Monday, January 14, 2008

Canadian Dilemma

Some concern in Canada regarding the timing of the Olympic qualifier:

Baseball Canada is struggling to piece together a team for the final Olympic qualifier in March because the tournament's timing coincides with big-league spring training. Anyone not on a major-league roster is eligible to play, meaning players trying to impress their teams can't afford to leave camp to wear the Maple Leaf.

Tough stuff to be sure, but if you're even close to being a Major Leaguer, you're going to skip the shot at the Olympics in favor of spring training, right? A veteran speaks:

"Whoever set up the timing of this tournament definitely threw a wrench into things," said national team veteran Pete Orr of Richmond Hill, who will skip the qualifier to try to win a job with the Washington Nationals. "But the guys who do go are going to be good players. It's not like they're not going to have a good team."

Well, considering that quote indicates Pete Orr won't be there, yes, they may very well have a good team.


Anonymous said...


What did Mr. Orr ever do to you?

Sure, he's never going to be a big league starter, and nobody knows that better than Pete Orr. The best he can hope for is to be a utility guy for a lower division team like the Nats. Make the MLB minimum, occasionly give a guy the day off, do some pinch running, but mostly just hang out in the dugout and enjoy the sport. Best of luck to him.

Shyster said...

Call it misplaced anger. I have nothing against Pete. It's just that I'm a Braves fan, and contrary to your very sensible counsel, Bobby Cox tried to turn Orr into a starter -- or at least gave him way more playing time than he should have had -- which rendered his name something of an epithet around my house. I'm sure every team has a couple of players who's fans think negatively about them for the same reason.

But you're right, it's not fair, and I offer an apology for the cheap joke at Orr's expense.

Anonymous said...

Where are my manners? It's not right to upbraid you for making fun of Pete Orr and not thank you for the hundreds of other posts. So thank you.

I, too, am a displaced Braves fan, and I understand those feelings of rage that can enter one's heart when Mr. Orr pinch hits in a crucial situation. (Quick aside--what am I going to do now that the Braves aren't on TBS? Will my son grow up to be {gasp!} a Cubs fan?)

I have to keep reminding myself to keep things in perspective, that Pete's ninth inning pinch hit appearance wouldn't be so important if Andruw Jones hadn't grounded into a double play the inning before.

The guy making seven figures--he is an appropriate target. Pete Orr--not so much.

(of course, now I want to launch into a tirade about how all fans think like GMs these days, looking for constant improvements, instead of rooting for players like Pete Orr to succeed, but I'll spare you.)

Thanks again for the blog, and keep up the good work.

Pete Toms said...

It's as odd time to be a baseball fan in Canada.

On one hand, there are more - I can't find the # - Cdns playing pro ball than ever. On the other hand pro ball as a spectator sport has never been less popular.

On the first point, my impression is that with a steadily diminishing # of pro players coming from the US, teams have discovered that they can find talented athletes here. Philippe Aumont, from my region! was selected 11th in the Rule IV by Seattle, is an example. He is a very raw talent though.

On the second point, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary & Ottawa ( my home ) have lost AAA franchises. The Expos were abandoned and the Jays draw 1/2 what they did in the glory years of 4 million per year attendance. Indy ball has replaced AAA in Ottawa, Edmonton & Calgary but long term....Winnipeg and Quebec City are the 2 cities that buck the trend, both cities enthusiastically support their Indy teams. Winnipeg in particular, they are consistently amongst the leaders in minor league attendance.

As for you disgruntled, recovering Braves fans, what, no Thorman bashing as well? Pile on the canucks!

Were Liberty cheapskates in the Kotsay deal? Do you believe the speculation that they could have had Kotsay for less than Devine had they ponied up for more of Kotsay's salary?

Lastly, where is Diesel the Cdn ex pat?

Paul Thomas said...

Perhaps Rich Harden can try out for the Canadian national team. He essentially hasn't been on a major league roster in two and a half years.