Vancouver Native not going to Beijing - Update
Following a 3-2 loss Wednesday afternoon, that witnessed the Tampa Bay Rays sneaking away with the rubber match of a three game set in Toronto, Jay's head coach and pillar of Canadian baseball Cito Gaston made some rather unpatriotic comments.
Sure, Cito was born in San Antonio, Texas and has a cool, calm demeanor unlike any Canadian I've ever had the pleasure of meeting but bringing The United States most sought after sport championship north of the boarder, twice will unquestionably win a man enough acclaim to make him an honorary citizen.
Cito is a gracious fellow whom I am sure would be honored to accept Canadian citizenship honorary or otherwise but comments regarding North Vancouver native and Olympic hopeful Scott Richmond made after the game certainly put a damper on this reporters Olympic spirit.
"If (Richmond) pitches like that all the time it certainly gives us a chance to win the ballgame," said Gaston. "I liked the way he handled himself out there, he did a good job as far as I'm concerned. He deserves another start."
Another start would not only jeopardize Richmond's opportunity to represent his country at the upcoming summer Olympics in Beijing it would eliminate his chances altogether.
I understand the need for quality pitching , especially at the Major League level however this years Blue Jay squad (54-54) is headed nowhere fast. Perhaps in the name of patriotism Jay's management (cito and the gang) could find it in their hearts to see Richmond as less of a commodity and more as a Canadian.
Richmond was to be a key part of the roster for Beijing and if he isn't returned to the minors before Friday, he becomes ineligible.
The Canadian team plans to hold off naming a replacement for him until that deadline passes just in case, but Gaston made it clear Baseball Canada shouldn't get its hopes up.
Update: July 31, 2008
Following the game Scott Richmond said he was "thrilled to have an opportunity to play for the "big" club" even if it meant missing this years Olympics. Call it not looking a gift horse in the mouth ,which someone once told me was a good idea and I agree, it would be foolish for the Jay’s most recent call-up to throw the franchise under the bus for their unsympathetic behaviour toward Canada’s Olympic hopes.
Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has been roundly whipped in the media for his comments on both television and radio where the Jays Massachusetts born general manager said "when kids are in the backyard do they dream of playing in the big leagues or the Olympics". Despite the sarcasm of the statement Ricciardi was right kids don’t dream of play baseball in the Olympics but first time Olympian and former major leaguer Chris Reitsma (Calgary) set the record straight saying " you dream your whole life of pitching in the majors, but it’s an honour to pitch for your country"
And it’s been along time since anyone could feel honoured suiting up for the Toronto Blue Jays