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Saturday November 7, 2009 11:08 pm

Canada’s team may not be for Canada’s Bay

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB, Trades,

Jason BayJason Bay has a history of success. Being a 22nd round draft pick by the Montreal Expos, not many expected much of him. He was traded from the Expos to the San Diego Padres to the Pittsburgh Pirates between 2002-2003, making his MLB debut along the way. However, 2004 was the year he made the greatest impact. He hit .282 in 120 games, and lead all rookies 26 home runs, 82 RBI, .550 slugging, 54 extra base hits and 226 total bases. His accomplishments earned him the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year Award; the first time for any Canadian. In 2008, he was traded to the Red Sox to replace Manny Ramirez, and he has fit in perfectly.

Baseball seems to run in Bay’s family. His sister Lauren Bay Regula is a softball pitcher in Canada, having played on the 2004 and 2008 Canadian Olympic teams. Many Canadians seem to think that the Toronto Blue Jays might have a greater chance of landing Bay due to his Canadian heritage, but that may not be the case. Bay became a U.S. citizen in 2009, and both of his daughters were born in the United States. There’s a lot more reason to believe that Bay, like most professional athletes, will go where he feels the best fit is – usually where there’s the most money – and not to Canada’s team.

This might come as a personal blow to Canadians, who tend to be very attached to homegrown players. The Blue Jays failed to sign two high Canadian draft picks in 2009, and have had a Canadian on the Major League roster for most of the last decade, be it current pitcher Scott Richmond, Matt Stairs, or Corey Koskie. Having a Canadian player like Bay, playing in the prime of his career, might warrant the extra money it may take to bring him in. He’s just 31 years old and is already fourth all-time on the home runs hit by a Canadian list, just nine behind Jeff Heath. Bay could be a serious boost to the Blue Jays’ weak offense and young outfield.

Jason Bay can play ball, there’s no doubt about that. Where can he play ball is the question. While the Boston Red Sox were a good fit for him, is it the best fit? With his power to all fields, Bay would be a natural in any hitters park. Take the New York Yankees. Does Bay dare go the Johnny Damon route and sign with New York to replace the aging outfielders? Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Los Angeles or Texas would also be launching pads for Bay.



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