Bautista & Encarnacion, Outgoing & shy, HRs & HRs

Jose Bautista (19) greets Edwin Encarnacion after another long bomb. Both are entering the final years of their contracts. 

Jose Bautista (19) greets Edwin Encarnacion after another long bomb. Both are entering the final years of their contracts. 

Bautista, Encarnacion bring magic despite their different personalities

By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network

Jose Bautista is flamboyant and outgoing, the face of the Blue Jays. 

His Dominican Republic countryman Edwin Encarnacion is anything but that, although that cute, walking-the-parrot meme and Edwing routine bring him about as close to expressing himself as anything.

Bautista has 941,000 Twitter followers, Encarnacion 183,000. It is that difference that tells you a bit about each other. Bautista doesn’t mind the attention, Encarnacion, very much a private man, not so much. 

Bautista speaks pretty solid English and most of his tweets are in English and usually brings forth a famous saying of an athlete or celebrity.

Encarnacion’s messages are mostly in Spanish, the language he’s most comfortable with, although he can communicate effectively in English. 

Bautista is educated and savvy, having attended a business school in the Dominican called Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra and Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. Bautista knows and understands the impact and subtleties of the Canadian TSX stock exchange and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

Bautista knows that Rogers, which owns the Blue Jays, boasts numerous marketing platforms and realizes how wealthy the company is. That’s why he has aimed high in his contract demands. 

There’s nothing wrong with Bautista spouting off about his contract demands but him asking for $150-million for five years or whatever he is requesting is a bit unrealistic for someone who is 35. Now, if he was 28 or 30, then the request might be more realistic.

Encarnacion, unlike Bautista, chooses not to let his contract demands be known, although he indicated that indeed he wants an extension by the time the regular season begins. You never heard a beep out of Encarnacion all through the off-season which he spent quietly and anonymously in his hometown of La Romano. 

That’s just the way he prefers it. He’s not an outgoing person at all and there is nothing wrong with that virtue. You have to really admire someone who prefers anonymity, who prefers to be elusive, who prefers not to talk that much.

While there is never a microphone or note pad Bautista doesn’t like, Encarnacion doesn’t look for attention. He’s close to the vest. We like both characters whether it’s in interviews or on the field. Both bring magnetism to the Jays. You can’t complain about that.

Whether this dynamic duo is in Toronto beyond the 2016 season is largely uncertain. All we know is that the Jays’ brain-trust, the fans and their teammates love having Bautista and Encarnacion around because another exciting season can only be around the corner with their dangerous lumber in the meat of the order.

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Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com