By: Melissa Verge
Canadian Baseball Network
Steve Pearce may have yet to play a game in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, but he knows a little bit about the devotion of Jays fans who cheer for Canada’s only MLB team.
As a guy who’s played at the Rogers Centre from the visitor's dugout, he says that Jays fans make it difficult for the opposing team.
However, now that he’ll be in the home team dugout at Rogers Centre there’s lots to be excited for. “These Toronto fans they’re die hard, so it's going to be fun,” he said.
Pearce, who played last season with the Orioles, has never been in Toronto for anything but baseball until January 20. He plans on taking some time to explore.
“I’m going to take some tours and walk around, and get to know the lay of the land," he said.
The thirty-three-year-old brings versatility to the team being able to play both first base and outfield.
“I play a lot of positions, I like to hit, I can hit off the bench. I’m ready to play all the time, there’s a lot of things that I do well, so I just hope they give me the opportunity to show what I can do,” he said.
Pearce doesn’t have a preference whether they put him at first base or in the outfield.
’I’ll l do whatever they want me to do to get in the lineup,” he said.
The first basemen/ outfielder has observed the managing tactics of John Gibbons and he likes what he sees.
“I like the way he goes about things," he said. "I’m excited to play for him.”
Gibbons was ejected seven times in 2016, tying the franchise record for most ejections in a single season.
This is something that Pearce admires.
“He fights for his players, and as a player you want somebody like that," he said. "He’s going to give you everything he has, and as a player I’m going to give him everything I got because I know he has my back."
Pearce also knows Bautista, the two played together in Pittsburgh. When he heard that Bautista had signed, he said it was good news for him as well as the ball club: “It’s hard to envision what he’s done, he can hit, he can launch them out of the park anytime anywhere."
He’s looking forward to playing at Rogers Centre because it’s a hitters park, to being a Blue Jay in 2017.
“It’s good to be a part of this team, I know what they bring every day so it’s going to be a fun year."