Canadian players have had a hard time finding their way to the Fall classic.
Look down the resume of what Canadians have accomplished in Major League Baseball, and you’ll quickly find that America’s pastime would be a lesser place without the influence of its northern neighbor.
Canada has brought us a Hall of Famer in Ferguson Jenkins of Chatham, Ontario and maybe another eventual Hall of Famer in British Columbian Larry Walker. Don’t just look at history, though. Its present-day exports include the National League’s best hitter, Toronto native Joey Votto, an accomplished pair of Pirates pickups in Justin Morneau and Russell Martin, and a promising piece of the game’s future in Mariners rookie James Paxton.
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A look at how the scouting of baseball players in the Great White North has progressed
“An athlete’s an athlete, whether it’s a Canadian kid out of Port Hope or a kid from San Diego.” —Paul Quantrill
Tony Lucadello developed a reputation as one of the best scouts in baseball. In his career, Lucadello signed dozens of future big leaguers, most notably Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Ferguson Jenkins. As Lucadello pursued young talent, he not only brought talented players into professional baseball, but he also, perhaps by accident, sparked a cultural phenomenon.
The Blue Jays' GM discusses his organizational philosophy, his love of scouting and how it plays a role in his work, and competing in the AL East.
He’s too humble to admit it, but Alex Anthopoulos has done an outstanding job since replacing J.P. Ricciardi as the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in October 2009. He has orchestrated high-impact trades, most notably deals involving Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells, as well as prudent, if not as newsworthy, free-agent signings. Just as importantly, he has been placing a huge emphasis on scouting and player development, which should come as no surprise given his background as a scouting coordinator. A 33-year-old native of Montreal, Anthopoulos has an economics degree from McMaster University.
A quick review of the pools and the likely outcomes, as well as the outstanding issues that attend the international event.
The first pitch of the World Baseball Classic is a week away. Rosters were announced Tuesday afternoon, making the whole thing a bit more real. We can now take a look at the players who will be on the field playing for their countries in March and get a sense of which teams are emerging as the favorites.
The latest PED-related scandals, politicking in the Windy City and with the WBC, plus other news from around the majors.
You don't need to know exactly what 's available over the counter at the corner Walgreen's in the Dominican Republic to understand that performance-enhancing drugs have been used in Major League Baseball. The past two weeks of non-stop coverage of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's admitted steroid use has reminded us hourly of that, and the media, the fans, and even many people inside the game now routinely refer to the period from the mid-1990s until MLB began enacting penalties for PED use in 2004 as baseball's "Steroids Era."
Clay returns with Part Two of his look at the WBC participants.
Pool B - United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa
The US is probably the strongest team in the tournament. The secret to that rating is their depth. There are a lot of countries who may have a .280 EqA third baseman, say…but if for some reason he doesn't play, their next choice is down at .250, and if he can't play, their next choice is at .230. By contrast, if the US loses a .280 player, they've got .275 and .270 guys lined up right behind--minimal dropoffs, even if they don't get their first choice. The upshot of that is a US lineup with someone like Johnny Damon as their worst hitter, which is how they get an overall batter rating of .290--a narrow second place to the Dominican's .292. But it is the pitching, and especially the bullpen, that really sets them apart, where they will line up Chad Cordero, Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan, Huston Street, and Billy Wagner. Overall, the US gets a 134 rating--tops in the tourney. The US' Batting DT is here and the Pitching DT is here (again, the file can be viewed in your browser, or in a plain text editor).