* Super agent Scott Boras wonders why Rogers Communications, part owner of the Maple Leafs, can offer seven-year deals to free agents, while it's against the policy of the Toronto Blue Jays, owned by Rogers Communications. He says if Rogers approves such contracts for hockey players, it should be good news for Jays fans. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
By Bob Elliott
SAN FRANCISCO -- Scott Boras was doing what most males watching TV do.
The super agent was flipping stations with his remote when he stumbled upon the HBO hockey series 24/7 which took viewers inside the locker room for a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
That’s when Boras learned that the Leafs had given defenceman Dion Phaneuf, a seven-year $49 million CDN contract extension last season.
“First thing I thought was ... great news for Toronto Blue Jays fans,” said Boras at AT&T to watch Game 5 of the 110th World Series before Madison Bumgarner shut out the Royals 5-0.
Rogers Communications owns 37.5% of the Maple Leafs.
Rogers Communications owns 100% of the Blue Jays.
“If they can give one of their hockey players a seven-year deal, why can’t they give a seven-year deal to a baseball player?” asked Boras. “If they have the same ownership in both the hockey team and the ball club, shouldn’t it follow that the Jays should be using the free-agent market as a weapon in order to compete?
“Being in the free-agent market would allow them to fulfill their needs.”
The Leafs also signed free agent David Clarkson to a seven-year $36.75 million going into the 2013-14 season.
The last time the Jays were in the market for a prime free agent and won was after the 2005 season when general manager J.P. Ricciardi signed A.J. Burnett and reliever B.J. Ryan to five-year deals (Burnett for $55 million, Ryan for $47 million).
And in 2006 the Jays gave Vernon Wells a seven-year $126 million extension.
R.I.P. Oscar: St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic Sunday night. Taveras, 22, and his girlfriend were involved in a fatal crash driving between Sosua and his home of Puerto Plata. He spent his early teen-age years in Montreal and held a Canadian passport. The family returned to the Dominican so he could sign after his 16th birthday rather than waiting until grade 12 and the amateur draft.
The highly-respected Baseball America rated Taveras as the No. 3 prospect in the minors heading into the final two seasons. Promoted May 31 this season, he hit .239 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 80 games.
The left-handed hitter was the final hitter in the Cardinals season, grounding back to Jeremy Affeldt to end the ninth with the score tied, before Travis Ishikawa hit a walk-off homer to send the Giants to the World Series.
Earlier, Taveras hit a pinch-hit, game-tying, homer off Giants reliever Jean Machi in Game 2.
Sympathies are extended to his father, who lives in Montreal, and all of his friends, as well as his extended family in the Dominican.
Question of the day: Since arriving on the coast we’ve been asking San Fran fans who is their favorite Giants player. We’re testing the theory how either John McDonald or Munenori Kawasaki can rival Jose Bautista in popularity in Toronto. Is it like that in other cities? Where the best player is not the clear cut No. 1 in popularity?
But we have a new entrant.
“Joe Panik is the best,” said Saturday night’s cabbie, of the Giants second baseman, whose brother Paul Panik, an assistant coach at Canisius College in Buffalo under coach Mike McRae of Niagara Falls, Ont. The Griffs have 14 Canadians on their roster from Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.
“Mark my words, Joe Panik is going to break Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive-game hit streak of 56 games,” said Andrew the cabbie wearing his Giants jersey.
Remember where you read it first.
In game: Lorenzo Cain chased down a Hunter Pence drive to the right-centre field gap which would have scored a pair of runners with the Giants leading 2-0 and two out in the third ... To win the Royals have to play flawless defence. They didn’t: shortstop Alcides Escobar couldn’t make a play on a Travis Ishikawa grounder and centre fielder Jarrod Dyson charged Brandon Crawford’s bloop single allowing Pablo Sandoval to score ... And first baseman Eric Hosmer, credited with having one of the best gloves in the game had bad footwork in the second on a Brandon Belt bunt past the mound. Hosmer stretched out from the base towards second to get an angle on the throw rather than towards the mound and the throw from Escobar.
What if?: The Jason Vargas at-bat was a Saturday night funny in Game 4. Vargas took what he thought was ball four and headed to first, putting on the brakes. Plate ump Ted Barrett called him back since the count was only 3-2. Barrett then rang up Vargas for the third out on a borderline call.
Some Royals thought it was ball four.
“If the ump gets it right and it’s ball four, we’re up 5-1, bases loaded and Alcides Escobar at the plate,” said one.
Coming out of the chute No. 3: When it came time for Rene Francisco, Royals assistant GM, to sign Kelvin Herrera in 2006 the pitcher’s agent wanted $100,000 US.
Francisco said “I’m not paying $15,000 to a guy only a little bigger than a jockey.”
The two sides settled on a $27,500 bonus and the 5-foot-10 Herrera walked over to Francisco jabbed his finger in his chest and said “I’m not a jockey, it’s the size of a man’s heart, not his heighth. I will pitch in the majors.”
Oh, how Herrera has pitched.
Herrera, who eighth-inning man Wade Davis calls the best arm in the K.C. bullpen, was 4-3 with a 1.41 ERA, walking 26 and striking out 59 in 70 innings. In the post season Herrera is 1-0 with 0.79 ERA, walking six and striking out 12 in 11 1/3 innings.
Scout’s honour: Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore on one of the best lessons he ever learned in scouting from the late Bill Lajoie when both were with the Atlanta Braves.
“Bill always said ‘don’t ever take away a player’s aggressiveness or natural ability,” said Moore leaning on the railing of the first base dugout before Game 5.
“And he also used to tell us not to work so much on a player’s weaknesses that it takes away from his strengths.”
Our favorite story about Lajoie, the former Detroit Tigers general manager, comes from a Braves organizational meeting,
Frank Wren, then the Braves assistant GM, was voting one way and Lajoie disagreed.
Wren threw the hammer down saying “May I remind you I was the GM over there for 11 months.”
Lajoie hit the table and said “if I lasted less than a year as a GM, I would not be bragging about it.”
Getting there: Paul Molitor said it in 1993 (on his first trip back to the World Series since 1982). Others say it each year: how lucky they are to be in a World Series, while Ernie Banks never said it.
How ‘bout Giants manager Bruce Buchy, who is headed for the Hall of Fame likely after winning in 2010, 2012 and now two wins away from his third win?
“It is a long time between getting here from 1998 (with San Diego Padres, who be began managing in 1995) to 2010. You have to remind yourself how difficult this is. For me, it’s (GM) Brian Sabean that’s given us resources, ownership, and my staff. But at the same time you need to take it in because you know how tough it is. You don’t know when you’re coming back.
“We’re lucky, to have the players we have here to get us here three times in five years. Each time you try to take in a little bit more. I try to bring all my family out, so I can spend more time with them and spend time with people at the park. You’re caught into the game and everything that goes with it. You need to step back and appreciate everything that’s happened for you to be on this stage.”