The Toronto Blue Jays bid farewell to a number of players over the course of the past offseason, however, none tugged at the fans proverbial heart strings like the loss of slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
Without rehashing the gory details Edwin Encarnacion left town for the Blue Jays brain-trusts old stomping grounds in Cleveland. The first-baseman would add insult to injury by accepting a less lucrative deal than the initial offer tabled by the Blue Jays early in the offseason when the market was still developing.
So Opening Day came and gone as the Blue Jays were tough luck losers falling to the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in extra innings, on a day when the Jays offence could not muster the clutch required hit to bury the O’s and claim victory.
Encarnacion was penciled into the cleanup spot of Terry Francona‘s lineup card and ended the day going 2 for 5 with a single and solo home run with his new squad.
Toronto baseball fans wondered if Encarnacion would retire his tradition of walking the parrot as he rounded first base after connecting for a home run. Well, we now have our answer.
The first baseman renewed his rivalry with the Texas Rangers crushing a Matt Bush offering in the 8th inning for a game-tying home run. And yes there was a parrot sighting much to the dismay of Blue Jays fans.
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Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders also made his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies after departing this offseason for the “City of Brotherly Love”. Saunders debuted in right field and batted 5th for his new team. The Canuck would go 1-3 with a walk, double and run batted in for his Phillies debut.
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Saunders squared off against his former Blue Jays teammate Scott Feldman who signed with the Cincinnati Reds in the offseason. Feldman who was utilized as a reliever in Toronto got the opening day nod for the Reds on the bump.
Feldman struggled through 4.2 innings surrendering 3 runs on 7 hits including two gopher balls. The former Blue Jay did manage to whiff six in his Reds debut while taking the loss.
The Reds/Phillies contest also saw former Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit toss a scoreless inning securing the hold for the Phillies.
That about does it for your Opening Day Blue Jays X-Files.