Canadian pitchers are climbing and falling at major-league training sites.
At the Washington Nationals’ camp, Shawn Hill of Mississauga, Ont., is on the verge of being promoted to second starter in the team’s rotation, behind John Patterson.
“There are still three weeks left in spring training, but, so far, Shawn’s been terrific,” rookie manager Manny Acta said. “He seems ready for prime time.”
Hill, a 27-year-old right-hander, has allowed only two runs in nine exhibition innings.
At the Cincinnati Reds’ camp, meanwhile, Rheal Cormier of Moncton, N.B., is about to be released, or more likely, traded. Cormier has been deemed expendable chiefly because the Reds would like to make room for one of two young hurlers — either Jared Salmon or Brad Burton. The Reds will eat some of Cormier’s $2.25 million US salary. A 40-year-old left-hander, Cormier has aroused the interest of several clubs, including the still-hungry-for-pitching Blue Jays.
•MLB.com has come out with an interesting, albeit subjective, story about what it considers the top viewing locations in the majors — and the hotel rooms at the Rogers Centre have cracked the top 15.
The Rogers rooms, in fact, came in at No. 12, with this explanation:
“Fans behind the glass above centre field have watched some legendary events in Toronto’s retractable-dome wonder — and others have watched some legendary events behind that glass, as well.”
The Rogers hotel rooms finished in the MLB.com piece behind the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the spiral walkway at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the second-deck reserve seats on the first-base side of Camden Yards in Baltimore, section 37-39 in right field at Yankee Stadium, behind home plate and right next to the Indians’ dugout in Cleveland, the mezzanine at Comerica Park in Detroit, a suite on the Lexus Level of Turner Field in Atlanta, the Dugout Club at Dodger Stadium, the so-called beach (to the right of the batter) at PETCO Park in San Diego, the Green Monster seats in Boston and the Home Run Porch at Ameriquest Field in Texas.
The vantage points from the Rogers hotel rooms were deemed better than the Crawford Boxes at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the Mets’ so-called Dreamseats at Shea Stadium, and the swimming pool in Arizona, just behind the right-field wall at Chase Field.
• In an unusual show of generosity by a CFL player, B.C. quarterback Dave Dickenson has offered to donate part of his salary to offensive lineman Rob Murphy.
Murphy has told the Lions he will bolt if they don’t offer him a sizeable pay raise.
Murphy was chosen the top o-lineman in the CFL last season.