* Mitch Osborne, left and Hayden Malenfant, right, of the minor bantam Whitby Chiefs, surround Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia, who saved the day at the Dairy Queen after it was discovered that Mitch's pop Clare Osborne had headed to the car with the stroller -- and wife Maria's purse. Hayden's pop Andrew Malenfant told his son not to wear his New York Yankees cap to the Rogers Centre. .... Canadians drafted in the top 200 Top Canucks drafted year by year Canuck$ with si$-figue bonu$
By Bob Elliott
Here is what is so polarizing about J.P. Arencibia.
Some numbers are bad:
Ten walks, 93 strikeouts, a .218 batting average and a .248 on-base percentage.
Some stories are good.
Real good, feel-good, made-for-TV movies.
After receiving a tweet from Jessica Dunn last year in which she told the catcher he was her favourite player, Arencibia visited the 13-year-old in hospital where she was recovering from bone cancer surgery. Jessica throws out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday on Arencibia bobblehead doll day.
Arencibia became pals with Matt Harvey, 31, of St. Catharines, diagnosed with autism in his 20s, and gave him tickets to the home opener.
One of the more dominant pitchers in eastern Ontario in the 1970-80s, Clare Osborne, was at Rogers Centre to see his son, catcher J.D. Osborne, during the Canadian junior national team workout -- before they headed out on their New England tour -- Monday after the Jays-Detroit Tigers game.
Later Clare headed to the car with his grandchild in the stroller. Wife Maria, son Mitch and pal Hayden Malenfant, went for an ice cream and drinks.
Bit of a problem at the cash ... Maria’s purse was in the stroller.
No problem ... Arencibia and his mother were behind them in line, paid the bill and posed for pictures.
Arencibia is not the worst person to have worn a Jays uniform.
The bottom line is major leaguers are judged on results and on an underachieving last-place team, Arencibia is a focal point of criticism, along with a starting rotation which leads Max Scherzer in wins 18-13.
I think the catcher was wrong to knock Sportsnet’s Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst in his premeditated interview (he sent out a tweet the night before). Arencibia has the right to say anything he wants, but fighting with the media is akin to arguing with umps.
It is wrong for players to say: “You don’t understand the game since you didn’t play,” as we first heard in 1979 covering the Montreal Expos. And Arencibia wasn’t right to say Zaun and Hayhurst’s opinions don’t count as they were “never in the clubhouse.”
Do you have to sit in question period in Ottawa or Queen’s Park to know if you like a decision made by government?
Or be in a recording studio to know if you like someone’s music?
Instead, of Jays fans worrying about Josh Johnson’s next quality start for a last-place team, they were concerned about three bickering Rogers employees.
Etobicoke’s Joey Votto caught the throw across the diamond from third baseman Todd Frazier for the final out of Homer Bailey’s no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday. That’s three no-nos for the Cincinnati Reds first baseman. The others: Bailey’s 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last September and Jim Paduch pitching the Billings Mustangs to the 2003 rookie-class Pioneer League championship.
How many have you seen? I’ve only seen two in person: Montreal Expos right-hander Charlie Lea against the Giants on Mother’s Day 1981, and Nolan Ryan, then with the Texas Rangers, against the Jays in 1991.
FIVE AND COUNTING
The Jays are in their 37th year and each year, save for 2011, when right-hander Tyler Beede went to Vanderbilt rather than sign, they have signed their top draft pick.
With a Friday deadline could the Jays miss for a second time?
Right-hander Phil Bickford of Westlake Village, Calif., is one of five unsigned first-round selections heading into Friday’s signing deadline. The other 28 first-rounders have signed.
Bickford went to Oaks Christian High, the same school attended by sons of Wayne Greztky and Joe Montana. He signed a letter of intent to Cal-State Fullerton.
“We had him as top high school pitcher in the draft, if you wanted to take a chance on upside,” said one scouting director. “Braden Shipley (who went 15th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks) was closer to the big leagues, but his potential wasn’t as great as Bickford’s.
“We had (Bickford) down as a hard sign. The family wouldn’t meet with us until 48 hours before the draft and they wanted $3 million US.”
Slot money for the 10th pick overall is $2,921,400, while the Jays have $3,759,140 to spend on their unsigned players.
Steve Medeiros, who keeps the press room lounge at the Rogers Centre stocked with fine food and Diet Coke, has a tattoo of singer Bob Marley on his calf, plus on his back he has ink portraits of his wife and his daughter, along with Robbie Alomar’s signature pose after his 1992 post-season homer off Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley. “I’m going to ask Robbie to sign, then I’ll be worth $5 million,” said Medieros jokingly. “I’m going to get one of Paul Beeston smoking one of his cigars.”