This country needs a great leader — why not a guy named John McDonald?
The Jays’ blue-collar second baseman was inspirational on Good Friday, smacking his first home run of the season in the 11th inning to deliver a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay at the ’Dome. Yeah, it’s nowhere close to building a railway across the nation like his namesake, but considering our options, the 36-year-old from East Lyme, Connecticut just might be the one who gets your vote. He wouldn’t need much to make a move in the polls. (Becoming a Canadian citizen first might be a good idea, though. Or maybe if he just says he likes it here that’ll be enough.)
McDonald’s homer — which came on an Adam Russell sinker that stayed in the middle of the plate — keeps the Jays (9-10) in second place in the AL East. He drove home Juan Rivera who miraculously managed to get a hit. The homer also rewards McDonald’s teammates for playing tough yet again — it was their seventh come-from-behind win of the year — and sends a not-so-bad crowd of 23,192 home happy.
The heroics came on a night when McDonald wasn’t supposed to play. Jayson Nix started at second base but was injured early in a collision, leaving with a sore left knee. With Aaron Hill also hurting, McDonald was pressed into action and is sure to be in the lineup on Saturday against the Rays (9-11) after his walk-off dinger.
Jose Bautista was 3-for-4, including his fifth homer, and was a single away from hitting for the cycle.
J.P. Arencibia, however, was 0-for-5, leaving four runners on base and seeing his average fall to .260. Not Rookie of the Year material (um, let alone Hall of Fame). Then again he might’ve been the victim of some unintended subliminal messaging. Check out this video of the Jays’ catcher playing dodgeball with grade school kids in East York. He says “out” so many times you wonder the word got in his head on the diamond. (Nice attempt at learning French too, Numero Neuf!)
Brandon Morrow makes his season debut on Saturday (1 p.m., Sportsnet, vs. David Price, 2-2, 2.83 ERA).
Day 21: No post (off day)
Day 20: A homer and a d’oh!
Day 19: Smackin’ that Mo
Day 18: No post, they lost again
Days 15-17: Running on empty
Days 13-14: AL Beast Mode
Days 11-12: Swinging and missing
Days 7-10: Not going to Disney World
Day 6: Running and gunning
Day 5: OK, Blue Jays
Day 4: No post (off-day)
Day 3: Rope burn
Day 2: Call him Johnny Bench
Day 1: Opening Day hero
J.P. Arencibia 2011 Season Stats: