In two days, the Toronto Blue Jays open the ALCS in Cleveland looking to make the one last step they were unable to in their 2015 run.
Four wins, and a very strong Cleveland team, stand between the Blue Jays and their first World Series appearance in over two decades. As you await the big day, here are some stories and notes to catch up on from earlier in the week:
Cleveland’s team nickname is deeply problematic and racially insensitive. The name was chosen in 1915 after Cleveland moved on from their “Naps” nickname, a nod to player Napoleon Lajoie. It’s long, long overdue for the name to be changed, but Blue Jays radio announcer Jerry Howarth will be personally avoiding it in the ALCS.
“For the rest of my career I will not say ‘Indian’ or ‘Brave’ and if I was in the NFL I would not say ‘Redskins,’” Howarth told Peter Edwards of the Toronto Star, citing a letter that he received in 1992 from a listener who was a member of a First Nation that deeply impacted his thinking. Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell also tweeted out that he will be avoiding the Cleveland nickname.
The timeline of Russell Martin’s free agency
The great Bob Elliot has your can’t-miss read today for the Canadian Baseball Network. He pulls back the curtain on the process that brought Russell Martin to Toronto via free agency, from the smallest and earliest discussions to the press conference unveiling him. This should provide newer fans with a much better appreciation of the many turning gears that go in to building a Major League Baseball team.
Jays Nest Podcast – Episode 94
The weekly podcast is back with myself and Shaun Doyle of Jays From the Couch. This week, we look back on the ALDS victory that was and look ahead to the upcoming ALCS. Toronto’s bullpen and roster construction are also up for discussion, with a heavy dose of your listener questions to being us home. Listen in using the audio player, or better yet, subscribe below.
Big (Big) TV numbers for ALDS Game 3
Nearly one-third of Canada watched some part of the ALDS versus the Texas Rangers. Andrew Stoeten rounded up the television numbers here for Blue Jays Nation, and with all of these eyeballs, why not pay Edwin Encarnacion?
“According to the network’s release, the average audience for the game was 4.73-million viewers,” Stoeten writes. “Viewership peaked at 7.03-million, after Josh Donaldson’s mad dash to win the game on Rougned Odor’s error, and at least some part of the game was taken in by over 10-million Canadians on Sportsnet.”
Travis on track
Breathe easy, Devon Travis fans. The second-baseman tells Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling that he’ll be back for the ALCS and plans to gut out the pain from his bone bruise.
“Honestly, the biggest thing is pain management. Hopefully [the cortisone] calms it down. I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to get through this,” Travis told Zwelling. “This is the playoffs. Its something we’ve worked all year for. I’m going to get back in there and do my job.”
Room for Pompey?
Scott Mitchell explored the possibility of Dalton Pompey jumping back on to the ALCS roster, something that could be made easier by the health statuses of Travis and reliever Francisco Liriano.
While undeniably valuable, Dalton Pompey’s inclusion on a playoff roster is strictly a luxury. As a pinch-running specialist, injuries or needs elsewhere can quickly bump Pompey off. If everything stays the course, though, he could be in line for the 25th spot.