White, Morrow, Lind, Beeston, Barber
* Former Blue Jays CF Devon White would have been part of the new-look front office had Kenny Williams been hired to replace president Paul Beeston. ....
By Bob Elliott
So, what if ...
What if Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications and chair of the Rogers Control trust, had been successful with this off season’s plan to replace Paul Beeston as president of the Blue Jays.
Well, we know do one thing that would have unfolded had the Rogers boss and his University of Western Ontario pal Roger Rai been successful.
If the Chicago White Sox and owner Jerry Reinsdorf had given permission for executive vice president Kenny Williams to interview for Beeston’s job and Williams was hired as president of baseball operations, former Blue Jays Gold Glove centre fielder Devon White would have had a place in the revamped Jays front office.
The two were teammates with the 1991 Blue Jays before Williams was claimed on waivers by Montreal Expos June 4. And they have remained friends with White coaching in the White Sox minor-league system until four years ago, while Williams was GM.
White said he was contacted by Williams to accompany him to his “new job,” yet Williams did not specify where to White. Reinsdorf said did not grant Edward Rogers permission and said he would not until the finishing touches were put on preparing the White Sox 2015 roster.
White, who headed to the Caribbean for the holidays, never heard back from Williams. Yet it was easy to figure out from reading dispatches from the winter meetings in San Diego what Williams new job was: the Rogers Centre.
White is unusual in the fact he’s one of the few Jays (players of front office employees) who has actually met Rai. They met at the Back2Back reunion, organized by James Dodds of TD Bank and the Blue Jays.
It was either the 17th anniversary of the 1992 Series win or the 16th anniversary of the 1993 victory.
Whatever, it was a good party.
Out of town board: San Diego Padres right-hander Brandon Morrow leads the National League in innings pitched (14) with two seven-inning outings to start the season: he had a scoreless start against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and allowed two runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks for a 1.29 ERA ... Adam Lind is hitting .333 for the Milwaukee Brewers after Thursday’s loss in St. Louis. He has a homer and five RBIs ... Anthony Gose is batting .391 for the Detroit Tigers ... And Brett Lawrie is hitting .256 having played in every game for the Oakland A’s.
Tall Turf: We’ve been told that the blades of the turf at the Rogers Centre is two inches -- same as the previous rug ... when new. Is it slower? Yes. It’s so slow Emilio Bonifacio would have been able to handle unlike the fast track which baffled him in the spring of 2013. We do know this: Jose Bautista, Devon Travis and Dalton Pompey’s long balls on Wednesday would have gone out -- old turf or new.
DraftKings: Pete Rose was banned from wagering on the game and the rule remains in place today. Yet, if you watch MLB Network you are encouraged, asked and begged to play DraftKings, a fantasy game.
Baseball owns a piece of DraftKings, which takes a cut of pools created by users who enter for cash. Daily lineups are chosen, points are handed out based on the stats and winners receive prizes immediately.
What ethical difference is there between fantasy and regular sports betting?
“We see it as a difference between fantasy, which is legal, and sports betting, which is not,” commissioner Rob Manfred has told reporters. “DraftKings are on the right side of the legality line. We see it as a continued growth of the fantasy activity.”
Playing fantasy baseball is legal, but does owning part of the profits run the risk of a betting scandal?
Grumble, grumble: Don’t listen now but announcers are grumbling. Whether it is ESPN or MLB Network local broadcasts are being picked up to be beamed across North America and around the world -- with zero revenue for the broadcasters. They need someone like Donald Fehr to form a union.
Let’s do lunch: Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, ex-Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, vice president of business operations Stephen Brooks and Beeston had lunch at the Albany Club in downtown Toronto on Tuesday.
The Albany Club presented Beeston with an honorary lifetime membership. The Club was founded Sir John A. Macdonald of Kingston, Canada’s first Prime Minister.
R.I.P. Paul Barber, 33, former Erin Mills Twins outfielder was laid to rest this week in Oakville across from Greg Cranker Field on 9th Line.
A brave soldier in the Royal Canadian Regiment he spent five years of service and went to Afghanistan in January 2007 as armored vehicle driver and infantryman.
Deepest sympathies are extended to his parents Judi and Randy, his brother Adam and his fiancée Denise, and their children Lexi and Mackenzie.