Knuckleballer duel first in 16 years
Dickey hopes for best for Boston’s Wright — just not against the Jays
R.A. Dickey is rooting for Steven Wright to succeed as a knuckleballer, just not when he faces the Blue Jays and especially on the rarest of occasions when the Red Sox hurler faces Dickey himself.
That makes Saturday’s game at Rogers Centre something of a seismic event in the knuckleball world. For the first time in 16 years, two knuckleballers will be facing each other. That last happened in 2000 when Tim Wakefield and Steve Sparks opposed each other.
“Yeah, we’ve talked quite a bit over the last four years, five years,” Dickey said Tuesday after learning he’d be facing Wright. “I’ve always had an eye on him because you’re always kind of looking over your shoulder to see who might be next because you want the pitch to survive. “I’m happy for him and I’m hoping that he does really well against everyone but us.”
CECIL ‘ THE BEST’
When he watches Brett Cecil be as effective as he was in his season debut — three up, three down — on Monday, manager John Gibbons can’t help but wonder “what if?”
When Cecil tore a calf muscle against Texas in the playoffs last October, it deprived Gibbons of perhaps his most effective reliever the rest of the way. “I’ve said this many times but it’s always worth repeating that Cecil was arguably the best reliever in baseball the last three months of the season. He didn’t give up an earned run,” he said.
‘OLD LEATHER’ DONE?
When Troy Tulowitzki failed to make an out because the ball got caught in the webbing of his favourite aging glove on Monday, you had to wonder if that was going to be the end of the line for that shapeless bit of leather that Tulowitzki has used to make countless spectacular plays.
But the Blue Jays shortstop refused to blame his glove, saying that his first movement to take the ball out of the glove was the problem.
However, after diving for Logan Forsythe’s first-inning single Tuesday, the lacing between two of the fingers gave way and Tulowitzki retired his old friend in favour of a glove he’s been breaking in all spring.