I watched Marcus Stroman leave the mound last night for possibly the last time as a Toronto Blue Jay. I understand why he's being traded, but it's tough as a fan to say goodbye to a guy like Stroman. He's the best starter the Jays farm system has developed since Halladay, he's as good as ever, and he's my kind of guy.
By that I mean the guy's loaded with passion. He's got a big personality. He loves playing here, competes hard, and speaks from the heart. Many, I've learned recently, are happy to see him go for this very reason.
Stroman's got character. Some will love it, others will hate it. I call it sandpaper. I personally love sandpaper.
George Bell was my favourite player because he's sandpaper. I don't want nor need my players to shut up and play ball. It's the character that makes things interesting.
The same goes for members of our sports media. Marty York aside, I think the guests that I received the most complaints about were Steve Simmons, Mike Wilner, and Damien Cox. I like all three for the same reason many dislike all three. None of them are vanilla. All of them have varying degrees of sandpaper.
Remember Glenn Healy? A very vocal minority hated him, and they got their wish when he was removed from Hockey Night in Canada telecasts. I thought he was fantastic because he actually said what he thought. More sandpaper.
I'm going to miss watching Stroman pitch for my team. Great pitcher. Greater passion.