TORONTO - The Pittsburgh Pirates, who own the first pick overall in the June 6 draft, are on the clock:
Seven days and counting.
The Jays select 21st as the three-day draft of high schoolers and collegians takes place.
The Perfect Game USA scouting service has the Jays taking right-hander Archie Bradley, a high schooler from Broken Arrow, Okla. — home of former Montreal Expos ace Steve Rogers.
Two-sport star Bradley has signed a letter of intent to pitch and quarterback the Oklahoma Sooners.
The highly-respected Baseball America pegs left-hander Daniel Norris, a high schooler from Johnson City, Tenn.. as the Jays first pick.
On the home front Tom Robson of Ladner, B.C., and the Langley Blaze is expected to go in the first three rounds which will make him the first Canadian chosen.
Right-hander Skylar Janisse of Maidstone, Toronto catcher Justin Marra and right-hander Roberto Suppa of Connor are the top Ontario-ranked players.
Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish and his staff have eight picks in the first three rounds.
Where the Jays pick
(In the first three rounds)
35th (compensation for free-agent Scott Downs)
46th (John Buck)
53rd (Kevin Gregg)
57th (Miguel Olivo)
Buddy was a Hall of Famer
When Nick Weglarz was selected in the third round by the Cleveland Indians in June, 2005, he was not the most famous person at his draft-day party in Ridgeway, Ont.
Weglarz’s grandpa Rick Marriott had a pig rotating on a spit and beer on ice — like he was ready to film a Hank Williams, Jr. video.
Which outlaw showed up for the event?
None other than William (Buddy) Gilmour, Hall of Fame harness driver, who has been inducted into three HOFs.
Gilmour won 5,381 races, his horses winning more than $44 million in earnings in his career. His fastest trip was 1:51 4/5 with On the Road Again at The Meadowlands. He won with the likes of Laughs, Cullin Hanover, Myakka Prince, Stienam, Joie De Vie, Mirror Image and Miller’s Scout.
Gilmour, 78, died Monday, months after he lost his wife Gwen, and was buried Friday in Ridgeway.
We first met him in the backstretch at Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island in 1986 when he had one of his many pals, a policeman, show me New York City.
We always thought Herve Filion was the best we ever saw, but Gilmour could boot home the winners in the rich stakes races going head-to-head with Stanley Dancer, Billy Houghton and Howard Beissinger.
Gilmour always seemed to have more horse than Filion ever had, or maybe that was just Buddy, rocking and rolling in the bike, coming through a hole where none existed.
Deepest sympathies are extended.
Rest in peace old pal.
Montreal loves the Jays
Alex Agostino wears a number of hats.
Besides running Baseball Quebec, the province’s amateur baseball wing, and scouting full-time for the Philadelphia Phillies, Agostino is in town broadcasting games along with Jeremy Filosa to CKAC radio in Montreal en Francais.
Speaking of hats, Agostino’s son, Matteo, 19, bought a Blue Jays cap the other day.
“He suffers when the Blue Jays lose, as I did growing up when the Montreal Expos lost,” Agostino said. “The thought of the people in Montreal cheering for a Toronto team is not something you would have heard about 10 years ago.”
Why the Montreal love for a Toronto team?
The answer is the Jays bilingual general manager Alex Anthopoulos, a Montreal native, who got his start with the Expos.
Anthopoulos was in Quebec City last week to announce one of the Jays super camps which are crossing the country and followed it up with an hour-long interview on CKAC.
The Jays are 11-2 in games broadcast by CKAC.
My best day in baseball
Aug. 31, 2004
“I went 6-for-7 against the Yankees, we beat them up pretty bad,” Vizquel said. “I had a chance to go 7-for-7 but popped up.”
A 22-0 Cleveland Indians win at Yankee Stadium qualifies as “pretty bad.”
Vizquel singled to centre in the first and had a run-scoring single in the second off Javier Vazquez; hit a two-run double in the third and singled in the fifth facing Tanyon Sturtze; doubled in a run against C.J. Nitkowski in the sixth and singled against Esteban Loaiza in the eighth.
He popped up to right for the second out of the ninth.