The Toronto Blue Jays have traded for Jason Grilli, who has previously celebrated post season glory with catcher, Russell Martin.
*The following was sent in by Jays From the Couch staff writer, Joy Frank-Collins, who was vacationing when she learned of the Blue JAys trade for Jason Grilli. She couldn’t wait to share her excitement, so she asked me to pass it on. Enjoy!
I was minding my own business, coming back into my ocean view bungalow and checking my phone on the charger when I saw the “possible” news. “Grilli to the Blue Jays.” My heart sang.
I am new to the Blue Jays. I came to your team in 2015, on November 18 I believe, about 20-minutes after your all-star, best in Canada, best in the MLB catcher did. And I see so many so many similarities between this team and my NL favourites, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Underdogs. Scrappy. Undervalued and under-respected. And on a drought for post-season glory about 20-years too long.
That is, until Russell Martin, a man known for bringing post-season opportunities to his teams, joined your ranks. But I know Russ is only part of the picture. Today, there is a rumor. More than that, really, let’s say a STRONG INKLING that Braves reliever, Jason Grilli, has been acquired by the Blue Jays.
I’m here to tell you, fellow Jays fans, this is something to be excited about. We’ve seen 54 and 55 do “The Osuna” between home plate and the mound on nights the Jays win and it’s fabulous. Equally fantastic will be when Russ runs from behind the dish and jumps into Jason Grilli’s outstretched and open arms in celebration of a win. I promise you – it is something special to see.
Osuna is real and he is special and he is a pitcher with high potential. I respect him for that and the work he puts in. I respect him for what he has done for the Blue Jays so far. But allow me to try, for a moment, to illustrate for you, what it was like to watch Russell Martin get the out at the plate that led to the the Pirates going to the postseason – and breaking the longest losing streak in baseball, with Grilli on the bump, on September 23, 2013.
The special bond between a pitcher – especially a closer, a specialist who throws maybe, 15 pitches ON A BAD NIGHT – is so evident in that play. Russell Martin does what his job requires, he guards the plate and gets that out at home. But he did so much more than that. And the two people who immediately got it were him and Jason Grilli.
Not only did he get the win for his team, but he got the win for his pitcher. The look of admiration, trust, love for a fellow teammate is undeniable on Grilli’s face. The celebration at the plate lasted for a while, at least in baseball terms and Martin later told Pirates interviewers that “it felt good” holding the ball aloft “so I just kept it up there for a while.”
As a fan you could sense that the two veterans, Grilli and Martin, respected each other. And it showed in their exuberant win celebrations – with the “always in control of his emotions” Martin meeting Grilli, who pumped his fists immediately after wins – between the mound and home plate with giant bear hugs or when the wins were especially meaningful – with the 5’10” catcher literally jumping onto the 6’5″ pitcher. It was the joy of baseball in its truest sense – and I can’t wait to see it again in Toronto!
*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.