers Centre, specifically talking about how Josh Naylor and Demi Orimoloye are turning quite a few heads. Naylor became just the second player in the history of the tournament to hit a ball out during a game, putting a shot into the right field stands on Saturday. However, the 16-year-old will have to find a true position in the field to help his draft stock in 2015. Orimoloye is getting raves for all of his tools. He’s 6’4″, 215 pounds with a ton of potential and an athleticism that is projectable by scouts. He has the look of a star, as long as he can add some polish to his still very raw game. The future of Canadian baseball is looking pretty solid.
Have you wondered where Ricky Romero has been since his call-up to Toronto? The embattled left-hander has thrown in just one game since his recall, but the idea of bringing him up doesn’t appear to be about getting him into games, as Scott MacArthur at TSN.ca reports, it was about continuing the process of rebuilding the former All-Star. As far as Romero is handling it, he seems to be taking it all in stride, understanding that its a process and that he needs to be put into the right situations in order to help rebuild not only his consistency, but his confidence as well.