Pat Gillick is forever in my head. I can still hear him telling me, and anyone else who would listen, to never believe anything you see in spring training or September baseball.
And because it was Gillick talking, the Hall of Fame architect of three World Series winners in Toronto and Philadelphia and playoffs teams in Baltimore and Seattle, including the Mariners team that won a record 116 games, well, you had to pretty much take it seriously.
So here we are in September and the Blue Jays are actually winning some games and Teoscar Hernandez and Richard Urena look like ball players and better yet, they look like athletes, and John Gibbons is gushing over the lefthander, Tim Mayza, another bullpen arm, and Carlos Ramirez to name another. This would all be uplifting and exciting and something to pin the future on if I could only get Gillick and his damn expressions out of my head.
Gibbons has liked what he has seen in Hernandez and Urena and so many of the callup pitchers and he likes the energy and enthusiasm they have brought and frankly, the way, so many of his callups have contributed in this dead-body of a Blue Jays season.
“I form opinions,” said the Jays’ manager, asked about September. “My coaching staff form opinions. I liked Richie (Urena, the 21-year-old shortstop) the last couple of years. I didn’t really know Teoscar before. You can see there is talent there, natural talent in all those guys.”
There was Urena, on Tuesday night against the Orioles, in the ninth inning, tie game, and Zach Britton on the mound. The once great and basically unbeatable Britton. Urena won the game with a line drive to centre field that set off a crazy celebration.
That hit gave him a .324 batting average since his callup from AA, a .429 average on the homestand. What’s not to like about that?