The last few weeks have provided Toronto Blue Jays fans with hope for the near future, with young talent blossoming night after night. It’s the summer of the young guns, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Cavan Biggio making headlines, breaking records, and kissing babies.
However, Don Cherry wants to add young star Billy McKinney to the lineup permanently. In a Twitter link sent Thursday, Cherry posted a 315-word rant calling out the Blue Jays for their treatment of McKinney.
Who tells McKinney he's not playing? https://t.co/BlVSHNrhoA— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerDC) August 15, 2019
Cherry, a longtime hockey personality and host of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, provided context on his validity speaking on the topic in a preamble.
Note: Cherry’s comments have not been edited for grammar.
“I played 16 years, was GM and Coach in the American Hockey League,” Cherry wrote. “I was coach of the year, also I was coach of the Boston Bruins and Coach of the Year in the National Hockey League so I didn’t fall off a turnip truck. I watch the Blue Jays every game and I know they’re on a youth kick.”
He goes on to express his displeasure with how the Blue Jays have been deploying McKinney, who has been called up from the triple-A Buffalo Bisons a few times this summer.
“But to see the treatment of Billy McKinney is beyond me,” Cherry said. “McKinney is called from Buffalo. He hits a homerun that night, they win the game and he doesn’t play the next game.
“In hockey, the young players see this and they say to themselves ‘if this can happen to him, what’s going to happen to me when I get in this organization?’”
McKinney hasn’t exactly thrived at the MLB level this season — hitting just .218 through 57 games — making Cherry’s comments all the more bizarre.
This isn’t the first time Cherry has backed the 24-year-old. On Aug. 1 he posted a similar Jays-related Twitter link after the MLB trade deadline smoke had settled.
Cherry empathized with Jays fans who were frustrated after losing multiple veteran players, and added two names that he would absolutely keep on the Jays roster if he were Ross Atkins or Mark Shapiro.
“Two guys I would not get rid of are Billy McKinney, plays like a hockey player, full out all the time and is an example for young players and Brandon Drury, at 3rd base, is my kind of guy, against Kansas City was spectacular.”
Cherry, clearly a passionate Jays advocate going through the ups and downs of fandom, ended his recent post with a virtual sigh of relief. “I am so happy with twitter I can get something like this off my chest.”
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