Blue Jays Blake McFarland is more than a baseball thrower


Blue Jays pitcher Blake McFarland is a reliever that’s recently been added to Toronto’s 40-man roster. But that’s only where the intrigue begins

Blake McFarland’s name does not jump off the screen when you scroll the Blue Jays roster. Like Bo Schultz, Ryan Tepera, Steve Delabar or Chad Jenkins, McFarland is one of many right-handed arms that will battle for a final spot in the bullpen. Off the field, however, McFarland is as interesting as they come.

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McFarland’s artistic work is something we’ve mentioned in passing before, but Yahoo’s Jeff Passan brought it more into the mainstream today with this fantastic profile. You can also find links to his various projects on his website, many of which are up for public sale. Along with creating images out of wine corks, he also makes sculptures out of recycled bicycle tires that will blow your mind.

“I realized after a couple years that art is really difficult to sell and make a living off doing it is tough,” he tells Passan. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I used to think it could be a way to live if I didn’t play baseball.”

"Recycled materials artist Blake McFarland uses recycled rubber tires to create amazing life-like sculptures of tire animals. Each Sculpture uses strategically placed tires which are woven and secured, creating amazing muscle-like definition of the animals. Each recycled  tire sculpture takes around one month to complete and has amazingly detailed features. Blake McFarland loves being able to be eco-friendly by using 100% recycled tires to make his distinctive tire sculpture art. To see the animals in person is a true visual experience but until then check them out on the tire sculptures page.Blake Also uses 100% recycled natural wine corks to create mural pictures of amazingly detailed pictures or words. Blake uses between 200  to 4,000 wine corks in each of Picture. They have a very natural and sophisticated feel to them that look great in any setting.–"

Athlete culture so often lands back at the common denominator of the postgame interview. Recycled soundbites without much opportunity for personality, which is the nature of the process, so any look at the more human side of a Blue Jays player is always enjoyable. Essentially, this is the same reason we value bringing guests on to the Jays Nest Podcast. Not to hear about their fastball velocity, but to learn what their pre-game meal is. Things of that nature.

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Perhaps the eco-focused artiste McFarland can help to fill the Daniel Norris-shaped hole that many Blue Jays fans still carry in their hearts. On the field, the 27-year old former undrafted free agent is facing a great opportunity after taking the long road.

Passan highlights his splitter as a critical pitch going forward. Splitting the 2015 season between AA New Hampshire and AAA Buffalo, McFarland posted a 2.03 ERA over 57.2 innings while holding opponents to a .200 average. Assuming he begins the 2016 season back in Buffalo, there aren’t many obstacles standing between him and a bullpen spot during the season as Toronto continues to search for solutions.