* It doesn't really who is hiding behind the hands ... as the Blue Jays head towards a 21st consecutive year without reaching post-season play -- and if the Kansas City Royals make it, the Jays will have the longest drought in baseball. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians drafted … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
By Bob Elliott
The Kansas City Royals wake up Sunday with the longest active post-season drought in baseball ... 28 years and counting.
The Royals also wake up in first place in the American League Central Division.
If the Royals make post-season play it will be the first time since 1985 ... 28 years and stop the count.
That would leave Your Toronto Blue Jays with longest active drought ... 20 years and counting.
And we’re getting closer to 21 and counting after the Jays started this month with 13 loses in 18 games.
Jose Reyes made it six wins in 19 games with his game-winning single Saturday afternoon in the bottom of the 10th ... maybe. Rays manager Joe Maddon protested the Jays’ right to appeal a replay of a pick off at first, since Mark Buehrle had taken his place on the rubber and Yunel Escobar was in the batter’s box in the fourth inning with the Jays leading 2-1. Crew chief Bob Davidson said Gibbons was not late so he allowed the replay to be examined.
If the protest is upheld the Jays and Rays could be replaying the game from the point of the protest.
The Royals have not played in October since hustlin’ Hal McRae and George Brett turned routine singles at an outfielder into doubles (see Tampa Bay’s speedy Kevin Kiermaier turning routine a single into a double on Friday night against Colby Rasmus, as he did against Anthony Gose earlier this season).
This home stand is the most important this late in the season since the Jays returned home from Minneapolis with a 65-52 record on Aug. 13, 1999, 1/2 a game up on the Boston Red Sox in the wild card race.
David Wells hurt his back warming in the bullpen to face the Oakland A’s and was scratched. The next night Joey Hamilton retired one hitter allowing eight runs and the bullpen was a complete mess. The Jays were swept by the A’s and then the Seattle Mariners being outscored 50-29.
The Jays came out Friday and managed two hits.
And Saturday they showed grit winning in extras ... maybe.
Are the Jays done? “Anytime anyone asks me that I say think back to 1987, anything can happen,” said former Jay third baseman Rance Mulliniks. The Jays won the first three of a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers and were three outs from being 4 1/2 up with six remaining. Kirk Gibson hit an 0-1 pitch from Tom Henke to force extras. Both teams scored in the 11th and Gibson plopped a game-winner into centre off Jose Nunez and the lead fell to 2 1/2. The press entered a deadly quiet clubhouse at Exhibition Stadium as Mulliniks livened the crowd by asking loudly “what’s wrong with winning three out of four?” or something like that ... The Jays then were swept at home against the Milwaukee Brewers and Ernie Whitt was injured joining Tony Fernandez on the sidelines ... The Jays tried to obtain catcher Darrell Porter for the final weekend, were unsuccessful and were swept in Detroit losing: 4-3, 3-2 in 12 and 1-0.
Boston spends: Cuban free-agent outfielder Rusney Castillo arrived at Fenway Park Saturday. The Red Sox gave Castillo a seven-year, $72.5 million deal. He had his first open workout at Coral Gables, Fla. at the University of Miami last month after defecting to Haiti. Jays scout Chuck LaMarr was in the house along with about 99 other scouts. The Jays have a pair of free agent outfielders in Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera ... Former Royals general manager Allard Baird, now of the Red Sox, is credited with getting the deal done with Castillo’s agents Roc Nation Sports owned by Jay Z (Jay Zed if you are reading north of the border) ... It’s funny when people say “the Jays should sign Cabrera” before the end of the season. Why would Cabrera negotiate with one team when at the end of the season he can theoretically talk to all 29?
Briefly: The more you see Aaron Sanchez do you think he should have been here to start the season as some players suggested in the spring? ... The bases used Friday at Rogers Centre are making a tour of all 30 stadia and will be sold at the end of the season. Next up? PNC Park Monday in Pittsburgh ... Jerome Williams became the fifth pitcher in the last 60 years to record a win for three different big-league teams in the same season when he earned a win for the Phillies after posting wins with the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. Last to do so was former Jays reliever David Weathers who won for the New York Mets, Houston and Florida Marlins in 2004 ... When Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was ejected on back-to-back days by umpire Tony Randazzo it only the 12th time an ump has ejected a player on consecutive games since in 1952. John Kibler ejected Jays manager Bobby Cox June 3-4 in 1978 ... The bantam nationals gold medal game goes at 6:30 Sunday at the Vaughan Sports Grove. Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and host Vaughan Vikings are seeking semi-final berths.
The deeper you get: A lot has been made about the Jays starters struggling the deeper they gets into games. Like all other teams. Fresh arms have more success than tired arms, except for Christy Mathewson. We took a look at how many times Jays starters have faced the top of an opposing order for a fourth time. The career number of times Jays starters have faced more than 27 hitters: Mark Buehrle 250 time in 455 career starts; R.A. Dickey 88 in 200 starts, JA Happ 25 in 133 starts, Drew Hutchison seven in 36 and Marcus Stroman two in 15.
Oscars anyone: After seeing the premier of Swearnet the other night, we give two thumbs up to Mike Smith, Robb Wells and J.P. Tremblay for their historic, record-breaking performance.
The after party was special with eight people offering me congratulations on a job well done. Finally, I said I didn’t know there ball fans amongst the high-brow theatre crowd. Apparently people thought I had played the villainous loan shark, Mr. Pinchbeck, in the movie, so Sam Tarasco explained. Tarasco played Sam Losco in Trailer Park Boys and was in the memorable hostage scene -- Ricky hiding behind Philadelphia Collins, Sam behind Randy -- filmed by the moose.