Aug 26, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) left fielder Ben Revere (7) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) celebrate the win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Blue Jays defeat the Rangers 12-4. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
#3: People really dig Ben Revere and Kevin Pillar
These out-of-town broadcasts treated the presence of Ben Revere and Kevin Pillar like an NFL team with two electric wide receivers. A big play or stolen base possible at any moment.
With Pillar, the Blue Jays fourth-outfielder-turned-Superman, nightly highlight reels appear to be the universal language of sports. Even on the non-Jays broadcasts, I saw several of Pillar’s great catches from 2015 played over the awe-struck remarks from their crew. Another thing that has become “normal” for us. Well, as normal as that can be.
Almost like NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., though, famous for his one-handed catch in 2014, Pillar is definitely pigeonholed as a defensive specialist. That’s not seeing the whole picture, as Pillar’s .275 average and 12 home runs have been one of this season’s pleasant surprises.
Ben Revere may have been a more welcome addition during a quiet offseason, but amidst additions of Tulowitzki and David Price, the outfielder seemed to be a consolation prize. These American networks love the diminutive spark plug, though, and seemed to be a little ahead of the game with the former Phillies standout.
It was just one year ago that Revere led the National League in hits, and as a constant base-stealing threat, the raw excitement he brings to a game makes for good television. It might not translate into much power or a 6.0 WAR, but these broadcasts absolutely loved the addition of Revere to Toronto’s outfield. One crew called it one of the better “value” additions of the entire trade deadline. Now that he’s settled in to his new digs, it’s hard to argue that.
Next: Lesson #2: A 29-team MLB