Jose Bautista (pictured) and Andy LaRoche were briefly teammates with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now they're together again in Toronto, though LaRoche, signed to a minor-league deal, will be sent down in a few weeks while Bautista will lead the Blue Jays. (Reuters)
DUNEDIN, FLA. - Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell had a meeting with Jose Bautista in 2008.
“They told me my numbers were below the league average and how I was now going to be a utility player,” Bautista said Wednesday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The reason he lost his job at third base was a new arrival from a three-team trade on the July 31, non-waiver, trade deadline.
The Boston Red Sox sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox acquired Jason Bay, while the Pirates added Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss (from Boston) and Andy LaRoche joined the Bucs from the Dodgers to become the every day third baseman.
Now, Bautista and LaRoche wear the same blue Blue Jays uniform.
They wear identical batting practice caps with the oversized red Maple Leaf logo, which looks like it would cost $9.98 at an airport souvenir stand.