Jays could have had Mr. Wright

Mets batter David Wright during an at-bat against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto,...

Mets batter David Wright during an at-bat against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., May 18, 2012. (TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/Getty Images/AFP)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:42 AM ET

TORONTO - Eric Hinske, Corey Koskie, Shea Hillenbrand, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen and Edwin Encarnacion.

Whom would you rather have?

Each started more than 50 games at third base for the Blue Jays from 2004 to 2010.

Anyone of that group?

Or David Wright?

It’s a story which has been told before and is worth telling again with the New York Mets at Rogers Centre for the first time since 2006.

Wright is in his ninth year as the New York Mets’ everyday third baseman.

The Jays attempted to move outfielder Jose Cruz at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2002. The Mets said they’d take Cruz, offering a minor-leaguer playing his first full season at class-A.

Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi decided against taking the teenager for a veteran major leaguer in Cruz.

That class-A kid grew up to be Mr. Wright.

It’s difficult evaluating a 19 year old, especially one who struck out 114 times hitting .266 with 11 homers and 93 RBIs at Capital City.

Ricciardi has always denied the story, but we believe the other man involved in the discussions.

ESPN.com’s Keith Law has written about Mets GM Steve Phillips making the offer and Law worked for the Jays during that time frame.

Mets fans (perhaps you have seen one or two around town) believe in Wright, who is hitting .409 with an on-base mark of .510 going into Saturday’s game.

Larry Walker was the most recent with those numbers at least 150 plate appearances into a season when with the 1997 Colorado Rockies he hit .422 with a .517 OBP thru June 9 (267 plate appearances).

NICK OF TIME

Nice to see Bonnie Raitt as part of Major League Baseball’s Mother’s Day promotions. Haven’t see Raitt since the Baltimore Orioles visited Cuba in 1999. My pal Richard (Bubba) Justice, then of the Houston Chronicle and now of MLB.com,

bugged me our entire time in Havana to get our picture taken with Fidel Castro. I declined the whole time. At the airport he saw Raitt, leaving after a music festival, in the waiting area. “How ‘bout we get ask to have our picture taken with her?” Justice said. OK. Justice asked Raitt and she replied, “I’d love to, but considering I’ve been up all night and taken a large bite of an egg salad sandwich ... I’m going to decline, sorry.” We still listen to her music.

FAB 50

It was 50 years ago Sunday Ron Taylor worked three innings for the Cleveland Indians in a loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Taylor faced Dick Brown, Jerry Casale, Jake Wood, Billy Bruton, Rocky Colavito, Norm Cash, Steve Boros, Chico Fernandez plus Hall of Famers Al Kaline and Jim Bunning.

The next day, after allowing two runs, including a home run to Cash, Taylor was demoted to triple-A Jacksonville, much like Adam Lind was sent out, or Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider were demoted.

The Leaside right-hander was back in 1963 and pitched for 10 seasons in the majors, winning two World Series with the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1969 New York Mets. Now the Jays’ club doctor, he worked 101/3 scoreless innings in post-season play, going 1-0 with three saves.

OBSERVATIONS

Next time you watch the replay of Brett Lawrie’s helmet toss — there’s a chance you might see it again — look at the shock on the faces of the two women seated in the action seats ... The second-row beer-tosser wearing “the green/grey plaid shirt and the ball cap with the Jays logo from 2011 escaped Rogers Centre security after hitting plate ump Bill Miller Tuesday on throw-a-helmet night. Turned out he walkedpast officials. On-field security were relaying his description using band-1 on their radios. Security officers atop the stands were listening on band-2. The dragnet continues ... Could the Jays’ first baseman of the future be J.P. Arencibia, with catcher Travis d’Arnaud at triple-A Las Vegas? ... One opposing scout’s take: “Two years ago, part of last year, you could throw Edwin Encarnacion a ball inside and he’d pull it foul, he was so pull happy. Next thing you know he’s 0-2, or 1-2 and you could fool him for fun. Now, he’s hitting the ball up the middle. He’s dangerous. That ball he hit out Wednesday night was way out (413 feet to straightaway centre, the season’s longest drive by a Jays hitter at Rogers Centre). Dwayne Murphy has done a great job with him. He’s the toughest out in their lineup ... as long as he stays with that approach.


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