VOTE EARLY, OFTEN
Noting Jason Bay had "one of the best seasons in the 120-year history of the Pittsburgh Pirates" last year and didn't make the top 15 outfielders in all-star game fan voting, Tom Valcke sprung into action. The Canadian Hall of Fame boss wants Canadians to vote "25 times" for the Trail, B.C., native online at www.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2006/ballot_pop.html).
Jays gave Mississauga outfielder Jon Baksh a $122,500 US signing bonus. Jays Canadian director of scouting, Kevin Briand, worked out the deal with Baksh's agent, Blake Corosky. Baksh was Sunshine State Conference player of the year in 2005 and this year had better numbers at Florida Tech University. He hit .469, with nine homers and 67 RBIs and had a .723 slugging percentage.
Beat writer LaVelle E. Neale III, of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has been off work with a damaged retina. He returned to the Metrodome on the Twins last homestand to begin easing back into the job. Twins general manager Terry Ryan handed him an official Major League Baseball form and asked him to sign it, thereby activating him from the disabled list.
NOT TOO LATE
If you haven't purchased a gift for dear ol' dad, it is not too late. Some books which would make for Father's Day reading: Big Russ and Me, by Buffalo's Tim Russert, host of Meet the Press ... Inside Baseball, by Tom Verducci ... A Man Called Shoeless, a bio of Shoeless Joe Jackson, by Howard Burman ... Baseball's First Indian, Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian by Ed Rice.
ON THE WAY BACK
Jack Wilson, one of the many hard-working engines that runs High Park Little League, is almost off the disabled list. Wilson took Parkdale Little League, led by pitcher Gordie Roach, to the Little League World Series at Williamsport Pa., in 1960. Wilson's friends will gather Friday at noon at The Hot House (Church and Wellington) to talk over old times, discuss the coach and remember.