By Bob Elliott
Devon White won seven gold gloves in 17 seasons, three of which ended with World Series champagne showers.
Besides five years in centre field with the Blue Jays, he played for the California Angels, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.
He coached in the Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox minor league organizations and is now heavily involved with the Blue Jays Academy so he has been around a lot this season.
Devon White could track a fly ball in the gap or against the wall, he can certainly tell the difference between a good team and a great team. And one would think he could pick a more dominant team.
So, which Blue Jays team is the best ever?
The 1992 World Series champs?
The 1993 repeat winners who turned over half the roster from the year before.
Or the 2015 edition ...
To refresh your memory let’s take a quick look, position by position:
Rotations _ 1992: Jack Morris, Jimmy Key, Juan Guzman, Todd Stottlemyre and David Cone. 1993: Guzman, Pat Hentgen, Stottlemyre, Dave Stewart and Morris; 2015: David Price, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Marco Estrada and Drew Hutchison.
Closers _ 1992: Tom Henke; 1993: Duane Ward; 2015: Roberto Osuna.
Bullpen _ 1992: Mark Eichhorn, Mike Timlin, Ward, David Wells, Hentgen: 1993: Danny Cox, Tony Castillo, Al Leiter, Timlin, Eichhorn; 2015: Aaron Sanchez, Mark Lowe, Brett Cecil, LaTroy Hawkins, Bo Schultz.
Catching _ 1992-93: Pat Borders; 2015: Russell Martin.
First base _ 1992-93 John Olerud; 2015: Justin Smoak.
Second base _ 1992-93 Robbie Alomar; 2015: Ryan Goins.
Third base _ 1992: Kelly Gruber; 1993: Ed Sprague; 2015: Josh Donaldson
Shortstop _ 1992: Manny Lee; 1993: Tony Fernandez; 2015: Troy Tulowitzki.
Outfield _ 1992: Candy Maldonado, White, Joe Carter; 1993: Rickey Henderson, White, Carter; 2015: Ben Revere, Kevin Pillar, Jose Bautista.
DH _ 1992: Dave Winfield; 1993: Paul Molitor; 2015: Edwin Encarnacion.
Bench _ 1992: Sprague, Pat Tabler, Derek Bell, Alfredo Griffin, Randy Knorr; 1993: Rob Butler, Darnell Coles, Willie Canate, Griffin, Knorr; 2015: Chris Colabello, Ezequiel Carrera, Dioner Navarro, Cliff Pennington.
“Let’s not forget the 1985 team,” said White, “they won more regular season game (99) than anyone other.”
Ah, too late.
“This year’s year can really swing the bat,” said White. “This team is an outstanding power house team offensively.
“I mean it is explosive and it gives me goose bumps walking into the stadium to see it full.”
But which team is the best?
“There might be guys in the majors that throw harder now, but are there better rotations?” asked White. “Like in 1991 -- we made the playoffs that year and lost, people forget about that -- we’d go into Kansas City and face a staff of Bret Saberhagen, Kevin Appier, Mark Gubicza and Mike Boddicker.
“Or we’d go into Anaheim and face Mark Langston, Jim Abbott, Chuck Finley and Bert Blyleven. Is there anyone like Steve Avery, fourth behind Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine with Atlanta.”
Alomar, Henderson, Winfield and Molitor all have plaques in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, while Olerud won a batting title, does that mean the Series winners were better?
“It’s not fair to compare,” said White being diplomatic. “Does this team field better than we do? Do they pitch better than we did?”
But if you had the chose one team over the other?
“Until this team can win back-to-back like we did and they put the banners up in the rafters like we did,” said White, “it’s not fair to compare.”
Ah, we think some where in there, between the lines -- and words -- lies an answer.
Ring watching: Dr. Ron Taylor took his wife Rona on a whale watching trip to Alaksa this summer. Rona stopped in a jewelry store in Anchorage and became enamoured with a ring. So, the Doc moved in for the purchase, began talking to the store owner, who happened to be a New York Mets fan, remembered the Doc from the 1969 Miracle Mets and knocked 2/3 of the price off the ring. Bottom line: The Doc still has the magic touch.
Let’s see Edward Rogers do this: Eric Gagne part-owner of Trois-Rivieres Aigles of Can-AM independent league, started Friday. A crowd of 6,022 jammed Fernand-Bedard Stadium for the first sellout since 1984.
Gagne pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing one run on two hits and five walks. He struck out a pair and had a no decision in a 5-3 win over Quebec Capitales. The former 2003 National League Cy Young award winner, had now pitched since 2009 with the Capitales.