Friday, August 31, 2007

Homer Bush: Blue Jays Legend

This year's Flashback Fridays have truly been a mixed bag of Blue Jays legends, coupled with a handful of head-scratchers. For instance, we would never intentionally flashback to Paul Spoljaric, and if we ever did inadvertently, we would immediately stop taking whatever led to such a dreadful experience.

Tonight, Flashback Fridays brings you Homer Bush.

No, really.

When we heard this, we thought "Man, they're really reaching in August, aren't they?" Then again, maybe it's too easy to rip on Homer.

He was legendarily brittle, spending a good chunk of his time with Toronto on the DL, but in his first season with the team, he put up pretty decent numbers for a second baseman, including a .774 OPS, .320 AVG, 32 SBs, 5 HRs and 55 RsBI in 128 games. Those are numbers that are at least somewhat comparable to what everyone's favorite elf in the infield, Aaron Hill, has managed this year.

Of course, Homer had a lot of weight on his easily-separated shoulders when he came to Toronto. In four seasons, Gord Ash hadn't found a decent replacement for Roberto Alomar at second (Tomas Perez? Carlos Garcia? Craig Grebeck?) Moreover, Bush came over in the Clemens deal, and was bound to be scrutinized, given that the Jays had given up a legend to get Homer, some Dingo Baby, and a Fat Man.

(Those, of course, were the halcyon days, before anyone realized just how royally one Gord Ash trade could screw this franchise.)

And then there's the name: who could bear the weight of a name that features the two most important cultural and political figures of the past two decades: Homer Simpson and George W. Bush?

So, if you're headed out to the old ballyard tonight, give it up for Homer Bush. Shake the man's hand (gently!), and tell him the Tao of Stieb's got his back.

1 comment:

sager said...

Well, to be total wad about it, I must point out Bush wasn't even a league-average hitter in late '90s baseball the year he hit .320.

He wasn't bad when he was left in the 8 or 9 hole but the trouble was few in Toronto understand context in baseball. The numbnutses probably assumed every second baseman should be Roberto Alomar, when in reality there's not many like him.