2013 Most influential Canadians: Jays fans
* Darren Brand (left to right), Robert New, Ryan Lindsay, David Cooper and Devin Campbell, Blue Jays fans one and all, wore their colours to Fenway Park — one example of the fans taking top honours as the most influential top 101 Canadians in baseball during 2013. ….
By Bob Elliott
Meet David Cooper.
No, not that David Cooper, the Blue Jays first-round pick in 2008.
“I was a day away from buying a David Cooper jersey when they released him,” said David Cooper.
This season when the Toronto native went to the Rogers Centre, more than half the home games, Cooper borrowed Jays jerseys from his roommates — a Jose Bautista uniform top one day, Brett Lawrie or Joe Carter the next.
His friends tease how he spent $1,600 on a 40-ticket flex pack and has yet to spend on a jersey.
Cooper is one face of the Blue Jays Nation.
The best thing that happened during the Jays 74-win season?
The Jays drew 2,536,562, a 20.8% increase from last year, the largest in the majors, a nightly boost of 5,394.
In a year that did not see a Canadian player rise above all others — Canada fare poorly internationally and a Jays contending season dissipated — one group rose above others.
The most influential Canadian in baseball this season, our seventh annual poll of the top 101 says, was … the Blue Jays fan.
* * *
Cooper grew up in Toronto. His family spent five years in Connecticut refusing to adopt the New York Yankees as his team. He returned to Toronto, attended Queen’s University and now works at Manulife.
He’s 25, fitting into 39% of the total attendance in the 18-34 demographic, 5% higher than the league average.
“It wasn’t the year I thought it would be,” said Cooper who lives in a downtown condo. “When they started losing again after the 11-game winning streak, I still had tickets. My friend said ‘yeah, but we’re still going. We went. It was still fun.
“I was hoping for more moves this off season, but I’ll buy a few for next season, I’m not losing faith.”
During the Jays glory days of the 1990s, it was easy to spot Jays jerseys when they visited Tiger Stadium (fans made the trip from western Ontario), the Minneapolis MetroDome (Manitoba) and the KingDome in Seattle (British Columbia).
You saw Jays colours everywhere: at Tampa Bay home games, in Baltimore, Chicago, Arizona, Houston, New York, Anaheim, Oakland, Cleveland, Arlington, Tex., San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Kansas City and Fenway Park in Boston, where Cooper and his pals went.
As Buck Martinez went to commercial the camera would pan blue shirts in the seats.
(Remember when they wore black?)
* * *
Meet Poonam Sindhwani, 26.
Sindhwani was part of this year’s attendance, 47% which was female — up from 42% a year ago and 6% higher than the MLB average.
Sindhwani lives in Ajax, works downtown and went to about six games this season. After work, her and her pals will go to a game and make the trip in on weekends.
Poonam Sindhwani, second from left, with her pals Kelli, Jasmine and Aleena.
“I grew up with two brothers, Ravi and Amit, as a ball fan when the Blue Jays won,” said Sindhwani. “Baseball as a live sport is a cheap and cheerful night. You get a ticket for $14, they play lots of good music, they have prizes and giveaways.”
Sindhwani says the Jays do a good job targeting the female audience.
“In the women’s washroom are signs in the stalls ‘you’re on your first date, how do you impress your significant other?’” Sindhwani said.
Then there are facts about the Jays 1992-93 World Series wins, Joe Carter’s home run, Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar and long-time Jay Tony Fernandez.
Females exceed males in both the 18-24 age group (54% female) and the 25-34 age group (55%).
“Baseball is the most affordable pro sport,” Sindhwani said. “They offer family packs, it’s a nice place to sit in the sun when the dome is open.”
And next season, after the 74-win season?
“I will be going to as many games as possible (including the home opener),” Sindhwani says. “As a fan, I don’t really judge the amount I go by how they do. I go because I do enjoy watching the team live or on TV.”
1. Jays fans (-).
They were the one constant coming out to see a bad team from the home opener (drawing 48,857) until the Jays went into the finale 23 games out (44,551).
– Rajai Davis greets a sea of blue last season at Seattle’s Safeco Field last season.
As bad as the Jays were, the fans remained loyal — and all those tickets weren’t bough lat January.
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (10).
If you listen to talk shows in Ohio and Kentucky, Votto hit .198 with 240 strikeouts. Recovering from two surgeries in July of 2012, the bad stuff on Votto: 73 RBIs when he had 728 plate appearances, 24 homers (Reds fans were expecting the 37 he hit in 2010, his MVP year) and what fans and management saw as a refusal to expand his strike zone.
Frank Thomas was knocked the same way with the Chicago White Sox.
The good stuff: the Etobicoke first baseman had a .435 on-base percentage to win the National League title a fourth straight year — the first not named Barry Bonds to do so since Wade Boggs (1985-88). He hit .305, walked 135 times, scored 101 runs and was an all-star. Fans want more from the slugger whose $225-million extension begins next season.
He remains one of the best five in the game.
3. Paul Beeston, president, Blue Jays (1)
Beeston had a good year. His team that did not. His club drew at the gate, he served on the Expansion Era committee as one of the 16 voters who elected managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the move of the Jays triple-A affiliate from Las Vegas to Buffalo was a success on both parts of the border.
The Jays end the year with an expected bump in salary of $21.5 million US on the contracts of Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and J.A. Happ. A Welland native, he is a previous three-time winner in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
4. Bob McCown, host, Prime Time Sports (-)
McCown has never ever made our top 100 before — not because he was not worthy, but because he was born south of the border. Further inspection by our crack staff shows McCown arrived in Canada at age one with his mother.
He had “landed Immigrant” status which at that time did not require renewal. Other than four winters during the 80s when he was in Vegas, he has lived in Canada the rest of his life.
He is fundamentally as Canadian as the next guy — except he knows more than the next guy and the next and the next. He took his talk show to Dunedin which ramped up interest on the Jays season even further. He won the Sport Media Canada career achievement award in October. He along with co-host Stephen Brunt and Damien Cox have knowing guests like Bob Ryan, Dave Perkins and Gregg Zaun. There is only one weak link in the chain.
5. Alex Anthopoulos, GM, Blue Jays (2).
So, what was his batting average this season? He had lots of influence last year, only little on the AL East standings.
We’ve heard opposing scouts say he went 2-for-14 on successful imports. Let’s take a look: R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle made every start and Jose Reyes was good when healthy, while Todd Redmond and Neil Wagner were good picks ups. On the other side: Josh Johnson, the key to the 12-player deal with the Miami Marlins was a bust, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Josh Thole and Chien-Ming Wang didn’t work out. You like Esmil Rogers? Most do. The Jays sent Yan Gomes to the Indians as a throw-in. Gomes will be the Indians starting catcher next season. Back-ups Munenori Kawasaki and Mark DeRosa worked out.
6. Dan Shulman, broadcaster, ESPN, TSN (12).
More ball fans listen to Shulman — the lead voice on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball with Orel Hershiser and John Kruk — than to any other play-by play man. ESPN’s 24th season saw increases in rating and viewership compared to 2012, averaging a 1.3 U.S. household rating, up 8% from a 1.2 rating, according to Nielsen. Games averaged 1,896,000 viewers up 6% compared to 1,784,000.
When ESPN does not have the TV rights he can be found on ESPN radio.
He carries Dick Vitale during hoops games and the Thornhill resident was given a multi-year extension in 2012. When not on the road he coaches his son, Ben Shulman’s Thornhill Reds minor bantams. His status at ESPN is more secure than his coaching position.
7. Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada (3).
Canada came within five outs of beating Team USA to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic. Canada finished seventh at the World Juniors in Taiwan.
Yet Canada maintained its IBAF sixth-place world ranking, behind Cuba, Team USA, Japan, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands. Canada ranks ahead of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Korea and Venezuela in the top 10.
A total of 17 Canadian Junior National Team members were drafted or signed in June. And some say that Tournament 12 was the brain child of the Peterborough native who lives and work in Ottawa where son Ty Hamilton, 12, is mastering throwing the Georgetown screwball.
8. Stephen Brooks, CFO, Blue Jays (41).
Tournament 12 was not his idea but it touched grass roots from coast to coast. The Jays were on the hook for overtime for grounds keepers (who set a Rogers Centre record rebuilding the mound 23 times in four days), first aid, uniforms, hats, photography, hotels for umps and instructors, printing costs, box office and video board staff, ushers and security, cleaning and even flying in two people from New York to run the MLB.com play-by-play since Toronto people had booked holidays.
“To give the Atlantic provinces a chance to say we’re as good as the Ontario teams, what’s wrong with that?” said the Prince George, B.C. native. “If the tournament gave an opportunity to one school or one pro team to see a player it was worth it.”
Brooks enjoyed reading the father of Andrew Case, signed by the Jays, saying how the tournament changed his family’s life.
Another way to gauge success: a BC executive met with two Atlantic provinces reps at the Baseball Canada meetings in Halifax.
“Usually when Ontario or B.C. delegates go to those meetings, Maritimes guys come hat in hand since they lost 15-1 at the nationals. Since they won T12, I thought I was in a meeting with George Steinbrenner.”
9. Doug Melvin, Brewers GM (6).
The Brewers went from 83 wins and five games out of the playoffs in 2012 to 74 wins, the same as the Blue Jays. Like putting a grade on Jays manager John Gibbons, deciding how well or how poorly Melvin did was difficult.
The roster was not what he had in mind a year ago: injuries, the 65-game Ryan Braun suspension and closer John Axford losing his job after four outings (nine hits, including four homers, two walks in 3 1/3 innings for an 0-2, a blown save, 24.30 ERA). They have been quiet this winter, mostly due to budgetary limits. Not a great year but it’s uncertain how much to pin on either the Chatham, Ont. native or his assistant Gord Ash.
10. Farhan Zaidi, Oakland A’s director of baseball operations (16).
How did the A’s know that Yoenis Cespedes would be able to handle major-league pitching after playing strictly internationally or in Cuba? Zaidi devised an analytical framework to translate Cespedes’ Cuban league numbers to a big-league environment and translated scouting reports on him by building a model that compared his scouts’ grades on Cespedes with those they’d assigned to established college players.
“If the A’s do anything, Farhan is involved, with Billy Beane and Dave Forst on everything,” said one executive.
The A’s repeated as back-to-back American League West champs.
11. Larry Walker, Hall of Fame candidate (11).
Walker was named on 21.6% of the Hall of Fame ballots last January.
The year before he was 22.9% and his first year of eligibility he had 20.3% acceptance.
He is expected to slip this year with Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Jeff Kent making an appearance for the first time in 2014, and the next year when Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez appear.
North Bay stats guru Neil Munro makes a strong case for how Walker’s home/road splits were better than some HOF outfielders.
12. Pat Gillick, Hall of Famer (8).
No longer the Philadelphia Phillies GM, Gillick is now an adviser to both club president Dave Montgomery and GM Ruben Amaro. He scouted west coast amateurs like first rounder J.P. Crawford of Lakewood, Calif., second rounder Andrew Knapp from Cal-Berkeley, fourth rounder Jake Sweaney of Bakersfield, Calif. and Oregon State’s Ben Holmes, a fifth rounder.
The signature of the Canadian citizen, now a Seattle resident is now worth money. Likewise for appearances at card shows. He insists appearances fees go to Dennis Gilbert’s Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. He has raised $51,000 in card show appearances and autograph signings since his induction.
13. Jake Kerr, co-owner Vancouver Canadians (62).
The final five seasons the Oakland A’s had their class-A team in Vancouver it averaged 134,673 fans a year. Saskatchewan’s Jeff Mooney and Vancouver’s Kerr, purchased the club in 2007 and the previous three seasons they have drawn an average of 170,222 a year to Nat Bailey, including 184,042 this season.
Minor League Baseball awarded the Canadians the 40th annual John H. Johnson President’s Award, which honours the franchise. The award’s criteria is based on franchise stability, promotion of the industry, as well as contributions to league stability and the community. Vancouver was the second club from outside the United States (Mexico City, 1976) to be honoured. Vancouver sold out 23 of 38 games, and won its third consecutive Northwest League title.
14. Jerry Howarth: broadcaster, Blue Jays (15).
Howarth earned the Jack Graney award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and hit the cut off-man (Mark DeRosa, who relayed to Mark Buehrle) when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Rogers Centre. He was in Cooperstown to hear Saint Shirley Cheek accept the 2013 Ford C. Frick winner for her husband Tom’s 4,306 consecutive games.
Howarth had worked over 5,150 games from the Jays booth missing for Robbie Alomar and Pat Gillick’s induction ceremonies as well as his son Ben and Joe’s graduations. A Canadian citizen since 1994, he coaches hoops, with an emphasis on behind-the-back passes at Etobicoke High School.
15. Walt Burrows Canadian director, MLB Scouting Bureau (25).
Burrows does such a good job that some teams don’t have an area scout in Canada any more. Teams scout Greg Hamilton’s Canadian Junior National Team and go off Burrows’ reports.
The Brentwood Bay, B.C. resident instructs annually at the MLB scout school in Phoenix and every other year in the Dominican Republic. He was a student at scout school in 1992 along with Chicago White Sox current GM Kenny Williams and Reds scout Bill Byckowski, then with the Blue Jays.
Burrows has been an instructor for 20 programs passing on his wisdom.
“To sum it up he’s the best bureau scout in the game — and he has the largest area,” said a GM.
16. Arlene Anderson, Sambat (4).
Miguel Cabrera swung a Sambat as he won his second straight AL MVP award. The Detroit Tigers slugger hit 44 homers with 137 RBIs and a .348 average with a 1.078 OPS. Anderson and hubby Jim Anderson, bought controlling interest in the Maple Bat Corporation five years ago from founder Sam Holman.
Besides Cabrera’s 34-inch, 32-ounce, MC-1 model, the Carleton Place factory churns out lumber for roughly 100 major leaguers from 27 teams including the likes of Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, Justin Upton, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Carlos Gonzales, Rickie Weekes, Aramis Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Dustin Pedroia, John Mayberry, Jesus Montero, Avisail Garcia, Ronny Paulino, Alex Liddi, Melky Cabrera and Carlos Ruiz. Sambat’s Alfred Maione, director of pro sales visited the Arizona Fall League in October to sign minor-league players.
17. Brett Lawrie, third base, Blue Jays (27).
Lawrie was missed — as was Russell Martin, another right-handed bat — during the WBC. While he was rushed to the Rogers Centre after only 19 rehab at-bats when Jose Reyes was injured, he displayed outstanding defence from day one and around August was more disciplined at the plate.
“He’s young, he’s going to get it,” said an opposing third base coach. “I talk to him all the time. I noticed him late in the season he was under more control.”
If there was a popularity contest among Jays fans for top Canadian players, he wins in a walk.
18. Jeff Mallett, part owner, San Francisco Giants (13).
If you pinned Mallett down he’d probably say his favourite sport is soccer (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Derby County Football), along with business partner Steve Nash, but two World Series parades for the Giants isn’t bad.
He’s a principal owner and executive committee member of the Giants, AT&T Park and 30% ownership of the Bay Area’s cable TV network Comcast SportsNet. In April 2009, the San Francisco Giants purchased 30% of the class-A San Jose Giants, part of the Giants minor-league system.
The North Vancouver native joined the Giants in 2002.
19. Fergie Jenkins, Hall of Famer (14).
Jenkins was a defenceman playing hockey growing up in Chatham against future NHLer Whitey Stapleton of Sarnia and later played hoops for the Harlem Globetrotters. He was in Chicago as the celebrity guest for Shoot the Puck contest between the second and third periods of a recent Hawks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Showing he’s still got it when it comes to his first sport, the former Cubs pitcher flicked his wrist and slid the puck through the slot from centre ice. Jenkins won a free trip which he will donate to his foundation to fight breast cancer.
20. Russell Martin, catcher, Pirates (36).
Martin wasn’t a popular name in the Team Canada clubhouse after changing his mind to back out eight days before the start over an insistence to play shortstop — where he had played one game as a pro at class-A Odgen in 2003. Justin Morneau and Brett Lawrie were both critical.
However, Quebec’s most popular player was soon one of the Pittsburgh Pirates most popular too. And when Morneau was dealt from the Twins to the Pirates he sent Martin a text asking if he needed a roomie. Martin hit 15 homers with 55 RBIs while batting .226. Plus, the Yankees also missed Martin and as one scout described his “Canadian toughness.”
21. Jeffrey Royer, general partner, Arizona Diamondbacks (18).
Along with Mike Chipman, Royer is a general partner under managing general partner Ken Kendrick. The Toronto resident committed $160 million over a 10-year span to the team. He grew up in Wisconsin and sits on the board of directors with Shaw Communications.
A wise man, Royer fell in love with the game and Hall of Famer Warren Spahn growing up in Wisconsin. Earlier this month as chairman of Baylin Technologies, a global provider of antenna solutions for mobile, broadband and wireless infrastructure markets, Royer opened the Toronto Stock Exchange to celebrate its listing on TSX.
22. Nadir Mohamed, ex-president and CEO, Rogers Communications (7).
Mohamed didn’t have a bad final day at work. Ole No. 64 (a nickname he earned when his sales were up 64%) spent his last day finalizing Rogers talks with NHL boss Gary Betteman. And when the day was done, Mohamed had completed a $5.2 billion, 12-year exclusive deal with the NHL.
On the diamond side, Mohamed didn’t get antsy during the woeful season. He didn’t decide to dump salary or bang the manager.
23. John Ircandia, managing director, Okotoks Dawgs (28).
The Dawgs drew 2,349 to its 2,650-seat Seaman Stadium in 23 Western Major Baseball League games — more than the combined average of the next five teams in the league: Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Regina, Swift Current and Moose Jaw.
Yet the Dawgs are more than a beacon for a summer college league, who play at the $8 million Seaman Stadium. Through their academy the Dawgs work out at the Duvernay Fieldhouse and Tourmaline Field — the best facilities in Canada — and have become provincial powerhouses at the bantam and midget levels. Needing help this winter with Dawgs pitchers, Big John hired Bruce Walton, who was in the Jays system for 16 years.
24. Keith Pelley, president, Rogers Media (23).
Now comes a difficult job for Pelley. The Jays are under the Rogers media umbrella, which reports to Pelley. Let’s say it’s a Saturday night and the Jays are in Kansas City, Tampa Bay or Anaheim in the spring of 2015? Do they air on Sportsnet Ocho?
Pelley oversees Sportsnet properties, including Sportsnet Magazine and CITY-TV and gets credit for hiring baseball guys Shi Davidi, Mike Cormack and Ben Nicholson-Smith, plus Stephen Brunt and Michael Grange.
25. Joel Wolfe, agent, Wasserman Group (29).
Wolfe signed Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, 34, to a new five-years $75 million contract. He makes $15 million next year and his salary in 2015 jumps to $15 million if he spends 15 days or less on disabled list with a knee injury in 2014. The 2016-18 options vest if he has 500 plate appearance the previous season. He also represents Brandon Morrow, Jason Giambi, Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Trumbo, Travis d’Arnaud and Bud Norris. The Wasserman group represents Yu Darvish, Hanley Ramirez, Yoenis Cespedes and Kris Medlen.
Wolfe has a summer home in Ayer’s Cliff, Que. and maintains Canadian citizenship. The former Bishop’s University student works at L.A. agency. His mother went to school with William Shatner in Montreal, which reminds us of Sun desker John Fitz-gerald’s headline when Shatner the Boston Legal star lost out for the Emmys: Shat Out of Luck.
26. Scott Moore, president Rogers broadcasting (32).
The man responsible for broadcasting all 162 Blue Jays games on TV (130 on Sportsnet, the rest on Sportsnet One) has given viewers a must-see pre-game show with Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun, bulked-up road coverage and increased presence on Sportsnet Connected.
After the changes last off-season, Moore put on a full-court press to inspire Blue Jays Nation. He also made sure Sportsnet aired Team Canada’s WBC loss to Italy, the lopside win/brawl against Mexico and the late loss against Team USA. Plus, Greg O’Halloran and Paul Spoljaric have their own nightly gabfest on The Score.
27. Gord Ash, assistant GM, Milwaukee Brewers (31).
If every team supported the WBC the way Melvin and Ash do, you would see a better product. Many teams encourage their stars to stay back in camp or hint to a fringe guy that going might cost him a spot on the team. The Brewers had more players on the original WBC rosters than any other club.
The Brewers trailed the Jays for most Canadians in the minors. The Jays had 16 including re-habbing Josh Johnson and Brett Lawrie. The Brewers had 10, followed by the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies with nine each.
The Toronto native, who has been in the game since 1978, often helps young Canadians (scouts, front office staff, announcers) attending the winter meetings as they try to get into the game.
28. Fred Wray, agent, Octagon (34).
The Calgary native looks after Logan Morrison, dealt to the Seattle Mariners at the winter meetings, negotiated a $750,000 deal with the M’s for lefty Charlie Furbush. He also represents Houston Astros all-star Jason Castro, plus Garrett Richards, Bryan Petersen, David Carpenter and Matt Shoemaker.
The former Junior National Team pitcher worked out the deal to get Mississauga’s Chris Leroux to Japan with Yakult Swallows and represented University of New Mexico catcher Mitch Garver, a two-time runner up for the Johnny Bench award, who went in the ninth round to the Twins.
29. Dr. Ron Taylor, sports medicine guru (26).
The man with the Hall of Fame friends (former Cardinals Tim McCarver and Bob Gibson, plus Blue Jays Robbie Alomar and Pat Gillick) is regarded a HOF doctor by his peers. Besdies his family practice he still runs, the S.C. Cooper sports medicine clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto three nights a week.
Taylor sees one and all: from over-50 masters to a draft eligible player. In both cases, the goal of the former two-time World Series hero is to get the athlete healthy and onto the diamond as soon as possible.
30. Andrew Tinnish, assistant GM, Blue Jays (19).
Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, Aaron Sanchez and Anthony DeSclafani did not pop as they did a year ago — simply because Nicolino and DeSclafani were sent to the Marlins, while Syndergaard was sent to the New York Mets. Yet his first-round pick from 2012, Marcus Stroman impressed, late-round pick Kevin Pillar (32nd) reached the Jays and Sanchez improved.
Shy on talent for Buffalo, one of Tinnish’s assignments was to stock the triple-A roster. Who knew Neil Wagner would be on the Jays 40-man this winter? Or that Munenori Kawasaki, Juan Perez and Wagner would all play such significant roles.
31. Dr. Jason Smith, Blue Jays physician (17).
The Calgary native attended Princeton, was a fourth-round draft of the Flames in 1993 and played the 1996-97 season at Saint John in the AHL before concussions cut short his career.
Smith began doing Tommy John elbow surgery six years ago after training under Dr. James Andrews. Parents of a young arm might have to pay $35,000 at Dr. Andrews’ clinic, but Dr. Smith will perform the surgery if you have either an OHIP card or Canadian insurance. Dr. Smith and Dr. John Theodoropoulos keep the millionaires healthy along with Drs. Irv Feferman, Noah Forman, Jonathan Gladstone, Allan Gross, Steven Mirabello, Glenn Copeland, James Fischer, Pat Graham, Mark Scappaticci, Mike Prebeg and Taylor.
32. Rob Thomson, third base coach, New York Yankees (24).
Next season is his 25th with the Yanks as he looks for a sixth World Series ring, the first four as minor-league field co-ordinator. Thomson, who lives in Stratford in the off-season, waved home 650 runs — including 144 hand shakes after homers. He’s looking to be busier this year.
While Robinson Cano headed west to the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees added Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson.
The Corunna, Ont., native, like Derek Jeter, was signed by scout Dick (The Legend) Groch.
33. Wayne Norton, scout, Seattle Mariners (44).
It’s not a surprise that once again the top amateur scout in Canada is the guy from Port Moody, B.C. who used to play in the minors with future managers Tony La Russa, Marcel Lachemann, Rene Lachemann, Steve Boros and Joe Nossek with the 1968 Vancouver Mounties.
Norton, who already has 20 big leaguers on his belt, drafted and signed the top Canuck high schooler Tyler O’Neill of Maple Ridge, B.C. ($650,000 signing bonus) and North Vancouver infielder Lachlin Fontaine ($100,000).
34. Dr. Marc Philippon, M.D. (5).
A partner at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., Philippon is one of the world’s leading orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Philippon earned his medical degree on an academic scholarship from McMaster University in Hamilton, completed his residency at the University of Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital, then served in Fort Lauderdale and Pittsburgh before heading west.
The US News and World report rated him amongst the top 1% in the nation in his specialty: hip surgeries. He has operated on the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Delgado, Greg Norman, Mario Lemieux, Kurt Warner, Milos Raonic and others.
35. Mike McRae, coach, Canisius (39).
Taking over a team that won four games in 2004, McRae not only turned the corner with the Griffins program, but he drove around the traffic circle, went to the second light and turned left on the green. He guided Canisius to his first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tourney and a berth in the NCAA field this spring. McRae has a 217-132 (.622) record in the last six seasons and he’s 264-241 in his nine seasons at Canisius.
A three-time MAAC coach of the year, he does not get beaten often in Canada. In his lineup in this spring were Brooklyn Foster of Langley, B.C., Mississauga’s Billy Martin, Jon Fitzsimmons, of London, Ont., Thornhill’s Jason Rubenstein, Mississauga’s Jose Torralba, Shane Zimmer of St. Albert, Alta., Michael Booth of Lakeshore, Ont., Langley’s Michael Krische, Toronto’s Connor Panas, Iannick Remmillard of Valleyfield, Que., Devon Stewart of Maple Ridge, B.C., Brett Siddall of Windsor and Cambridge’s Tyler Soucie.
36. Chris Mears, scout, Red Sox (54).
Mears will be the one of three Canadians getting a World Series ring next spring. Eventually he allowed other Red Sox scouts to have a turn in the June draft. After selecting Indiana high schooler Trey Ball in the first round (seventh overall) Mears drafted and signed the second, third and eighth picks.
Mears signed right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz of Seminole State College (second round, for a $915,000 signing bonus) catcher Jonathan Denney, a high schooler from Yukon Oak (third, $875,000) and outfielder Forrestt Allday of Central Arkansas (eighth, $10,000). His fourth round pick from 2009, outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (11 homers, 54 RBIs, .257 average, .687 OPS at triple-A Pawtucket) was dealt to the Angels in October.
37. Peter Morris, historian (9).
The respected Toronto resident who now lives in Lansing, Mich., released his book: Base Ball Founders: The Clubs, Players and Cities of the Northeast That Established the Game this year. It is his fifth book and completes a series of histories of clubs and players responsible for making baseball the national pastime. More than 40 clubs and 100s of pioneer players are profiled by experts on the early years.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) tracks and researched players for over 40 years. SABR’s Henry Chadwick award went to Morris in 2010. His mother, Ruth received an appointment to the Order of Canada as an advocate for justice reform and founded Toronto’s first bail residence.
38. Ray Carter, president, Baseball Canada (40).
Greg Hamilton accelerated the Junior National Team in 1999, Jim Baba made strides in the political mine fields that dot sandlots and board meetings from coast to coast. Andre Lachance runs baseball operations and the women’s national team, Kelsey McIntosh co-ordinates coaching programs and Adam Morissette gets the word out on those wearing the Maple Leaf.
Carter hired them all. We’re going miss the Vancouver native when he’s gone.
39. Ron Tostenson, national crosschecker, Chicago Cubs (43).
Along with Sam Hughes, son of legendary scout Gary Hughes, Tostenson had a lot to do with making Missouri lefty Rob Zastryzny their second-round pick and the top Canuck selected. Scouts looked past his 2-9 record in Missouri’s first year in the SEC and saw his velocity, work ethic and 24 walks and 82 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings. The Cubs gave him a $1.1 million signing bonus.
The former Blue Jays scout from Kelowna, B.C. cross-checked before the draft, covered Canada, Japan and Latin America seeing Cubs top picks San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant (first round, second overall), Brigham Young outfielder Jacob Hannemann (third) and Kent State right-hander Tyler Skulina (fourth).
40. Allan Simpson, Perfect Game Scouting Service (35).
How special is Simpson? Well, there is only one member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame who wasn’t elected for his play or work for a team. He was elected for founding Baseball America where he was a prolific scribe, and now does the same for the Perfect Game scouting service.
He rates prospects for the 2013 draft on all 53 draft areas (50 US states, plus Canada, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.). The Kelowna, B.C. native tries to fill the shoes of the late Randy Echlin heading the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee and is involved with plans as Perfect Game moves from Jupiter, Fla. to Georgia with 14 diamonds and a hotel complex.
41. Justin Morneau. Colorado Rockies (33).
Homerless in 117 at-bats after being acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Morneau helped the Bucs win a wild-card berth and a win over Cincinnati before losing to St. Louis in a deciding game. He hit .271 with five doubles and three RBIs as a Pirate. Morneau did hit 17 homers before the Twins dealt him.
Now, the New Westminster, B.C. native has signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with the Colorado Rockies. The former MVP has 221 career homers, fourth on the all-time list amongst Canadians behind Larry Walker (383), Matt Stairs (265) and Jason Bay (222). He is Canada’s conscience as Walker was.
42. Dave McKay, coach, Diamondbacks (42).
McKay has switched teams again despite in-season praise from Cubs boss Theo Epstein on how he helped outfielder Alfonso Soriano improve.
McKay has coached in the majors since 1984. He was with the A’s from 1984-95, the Cardinals from 1996-2011, and the Cubs for 2012-13.
Next year will be the Vancouver native’s 30th year coaching in the majors and his first season as the first base coach for manager Kirk Gibson. He was with the A’s for seven seasons and the Cardinals for 16 years, so he knows his way around the NL Central.
43. Ryan Dempster, Boston Red Sox (30).
The first batter Dempster faced in the World Series, Matt Holliday, hit a 1-2 pitch for a homer. Not to worry, he next popped up Allen Craig and Yadier Molina. After a David Freese single, he struck out Matt Adams.
That was Dempster’s only action as the Red Sox won the 2013 Series.
Yet, there was plenty to celebrate for Dempster helped Boston get there making 29 starts beginning the season as the No. 3 starter before being bumped to the bullpen.
He was 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA pitching 171 1/3 innings. He’s on the final year of a two-year, $26.5 million deal. Dempster won 12 games last season and now has 132 career wins, second to only Fergie Jenkins — plus 87 saves — in 16 seasons. He’s raised roughly $20,000 for Baseball Canada with his auction packages and this year will do the same Jan. 11 at the fund raiser at the Renaissance Hotel.
44. Jacques Doucet, broadcaster (37).
Doucet, the Montreal Expos French-language broadcaster from 1972-2004, was once again a finalist in Ford C. Frick voting in December for a 10th time. On the 2014 ballot he was up against Joe Castiglione, Ken Harrelson, Bill King, Duane Kuiper, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon, Dewayne Staats, Pete Van Wieren and Eric Nadel, the 2014 winner.
He helped his home province fall in love with one team, his beloved Expos, then worked Quebec Capitales games and since 2012 has done studio work for TVA on Blue Jays games. He was inducted to the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in May 2002 and won the Jack Graney award from Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, as his former partner Roger Brulotte did for this year.
45. Andrew Albers, lefty, Twins (-).
If there was a story which captured the drive and determination and Canadian ‘stick-to-it-ness’ it was Albers. After pitching at Kentucky he was drafted as a college senior in the 12th round in 2008 by the Padres. After seven innings he injured his arm and was released the next spring.
He pitched indy ball for the Quebec Capitales in 2010 and then had to beg for an audition making a solo drive from Arizona to Fort Myers alone with his self doubts and his radio. He made the slow trek up the ladder until he replaced Guelph’s Scott Diamond in the rotation throwing 8 1/3 scoreless against at Kansas City in his debut and a shut out against Cleveland in his next start.
46. Jonah Keri, Grantland (50).
A staff writer for Grantland (as well as 101 others places) might have the most wisest words on the web when it comes to baseball. The Montrealer now lives in Denver and his new book — Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos — is now available for pre order.
His previous book on the Tampa Bay Rays, The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First, was a best seller. If only the Rays could attract such crowds.
47. Rob and Rich Butler, Ontario Prospects (76).
The Butler boys take a lot of flack from the OBA for fielding elite teams at the bantam-age level and below. Yet, you can’t knock their success. One former Prospects peewee started out as a left-handed catcher. He grew up to be Ryan Kellogg the 2013 Canadian Baseball Network Player of the Year after going 11-1 at Arizona State, including a no hitter.
Rob Butler has picked up more knowledge on the pitching side of the game after beginning a relationship with former Kingston ace right-hander Jim Sprott.
48. Tom Tippett, information services, Boston Red Sox (70).
Tippett is thorough doing his analytical work … but there was this one day, the day of the 2012 trade deadline GM Ben Cherington gave him nine minutes: how convicted are you on the opinion researched the day before? Answer!
Founder and president of Diamond Mind, Inc., the software computer simulation game is considered the best by many. The Scarborough native attended University of Waterloo in 1981 before getting an MBA from Harvard in 1985. He began consulting with the Sox in 2003 and was hired full time in 2009 to run the information system.
49. Doug Mathieson, manager, Langley Blaze (47).
Once again the top Canadian high schooler came from Mathieson’s program in outfielder Tyler O’Neill, who went to the Seattle Mariners in the third roung. Like Langley top guns before him: Tom Robson (Blue Jays, 2011), Kellin Deglan (Texas Rangers, 2010 and Brett Lawrie (Brewers, 2008) for the fourth time in the last seven years.
Now scouting for the Diamondbacks, Mathieson drafted right-hander Kurtis Kostuk from Abbotsford, B.C. Arizona also signed Victoria’s Tom Brendel (6-1, 2.98 at single-A South Bend). And when he’s not telling his pitches “to compete,” Mathieson is watching his son Scott Mathieson, who has bounced back from a second Tommy John surgery, to earn a second contract with the Youmiuri Giants in Japan.
50. Jamie Lehman, Canadian scout, Blue Jays (61).
Lehman drafted and signed infielder Tim Locastro of the NCAA Division III Ithaca Bombers in the 13th round. Locastro had an ugly swing but he made contact so often, hitting .283 at Rookie-class Bluefield, he was nicknamed the Magician.
That’s four successful “gut feel” picks in a row for Lehman: Shane Dawson, of Drayton Valley, Alta., (17th round, 2012) who a scout told us made two of the most athletic plays he’s ever seen a pitcher make at class-A Vancouver; right-hander Tom Robson of Ladner (fourth, 2011) 6-0 at Bluefield and Vancouver and he fought hard for Mississauga late bloomer Dalton Pompey (16th, 2010).
51. Murray Cook, scout, Tigers (64).
There is a reason that you see the Tigers in the post-season year after year. And it’s men like Cook. The Sackville, N.B., native began his scouting career in 1972 after his playing days in the Pittsburgh system ended. He went on to be general manager of the Yankees, Expos and Reds. His next stop should be St. Marys and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cook, Chad Mottola’s father-in-law, routinely checks in on the Canadian Junior National Team on its rounds through Florida. He’s a two-time former scout of the year. This year he had two Tiger drafts, right-hander Johnnie Kirkland (25th round), and outfielder Adrian Castano (26th), and signed free agent catcher Chris Taladay.
52. Charlie Wilson director, minor league operations, Blue Jays (45)
Paul Beeston may have moved the Jays from Vegas (last outpost of the 30 triple-A affiliate after they were booted out of Syracuse) to Buffalo. Yet, it was Wilson who worked on Buffalo signing a two-year extension … one year into the two-year deal. Buffalo will be home to Jays farmhands for the next three seasons.
This is the Toronto native’s 10th year on this job and celebrations are planned throughout stops on the Jays minor-league system for a man as homegrown as Roy Halladay or Dave Stieb ever were. He sets budgets, signs international free agents, and runs spring training.
53. Steve Wilson, Pacific Rim supervisor, Yankees (66).
Before switching teams, Wilson was with the Cubs who said they had budgeted to pay a penalty for exceeding their international spending pool by 10-15%. Wilson gave right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng, the youngest player on Chinese Taipei’s WBC roster, a $1.625 million bonus. Tseng was part of the 2012 World Junior champs, pitched in the Asian championships and had his fastball clocked at 95 mph.
Wilson also signed Korean Jae-Hoon Ha, who hit .254 with six homers and 35 RBIs in 90 games at triple-A Iowa and double-A Tennessee. Reliever Chang-Yong Lim had a 1.61 ERA in 22 1/3 innings before being promoted to the Cubs in September.
54. Jason Sinnarajah, analytics, Cleveland Indians (39).
The Bond Park graduate moved to Bellingham, Wash. in 1995, played against Justin Morneau and attended Boston College. He worked for Google in Australia, Japan and San Francisco for five years.
Sinnarajah was hired as part of Indians president Mark Shapiro’s executive development fellowship and was promoted to an organizational development strategist this year. His group helps out with our sales organization and improving business analytics to help make data driven decisions.
55. Geoff Molson, Canadiens owner (-).
Warren Cromartie has been out stumping the bushes, but if there is one man who deserves credit on the Montreal end of things for bringing major league ball back to the Olympic Stadium it is Molson.
Evenko, the entertainment arm of the Habs came up with the idea.
Jays president Paul Beeston and troubleshooting vice-president Howard Starkman put the deal together so that the Jays would visit the New York Mets for two exhibition games at the end of next spring. A two-game total of 60,000 fans are expected and you know if the Canadiens are involved it will be first class.
56. Denis Boucher, scout, Yankees (50).
Boucher drafted Cal Quantrill in the 22nd round but Quantrill chose Stanford over signing. A former Boucher sign, Windsor lefty Evan Rutckyj went 10-9 with the single-A Charleston River Dogs, the second-most wins behind only Andrew Albers amongst Canadians.
Boucher was the pitching coach for Team Canada during the WBC when the benches cleared against Mexico after Chris Robinson bunted for a hit and Rene Tosoni was hit with the third attempt by Team Mexico pitcher Arnold Leon. The Lachine, Que. product has passed on a lot of knowledge to his pitchers over the years, but we didn’t know he could teach a left-handed hook like the one Jay Johnson of Sussex Corner, N.B. landed.
57. Jim Baba, director general, Baseball Canada (55).
The Moose Jaw, Sask. resident was inducted into the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame in 2009 as a player and this year he was the guest speaker at the ceremonies. The chair of the International Baseball Federation Tournaments Commission, a group in charge of the rules and designs of the IBAF championships, joked “Must not have done a very good job because Jane Shury made me come back and do it again.”
Baba, an IBAF rep on the review committee of the WBC rules, recalled a young Andrew Albers in the SkyDome, as a 15-year-old for the Mizuno camp with “that wide-eyed look ‘what an honour to be here’ demeanor” and compared it to the look on Albers face after his shut out against the Indians.
58. Ryan Kellogg, left-hander, Arizona State (-).
Used to be it was silly for a Canadian high schooler to even consider trying to attend a top 25-ranked NCAA program in California, Florida or Texas. Markham’s George Kottaras was the only guy we remember coming close. He was set to transfer from Connors State to Florida, but signed when the San Diego Padres gave him a $300,000 bonus.
Kellogg changed that perception Canadians should have of staying away from big schools. He won in relief, moved into the rotation and won 11 straight not losing until the NCAA in Game 2 of the NCAA Fullerton Regional when he was edged 1-0.
59. Melinda and Edward Rogers (-).
Two children of the late Ted Rogers are involved in running the company and have a great deal of influence. Melinda is a key force in Jays Care, a reason why the Jays won the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence. Handed out annually since 2010, the award goes to a team which exhibits grass roots charitable work to promote amateur ball across the country. The Foundation receives a $10,000 grant from MLB.
The Blue Jays Academy, run by Rob Jack and Duane Ward with special Hall of Fame guest star Robbie Alomar has been a success in each stop it has made coast to coast. Ball fields, including lights have been refurbished and programs to run leagues in low-income neighbourhoods have been a success.
60. Bill Yuill, owner (-)
The Medicine Hat resident owns the Medford Rogues of the West Coast summer league. He also was a player in a group with John Simone and former Blue Jays executive Elliott Wahle which bid $1 million to purchase triple-A Syracuse. The bid lost out to local interests.
Yuill is on the board of directors of Shaw Communications and owns the Everett Silvertips in the WHL, the Amarillo Bulls of North American Hockey League and the North Iowa Bulls of the North American Tier III Hockey League.
61. Jon Lalonde, pro scout, Jays (72)
The Jays are still reaping the rewards from past Lalonde drafts.
Failed starter Brett Cecil (first round, 38th over-all in 2007) became an all-star as a reliever. Casey Janssen (fourth, 2004) was again a reliable closer, lefty Aaron Loup (ninth, 2009) did his job, second baseman Ryan Goins (fourth, 2009) emerged as an option for next season and Drew Hutchison (15th, 2009) should return to the rotation next year. Plus Jake Marisnick (third, 2009) made the majors with the Marlins.
Former No. 1 pick J.P. Arencibia (first, 2007) is gone — gone to a second straight December World Series contender.
62. Dean Bender, vice president, Rogers (69).
He was the creative force behind the Jays branding, graphics, logo, set and commercials. I loved the main commercial — even in September — as Canadian Emily Haines of the band Metric sang Stadium Love in front of excited fans. The players posing got old real quick … and running the R.A. Dickey “as soon as Alex told me he was all in” press conference when they were 20 games bordered on annoying.
You might think that new Sportsnet, Sportsnet 590 The Fan and Sportsnet 360 logos are similar to the Buffalo Bills. You might be right.
63. Ellen Harrigan, director administration, Dodgers (57).
The routine is the same after every sellout at Dodger Stadium: employees receive cookies in their office the next day. And when the Dodger increase their lead in first place, it’s ice cream. Both traditions go back to the when the O’Malley family owned the team.
That’s a small part of Harrigan’s world. So is knowing NBA star Magic Johnson, part of the new ownership group. The Beeton native and former St. Catharines GM is in her 14th season negotiating 10-to-12 major league contracts a year doing the writing of contracts, tracking all the bonuses and making sure everyone gets paid correctly.”
64. Mike Wilner, broadcaster, The Fan (48).
His pre-game, pre, pre-game show, rain-delay show, post-game and third man in the booth didn’t work any less this season broadcasting Blue Jays games. Yet, after helping cause a ground swell for the late Tom Cheek to win the Ford C. Frick award, he hasn’t helped get anyone to Cooperstown. Well not yet anyway.
We’ll know soon if the Wilner lobby was successful to get Jack Morris, who may not return to the Jays, elected in his final year on the ballot
65. Blake Corosky, agent, True Gravity Sports (-).
Besides representing Minnesota Twins lefty Andrew Albers from North Battleford, Sask. and Newmarket’s Pete Orr, who was with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, Corosky had four clients drafted last year: two all Americans from Louisville, one each from Kent State andSouthern Nevada.
True Gravity represents Toronto’s Maxx Tissenbaum, Brampton’s Jasvir Rakkar, Jonathan Jones of Laval, Que. and Windsor’s Joel Pierce. The Toronto resident has been certified by the Player’s Association since 2006. Client Andrew Robinson (a double-A arm in the Astros system) pitched in the Arizona Fall League and he had three playing winter ball: Terry Doyle, Derek Eitel and Rommie Lewis.
66. Bill Shaikin, columnist, Los Angeles Times (59).
The old rule about no cheering in the press box still holds true. Now, lobbying that’s a different matter. Montreal-native Shaikin can often be spotted wearing a very old Expos jacket on chilly nights each October. (Full disclosure I wore a Team Canada jacket for luck the night in St. Louis in 2011 when Canada edged Team USA to win Pan-Am gold.)
Yet, more than old windbreakers makes the man. Shaikin does an excellent job, be it covering the Angels or the Dodgers like a tarp.
67. Paul Quantrill, pitching coach, Ontario Terriers (69).
Quantrill had the two best high school pitchers primed and ready for scouts leading into the June draft: Peterborough lefty Travis Seabrooke, the top Canuck high school pitcher drafted, who went in the fifth round to the Orioles and his son, Cal Quantrill, who some say turned down seven figures to attend classes at Stanford. Seabrooke and Quantrill pitched for the Ontario Terriers and coach Scott Van deValk.
Ajax’s Sean Ratcliffe of the Ontario Blue Jays was the second high school arm drafted (18th) while Quantrill went in the 22nd.
He also works for the Toronto Blue Jays, as part of Paul Beeston’s posse which includes Robbbie Alomar, Cito Gaston, Fred McGriff and may soon expand to include Roy Halladay.
68. Kevin Briand, scout, Blue Jays (56).
The Montrealer was a pro cross checker with input on major-league player evaluations. He learned his trade as the Jays Canadian scout. He’s still well known in various associations across the country as he used to be the man who gave out grants for improvements to fields or lights.
He did spot a good-looking right-hander with a good change on a rare off day at an Etobicoke diamond this summer: Richard Briand.
69. Bill Byckowski, scout, Reds (58).
Byckowski drafted West Kelowna, B.C. catcher Morgan Lofstrom of the Okanagan Athletics in the 20th round and gave him a $100,000 bonus.
Byckowski was otherwise busy as his youngest son, Robert Byckowski, established himself as one of the better hitters in the country heading into next June’s draft. Robert attended the Area Codes Games, a showcase at the MetroDome in Minneapolis, Syracuse and knocked down fences at Tournament 12.
70. Tom Tango, statistical consultant, Cubs (73).
The Montrealer provides answers for his Chicago Cubs boss Theo Epstein and his staff. Tom Tango and “TangoTiger” are the aliases he uses on line.
The sabermetrician has dealt with such topics as FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) a more accurate number to rate starters than ERA, implements “Marcel the Monkey forecasting system,” a projection system which uses three years of weighted player statistics with age adjustment to predict what can be expected and developed the wOBA metric measuring overall offensive contributions.
71. Danny Bleiwas, coach, Ontario Blue Jays (75).
For the third straight year his team had the best year of any elite team having six current or alumni players drafted. They led with six in 2012 and four in 2011, sharing the title with Danny Thompson’s Ontario Terriers. This June, Mississauga’s Malik Collymore went first going to the Cardinals in the 10th round, followed by Ajax’s Sean Ratcliffe (18th) who went to the Toronto Blue Jays; Toronto’s Daniel Pinero (20th) was chosen by the Astros; Peterborough’s Mike Reeves (21st) to the Toronto Blue Jays; Mississauga’s Owen Spiwak (26th) to the Mets and Whitby’s Julian Service (37th) to the Twins.
And next June look for more of the same for Bleiwas, coaches Shawn Travers, Mike Steed, Joey Ellison and others as the top three high schoolers all wear Ontario Blue Jays uniforms: North York outfielder Gareth Morgan, Brampton right-hander Zachary Pop and Etobicoke infielder Robert Byckowski.
72. William Humber, historian (67).
His next book will be his 12th. My fave is the exhaustive research he did tracking the all-time list of Canadians to appear in the majors in 2001 (not easy task when the National Association, the Federal League, the American and National Leagues). Guelph’s Mike Brannock was the first big-league Canuck.
Research continues and evolves: Brannock turned out to be from Douglas, Mass., as Port Hope’s Bod Addy originally thought to be an American, of the Rockford Forest Citys turned out to be No. 1. A wonderful speaker and wordsmith himself, the Seneca College director conducts pre-spring training classes for fans with excellent guests (save for one week).
73. Tyler Moe, scout, Orioles (-).
As the scouting profession goes Moe is a young pup. In his second year on the job, he landed the highest drafted high school arm in Canada: Peterborough lefty Travis Seabrooke from Scott Van de Valk’s Ontario Terriers in the fifth round.
Then, ex-Jays scout Gary Rajsich, now the Orioles scouting director, and Moe talked Seabrooke into passing on his scholarship to Boston College and giving him a $291,800 bonus. Some scouts work 10 years and don’t wind up with an arm like Seabrooke’s.
74. Jay Lapp, scouting supervisor, Brewers (52).
Not every scout has one of his signs pitch in the World Series or pitch well — five strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings.
Lapp had that in St. Louis reliever John Axford. The Port Dover hero was signed at a workout at The Baseball Zone in Mississauga after he’d been released by the Yankees. Lapp made the drive in a snow storm from London, Ont.
The Brewers had one draft in June Laval’s Charles Leblanc. The 10 Canadian Brewers in the minors, second to only the Blue Jays, were either signed by Marty Lehn of Oliver, B.C. or Lapp.
75. Jim Stevenson, area scout, Astros (63).
The former Leaside coach, who signed Yovani Gallardo, had one his drafts, Dallas Keuchel, a seventh rounder from the University of Arkansas in 2009 make 22 starts for Houston, going 6-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 153 2/3 innings. Keuchel shared the Astros lead in innings pitched with Lucas Harrell.
Bobby Doran, a fourth rounder from 2010 was 11-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 31 games making 21 starts at double-A Corpus Christi and triple-A Oklahoma City (a combined 17-4 over the last two seasons). His pick, reliever John Neely from 2012 was 2-5 with a 3.82 ERA at class-A Quad Cities. RHP Jamaine Cotton, a 15th rounder in 2010, was 2-5 with a 4.77 ERA and 50 whiffs in 71 2/3 innings at class-A Quad Cities.
This June he drafted Wichita State lefty Albert Minnis (25th round), Arkansas lefty Randall Fant (29th) who was 1-3 with a 3.65 ERA at class-A Tri-City, striking out 31 in 44 1/3 innings, Dallas Baptist outfielder Ronnie Mitchell (38th) who hit .256 with two homers and 30 RBIs at Tri-City and right-hander Tyler Brunnemann (40th) of Hardin Simmons, 2-1 with three saves and a 3.38 ERA, striking out 39 in 29 1/3 innings at Class-A Greeneville and Tri-City. He also signed free-agent Oklahoma shortstop Jack Mayfield who had a solid year at 2 rookie levels.
76. Danny Thompson, director of operations, Ontario Terriers (65)
Although he no longer coaches, as he did with Team Ontario when he had Scott Diamond, who started and finished in the Twins rotation, he still runs the organization. No one does a better job placing players at four-year schools than Thompson … 102 and counting since the program began in 2005. He had nine head south this fall and Toronto’s Luke Tevlin goes to Binghamton for next fall.
In September, Port Hope’s Cal Quantrill went to Stanford, Whitby’s Toby Handley to Stony Brook, Guelph’s Matthew Beaton to Eastern Michigan, Cambridge’s Patrick Coughlin and Burlington’s Jake Osborne to Maine, Richmond Hill’s Geoffrey Seto, Mississauga’s Kevin Lucas and Burlington’s Joel Brophy to Niagara and Brampton’s Zack Sloan to Canisius. Headed to two-year schools were Richmond Hill’s Nick Dimpfel and Ayr’s Liam Wilson, who went to Northeastern Colorado, Acton’s T.J. Baker to Salt Lake, Toronto’s Trevor Brigden to Lakawanna, Peterborough’s Lee Condon to Erie, Lindsay’s Logan Stewart to Macomb. Seabrooke had a scholarship to Boston College but chose to sign.
77. Gary Picone, athletic director, Lewis-Clark State College (61).
There are dynasties like the Yankees and then there are the Lewis-Clark State Warriors.
They missed their 17th NAIA Avista World Series since 1977 when they lost in the final to Faulkner. This was their seventh loss in the final at Lewiston, Id. And they’ll add no doubt after AD Picone signed a three-year extension to host the event. Harris Field has attracted 777,904 fans to the NAIA World Series in 21 years, including a record 5,530 to the 2008 championship game that featured Lewis-Clark State and Lee (Tenn.) as the Warriors won their NAIA record 16th national crown that season with an 8-3 victory.
Picone came to LCSC, as an outfielder in 1972, then coached in 1976, leaving twice for a combined total of five years, returning as pitching coach, head coach and two stints as athletic director overseeing a competitive athletics department that participates in 11 sports, all but one sports qualifying a team or individuals to NAIA nationals.
Will Thorp (Surrey, BC), Carsen Nylund (Surrey, BC) and Kevin McLeod (Surrey, BC) were at Lewis-Clark State.
78. Dan Vertlieb, agent (96).
The Vancouver agent represented Tyler O’Neill and obtained a $650,000 signing bonus for the top high school pick in Canada. He also represented Washington Huskies right-hander Austin Voth, a fifth rounder who the Washington Nationals gave $272,800 and UCLA shortstop Pat Valaika, who went to the Colorado Rockies for $148,500 in the ninth round.
Vertleib’s group also did a two-year, $23 million deal as free agent Tim Hudson signed with the San Francisco Giants and Mark Ellis signed a one-year $5.25 million deal with St. Louis.
79. Mike Lumley, coach, London Badgers (81).
Badgers have short, fat bodies, with short legs for digging … the animal almanac tells us. The other kind of Badgers, the London Badgers midgets? All Lumley’s teams do is win. For the third time in five years, Lumley’s Badgers won the midget nationals with a win over Alberta
The victory in Trois Rivieres, Que. was part of the triple crown, winning the Ontario eliminations, the midget nationals and the Baseball Ontario title on Labour Day. Badger midgets did the same in 2001 and 2009. Lumley has won four OUA titles coaching the Western Mustangs as well.
80. Scott Secord and Paul Pettipiece, Pointstreak (76).
You might not know the western Ontario businessmen but chances are you have been on their web site. This season they carried games and schedules for eight indy leagues, 22 summer college leagues — up 10 from a year ago — as well as the Baseball Canada nationals to the B.C. Premier League, Saskatchewan Premier League, Intercounty, Canadian College Conference, Eastern Canadian Premier League, Ontario Universities and a number of U.S. leagues, including the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Their main page now carries news stories and the site is always expanding.
81. Claude Delorme, VP stadium development, Marlins (22).
What if you fought years and years for a new yard, gained approval, built it … and not many people came? After drawing 2.2 million, the lowest attendance for a new stadium’s first season in 11 years in 2012, this year they drew less than 1.6 million averaging 19,584 per game.
The Sturgeon Falls, Ont. native, graduated from Laurentian University giving Marlins fans a thing of beauty to watch the game. Problem is Delorme didn’t have anything to do with putting the product on the field, which was bad in year one, worse after the 12-player trade with the Jays.
82. Matt Higginson, scout, A’s (80).
Higginson drafted and signed Sean Jamieson in the 17th round of the 2011 June Draft from Canisius. The A’s shipped Jamieson to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012 for major-league shortstop Stephen Drew.
Jamieson adjusted to his new organization. And this year Higginson’s pick was named the winner of the Randy Echlin memorial award as the best hitter of the 111 Canadians in the minors. At class-A Visalia, Jamieson hit .287 with 33 doubles, five triples, 11 homers and 53RBIs, with an .832 OPS.
83. Terry McKaig, coach, UBC (53).
The British Columbia Thunderbirds went into the NAIA West region tournament as the No. 1 seed after capturing second in the league’s regular season standings with a 19-9 record. They played three and headed for the barbeque, losing to No. 4 Concordia Cavs 2-1, beating the Corban Warriors 6-1 and being eliminated with a 6-0 loss to the Menlo Oaks.
The T-Birds finished with a 26-18, won-loss record, their least amount of wins since 2008 (24-28). UBC didn’t have anyone drafted, but Bryan Pawlina earned NAIA West Pitcher of the Year. Tyson Popoff, Andrew Firth, Jerod Bartnik, Sean Callegari and Pawlina earned all-conference honours.
84. Les McTavish, coach, Vauxhall Academy (78).
Never before has a Canadian won the NJCAA player of the year honours … until this spring when Calgary’s Jeremie Fagnan of the Midland Chaparrals hit a .419, ranked fourth in the country in RBIs (77) and slugged .665. Fagnan was a grad of the Vauxhall Jets program.
Brendan Miller of Taber, Alta., and now of the McPherson Bulldogs, and Calgary’s Tyler Hayes of New Mexico Highlands, also former Jets, were selected to the 14th annual Canadian Baseball Network All-Canadian team. Plus, grad Adam Nelubowich of Stony Plain, Alta., was drafted by the Astros in the 18th round.
85. Andrew Collier, GM, Winnipeg Goldeyes (86).
Remember how people said there wasn’t any interest in baseball when the Expos left town? The Goldeyes finished in the No. 1 spot in the American Association in attendance, averaging 5,880 fans a night at Shaw Park.
Of the 48 independent teams the Goldeyes were again No. 1, ahead of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, who had an average attendance of 5,537, followed by the Kansas City T-Bones (5,420) and the Long Island Ducks (5,420).
86. Rob Jack, social media director, Blue Jays (91).
Jack puts together the highly-successful camps across Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia and almost all the provinces in between.
Duane Ward and T.J. Burton set up the camps with Baseball Canada which has brought in the likes of former Jays Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar, the star of the show no matter the locale, Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Jose Cruz, Lloyd Moseby, Devon White and Homer Bush among others.
Jamie Lehman, Jake Paddle, Jon Cram, Jack and Burton were responsible for the behind the scenes work for the successful Tournament 12. And he also set up the second annual clinic at the Rogers Centre which goes in January.
87. Stu Scheurwater, triple-A umpire (-).
Scheurwater worked the triple-A Pacific Coast League this season. He’s been a pro ump for six seasons and is the only Canadian umping above double-A. He joined the Canadian national umpiring program in 2000, rose through the ranks and by 2005 worked his first Baseball Canada nationals. The Regina native is 28 working Arizona Fall League and spring games this year.
The other men of influence in blue are Barrie’s Scott Costello who worked the class-A South Atlantic League and Grimsby’s Dave Attridge who worked class-A New York League this summer.
88. Stubby Clapp, hitting coach, Dunedin (74).
Clapp’s charges were seventh in the class-A Florida State League in homers (75, led by K.C. Hobson with 19) tied for eighth with batting average (.253, led by Andy Burns .327) and eighth in runs scored (533, led by Jon Berti with 85).
It was the first year for Mr. Canada with Canada’s team after managing and coaching in the Houston Astros system. Clapp became a Canadian legend at the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg in 1999 and would be the perfect man to throw out the first pitch for the 2015 Pan-Ams when they come to Canada.
89. Raimondo Callari, scout, Giants (71)
The Montrealer spent two seasons in the Expos minor-league system and has been scouting Canada for the Giants since 2008 and before that the Reds. He coaches at the Academie du Baseball Canada, looking after infielders and outfielders.
Jonathan Jones, a Callari draft, was a 23rd rounder in 2011. He hit .227 with six homers with 35 RBIs and a .738 OPS for the rookie-class Arizona League Giants and class-A Salem-Keizer. Only the late Bobby Prentice has more World Series rings amongst Canadian scouts (three). Callari also gives clinics and coaches Lac St. Louis, and on a good day you can see him field a la Willie Montanez.
90. Rob Ducey, coach, Diamondbacks (89).
The former Blue Jay outfielder from Cambridge will serve as the hitting coach for the rookie-class Arizona League Diamondbacks until he joins class-A Missoula. He’ll also work with Diamondbacks hitters at extended spring training.
Ducey also works for Swingaway.com hitting apparatus developed by Lou Piniella, Lee Elia and Jay Buhner when all were with the Mariners.
It’s used by 11 major-league teams including the Yankees, the Phillies and the Blue Jays.
91. Scott Crawford, Georgetown, Canadian Hall of Fame (77).
A fourth diamond has been built, fund raising, with Paul Beeston at the helm, is underway for a new building and the Hall is looking south to Cooperstown on ideas on how to make their museum more attractive.
The Georgetown native learned at the side of Tom Valcke and to date has shown the same Clydedales-like worth ethic.
92. Pat Scalabrini, manager, Quebec Capitales (-).
He guided Quebec to its fourth straight Can-Am League title and fifth in eight years. The native of Waterford, Que., played pro for nine years. In the 2008-2009 seasons, he was a player-coach of the Capitales.
Originally signed by Quebec in 2001, he has also played in Winnipeg, St. Paul, and in the Baltimore Orioles organization at Delmarva and Frederick.
His Capitales led the Can-Am League in attendance drawing 141,396 to Le Stade Municipal, which opened in 1939. Nightly the Capitales drew 3,008 per home date.
93. Ryan McBride, coach, Toronto Mets (80).
In his fourth year guiding the Mets, he produced four players, who excelled at Tournament 12: outfielder Ian Wilson hit .667 going 4-for-6, Andrew Yerzy, who both caught and pitched threw two scoreless innings and with a double and three RBIs, right-hander Delonte Brown was given the nod to start the semi-final game and Zach Pop pitched four innings, allowing one run.
Mets grad Maxx Tissenbaum is going through a position change in the San Diego Padres system, which he blogged about in great detail.
Toronto right-hander Daniel Procopio, who pitched Toronto Mets for the Mets was a 22nd round draft in June by the other Mets — the ones from New York — and came within half an hour of the deadline before deciding to attend Seminole State College.
The Mets have capable people in GM John Jepson, Jason Chee-Aloy, director of operations, coaches Rich Leitch and former minor leaguer Chris Kemlo. They have also opened their own indoor facility, Out of the Park Sports.
94. Tom Valcke, iCASE GM (78).
The Windsor native is half-way through Year One of Ontario’s first full-time academic education for high schoolers in grades 11 and 12.
He’s thinking of opening a girls only baseball academy down the road as well. Valcke coached roughly 120 games this season: the Stratford peewees, two high school team — Stratford Northwest and Stratford St. Mike’s — a girls team his iCASE Academy teams.
The former scout has served as IBAF technical director at events around the world.
95. Jamie Campbell, broadcaster, Sportsnet (88).
Campbell calms the waters in the can’t-miss Jays pre-game show whether it’s Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst or strictly Zaun, which will be the case next year as Hayhurst is headed elsewhere. He does not pretend to be the expert, he throws it right down the middle for Zaun to take deep.
Campbell is always working hard looking for tidbits to pass on to viewers, because as the saying goes, Monday’s little bit of info is often Thursday or Friday’s news.
96. Dave Cooper, coach, St. Clair (-).
In his first year, Cooper guided the Saints to provincial and national titles with an overall record of 22-4. The Windsor diamond legend earned Gerald Serviss intercollegiate coach of the year award and coach of the year at the eighth annual WESPY awards.
Son Andrew Cooper was drafted by the Washington Nationals this June, while son Rob Cooper pitched with the Trois Rivieres Aigles. His nephew Joel Cooper played at Madonna University.
97. Ryan Armstrong, pitching instructor, The Baseball Zone (93).
Young and old, healthy as a horse or re-habbing off a tender elbow, Armstrong gives one and all the same care and attention at the Mississauga indoor facility, run by Mike McCarthy and Rick Johnston.
It’s where John Axford was scouted and signed, where Mark James got a second chance and where Toronto lefty Adam Kudryk straightened out his mechanics before signing with the Diamondbacks.
98. Adam Stern, Centrefield Sports (101).
Despite a powerful lobby from Centrefield sports instructor Jamie Romak to keep Stern “off the top 100 list,” Stern makes the top 100.
There is a lot of ball going on in London right now with the birth of the Great Lake Canadians managed by Adam Arnold and the established London Badgers, who are a national power house. Both work out at Stern’s facility.
99. Scott Neiles, Home Run Sports
The Winnipeg based operation has opened a new store in London and has an indoor facility in Winnipeg opening Jan. 2, sponsored by Rawlings.
The 11,000 square foot facility will enable players of all ages to train all year long.
It is affiliated with the Manitoba Baseball Association, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, plus the Boys and Girls club of Winnipeg among others. For its first clinic, Chris Robinson will fly in for a catching clinic in late January.
100. Scott Ballantyne, coach, Laurier.
If there was an award for comeback team of the year it would be Ballantyne’s Laurier Golden Hawks who bounced back from a stressful fall 2012 to finish 25-14 to capture its first OUA diamond championship in school history.
The former Kincardine flame thrower who pitched for the Hawks and learned under coach Mo Reidel, brought in the likes of Mississauga’s Jordan Petruska, Whitby’s Brett van Pelt, Mississauga’s Callum Murphy, Mississauga’s Adam Shaver, Port Perry’s Jonathan Brouse, along with ex-pros Mitch Clarke of Kitchener and Jeffrey Hunt of Cambridge.
101. Giusseppe (Joe) Agostino.
Agostino immigrated from Calabria, Italy to Canada developed a baseball-shaped heart used his influence to passed it on to his son, Alex Agostino, who in turn passed a love of baseball on to his son Matteo Agostino.
Alex scouted for the Montreal Expos, the Florida Marlins and now the Philadelphia Phillies; he used to run Baseball Quebec and called Blue Jays games on radio for the French-language network and still coaches.
A week after his 50th wedding anniversary, Giusseppe passed away this fall.
Luke Adams, Toronto, MLB Trade Rumors.com; Jeff Amos, Oyen, Alta., Badlands Academy; Alex Agostino, Montreal, scout, Philadelphia Phillies, Alex Andreopoulos, Etobicoke, Ont., bullpen catcher, Jays; Don Archer, White Rock, B.C., scout, Angels, Phillippe Aumont, Gatineau, Que., Philadelphia Phillies.
John Axford, Port Dover, Ont., Brewers, Cardinals, Indians, Curtis Bailey, Red Deer, Alta., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau, Evan Bailey, coach, Okanagan Athletics; Drew Balen, Edmonton, Inside Edge; Larson Bauck, coach, North Vancouver, B.C., Northshore Twins.
Peter Bean, Toronto, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network, Erik Bedard, Navan, Ont., Houston Astros, Al Bernacchi, Windsor, Ont., coach, Windsor Selects, Denny Berni, Etobicoke, Ont., instructor, Pro Teach, Howie Birnie, Leaside, Ont., Baseball Ontario.
Jamie Bodaly, coach, Langley Blaze, Jason Booth, Richmond Hill, Ont., coach, Team Ontario; Steve Breitner, Etobicoke, Etobicoke Rangers, Greg Brons, Baseball Saskatchewan, Alexis Brudnicki, London, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network.
Scott Bullett, Welland, Ont., Bullett Proof Academy, T. J. Burton, Ottawa, Blue Jays camps, Dick Callahan, Kitcherer, Ont. Oakland A’s P.A. announcer; Michael Caleb, Vancouver, coach, North Delta Blue Jays, Don Campbell, Ottawa, Ont., coach, Ottawa-Nepean Canadians.
Remo Cardinale, Mississauga, Ont., pitching guru emeritus, Jason Chee-Aloy, Toronto, director of baseball operations, Toronto Mets, Don Charrette, Ottawa, College Baseball Connect; Mike Chewpoy, Victoria, B.C. Victoria Mariners; Gregor Chisholm, Saint John, N.B., BlueJays.com.
Dr. Michael Chivers, kinesiologist, Vaughan, Ont., Gary Cohen, Monteal, The Baseball Cube, Jeremy Cohen, New York, vice-president, corporate sponsorship & marketing, MLB, Voon Chong, Vancouver B.C., trainer, triple-A Buffalo; Sam Cosentino, Etobicone, Jays broadcaster.
Don Cowan, Delta, B.C. scout, Blue Jays, Greg Cranker, coach, Erindale Cardinals, Sam Dempster, Kingston, coach, Durham, Team Great Britain; Scott Diamond, Guelph, Ont., Minnesota Twins, Jason Dickson, Chatham N.B., vice-president, Baseball Canada.
Pierre Dion, Montreal, president, TVA, Jack Dominico, Toronto, owner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Scott Douglas, Moose Jaw, Sask., coach, Trinidad State College, Desi Doyle, Mount Stewart, P.E.I., Tournament 12 coach; Coey Eckstein, Abbotsford, B.C., coach, Abbotsford Cardinals.
Dave Empey, North Vancouver, B.C., coach, Vancouver Cannons, Ben Ennis, Toronto, The Fan, Jim Fanning, London, Ont., Blue Jays ambassador, Scott Ferguson, TSN; Jeff Francis, North Delta, BC, Colorado Rockies, Mike Frostad, Calgary, Alta., assistant trainer Blue Jays.
Orv Franchuk, Edmonton, Alta. hitting coach, double-A Chattanooga (Dodgers), A. J. Fystro, Calgary, Alta., coach, Okotoks Dawgs Academy, Danny Gallagher, Toronto and Bill Young, Hudson, Que., authors of new book, Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos: How the Best Team in Baseball Ended up in Washington 10 Years Later, Ted Giannoulas, London, Ont., The Chicken; Shawn Gillespie, president, Ontario Nationals.
Bill Green, coach, Coquitlam Reds, Trevor Grieve, Toronto, umpire, worked two pools in WBC play in Far East, Matt Griffin, Oakville, Guleph University OUA coach of the year, Andrew Halpenny, Winnipeg, Man., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau, John Haar, director of operations & coach, North Shore Twins.
Tim Hallgren, Victoria, B.C., pro scout, Tigers; Jim Henderson, Calgary, Alta., Brewers, Paul Hogendoorn, president, OES Inc. scoreboards, London; Vince Horsman, Dartmouth, N.S., pitching coach, class-A Lansing, Ted Hotzak, president, B.C. Premier League.
Cam Houston, St. Albert, Alta. Prospects Academy, Peter Hoy, Cardinal, Ont., coach, St. Lawrence College; Todd Hubka, Claresholm, Alta., Prairie Baseball Academy.David Huctwith, Mississauga, Ont, Baseball Ontario, wisest man in OBA; Marc Hulet, London, Ont. Fangraphs.
Frank Humber, coach, Corner Brook, Nfld; Forrest Irwin, LaSalle, Que., pitching coach, Post University, manager Torrington Titans, Futures Collegiate League, Aaron Izaryk, Markham, Sanford Mainers manager, NECBL, Ian Jordan, Montreal, Que., Scouting Bureau; Rick Johnston, Peterborough, Ont,, The Baseball Zone/Ontario Terriers.
Brad Jorgenson, Thunder Bay, Ont. owner/GM, Thunder Bay Border Cats, Sam Katz, Winnipeg, Man., owner, Winnipeg Goldeyes; Chris Kemlo, Oshawa, Ont., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau, coach Ontario Mets; George Kottaras, Markham, Ont., Kansas City Royals, Mike Kozak, Kirkland, Que., assistant trainer, Marlins.
Mike Krykewich, Sanford, Man., coach, University of Winnipeg, Andre Lachance, Ottawa, Ont., Canada’s women’s coach, Baseball Canada, Joel Landry, coach, Academie Baseball Canada, Michel Laplante, Val D’Or, Que., president, Les Capitales de Québec.
Guy Laurence, President and CEO, Rogers Communications, Jean-Gilles Larocque, Sudbury, The Baseball Acadmey, Ken Lenihan, Halifax, N.S., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau; Marty Lehn, White Rock, B.C. scout, Brewers; Phil Lind, Toronto, vice-chairman, Rogers Communications.
Lyle Lorenz, Lacombe, Alta., inducted into World Series of Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, P.J. Loyello, vice-president, Marlins, Jeff Lounsberry, coach, Brock University Badgers; Scott MacArthur, Toronto, TSN, 162-for-162 Blue Jays reporter; Drew MacDonald, Bradford, Ont., trainer class-A Bluefield, Jacques Lanciault, Monreal, website (jacqueslanciault.com/category/baseball/).
Todd MacFarlane, Edmonton, Alta., collector, Hazel Mae, Sportsnet; Jay-Dell Mah, author, Nakusp, B.C.; Kevin Malloy, assistant clubhouse manager, Jays, Mike McCarthy The Baseball Zone.
Murray Marshall, general manager Stoney Creek, Ont., Team Ontario, Kirk Martin, London Ont., Cardinal Sports; Dave Martin, Ottawa, newspaper collector back to the 1908 World Series; John Matthew IV, Ormond, Ont., producer, BlueJays.com; Dan McIntosh, St. Marys Ont., trainer class-A Dunedin.
Brooks McNiven, pitching coach, Douglas College, North Shore Twins, Cory Melvin, Tampa, scout, Brewers; Matt Mills, Hamilton, manager Etobicoke Jrs., pitching coach McMaster, John Milton, Caledon, Ont., Ontario Terriers; Ryan Mittleman, pro scout, Jays.
Nancy Newman, New York, host, YES Network, Marc Noel, Miramichi, N.B. Tournament 12 coach; Mike O’Connor, Peterborough, Ont. Wind Mobile, Greg O’Halloran, Mississauga, 360 The Score Broadcaster, Peter Orr, Newmarket, Ont., Philadelphia Phillies.
Mark Orton, Newmarket, Ont., president, Baseball Ontario; Bill Park, Chatham, Ont., commissioner Great South League summer college loop, Athens, Ga., John Parker, coach, Whalley Chiefs, James Paxton, Ladner, BC, Seattle Mariners, Rob Pegg, Flesherton, Ont., coach, Colorado Christian University.
Marc Picard, Pickering, Ont., coach, Ontario Youth Team/Windsor Selects; Warren Philp, Thunder Bay, former host of the World Juniors bidding again; Todd Plaxton, Saskatoon, Sask., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau, Anthony Pluta, Victoria, Victoria Eagles, Jamie Pogue, bullpen catcher, St. Louis Cardinals.
Mark Polishuk, London, Ont., MLB Trade Rumors.com, Terry Puhl, Melville, Sask. coach, University of Houston-Victoria; Mark Randall, Edmonton, Alta., St. Francis Academy, Al Ready, London, Ont., assistant coach, University of Indianapolis, Chris Reitsma, pitching coach, Team Canada Junior National Team; Dave Robb, coach Lac La Biche, Alta. coach, Okotoks.
Chris Robinson, Dorchester, Ont., San Diego Padres, Doug Rogers, coach, Nanaimo, B.C. Nanaimo Pirates; Jeff Ross, equipment manager, Blue Jays, Jasmin Roy, Longueuil, Que., MLB Scouting Bureau, Jean Philippe Roy, Quebec, coach, Brewers scout.
Neate Sager, Ottawa, Out of Left Field blog; Ron Sandelli, director of security, Blue Jays; John Saunders, Toronto, ESPN; Michael Saunders, Victoria, BC, Seattle Mariners,Trevor Schumm, Edmonton, international scout Pacific Rim, Europe, Latin American cross checker, Padres.
Claudette Scrafford, Hawkesbury, Ont., manuscript archivist, Hall of Fame, Cooperstown; Mike Shaw, Oakville, travelling secretary, Jays, Jim Sheppard, coach, University of Toronto; John Silverman, Montreal, equipment manager, Marlins; Russ Smithson, coach, Port Coquitlam, B.C., White Rock Tritons.
Bob Smyth, Ladysmith, B.C., scout, MLB Scouting Bureau; Paul Solarski, Toronto, coach Team Poland; Bernie Soulliere, Windsor, Ont., chef de mission Team Canada; Chris Soulliere, Windsor, Ont., Windsor Selects, Paul Spoljaric, Lyle, Ont., 360 The Score, broadcaster.
Gautam Srivastava, Victoria, B.C. Victoria Eagles; Howard Starkman, Mississauga, Ont., vice-president, Jays; Marnie Starkman, Mississauga, Ont., Rogers Centre scoreboard/in-game entertainment; Mike Steed, Burlington, Ont., pitching coach, Ontario Blue Jays; Jay Stenhouse, Toronto, Rogers Centre public relations.
John Stewart, Brighton, Ont. clubhouse manager, class-A Greenville (Astros), Jim Swanson, Victoria, BC, GM Victoria Harbourcats; Jason Takefman, Montreal, ex-GM, Vancouver Canadians, now UFC, weight class undetermined; Jordan Tiegs, Woodstock, Ont., pitching coach, University of Indianapolis, Scott Thorman, Cambridge, bench coach, class-A Burlington.
Shawn Travers, coach, Ontario Blue Jays, Richard Todd, WebBall Baseball Instruction; Pete Toms, writer, bizofbaseball.com.; Randy Town, Calgary, Alta., coach Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, Scott Van de Valk, Georgetown, Ont., coach Ontario Terriers.
Cam Walker, Winnipeg, Man., head coach, Indian Hills Community College, Dave Wallace, coach, Parksville Royals; Doug Walton, producer, Sportsnet; Rob Webster, Langley, B.C., coach, Kwantlen College; Cavanagh Whitely, Prince George B.C. Douglas College.
Brett Wilson, North Battleford, Sask., owner, double-A West Tennessee, Nigel Wilson, Ajax, Ont., Competitive Edge, Murray Zuk, Souris, Man. scout, Padres.