TORONTO - Former Blue Jays closer Tom Henke was writing his acceptance speech for the Canadian Hall of Fame ceremonies the other day when he reached the portion where it came time to thank people.
He called former Jays travelling secretary John Brioux in Oakville. “Not every day someone phones you to say thanks for something you did for him 15 years ago,” said Brioux, who is married to Susan Quigley, the Jays vice-president of finance and administration.
Henke also said “Hey John, thank your wife too, without her signing my cheques all those years I’d have been a poor man.”
Henke will be inducted Saturday in St. Marys along with Baseball America founder Allan Simpson of Kelowna, B.C., and the late George (Dandy) Wood of Pownal, P.E.I., who played 13 seasons in the majors in the 1880-92.
Pirates need a catcher
The Pittsburgh Pirates, down to their No. 4 and 5 catchers in Dusty Brown and Wyatt Toregas are looking for catching help. Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit are on the disabled list and Jason Jaramillo is injured at triple-A Indianapolis. The Jays have three solid prospects in Travis D’Arnaud (hitting .313, with six homers and 18 RBIs in 43 games) at double-A New Hampshire; A.J. Jimenez (.329, three homers, 19 RBIs in 44 games) at class-A Dunedin and Carlos Perez (.262, two homers, 25 RBIs in 46 games) at class-A Lansing.
If the Jays are ready to promote D’Arnaud to triple-A Las Vegas, could they move Brian Jeroloman, hitting .239 with eight homers and 37 RBIs in 40 games to the Pirates?
The Pirates had a scout at the Rogers Centre on the weekend getting ready for inter-league play.
Right-hander Jesse Litsch (right shoulder impingement) tossed two scoreless innings in a simulated game on Monday at the Bobby Mattick Training facility in Dunedin. Litsch allowed one hit and struck out three on 31 pitches, throwing 21 strikes.
Jays vs. Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt University coach Tim Corbin did an excellent job of recruiting players for his Commodores this fall. Then, the draft came. Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish drafted right-handed pitchers Tyler Beede (21st over-all) from Groton, Mass., in the first round; right-hander Kevin Comer (57th) in the supplemental first round and outfielder John Norwood from Orange, N.J. in the 12th. All have committed to Vandy.
“I won’t be singing the Canadian national anthem,” coach Corbin joked to reporters.