As they have for several years VTech is having a contest in connection with Toronto Blue Jays games broadcast on TV. If any Blue Jay hits for the cycle some lucky entraint will win one million dollars. Every time a Blue Jay hits a home run they give away a free cordless phone. Thursday night they came within two bags of giving away that million. The unlikely almost hero for the contestant in question was Jays catcher Bengie Molina. He missed getting a double in his final at bat to complete the cycle. The idea that Molina would hit the cycle is pretty wild, as Molina is probably one of the slowest runners in baseball. Like most catchers he doesn't run fast, which comes from years of spending half the game kneeling down behind the plate. His first at bat saw the amazing sight of Molina getting a triple, the hardest part of the cycle to get. I was sitting watching the game and had to jump to my feet and run over to the TV as this happened. Knowing his slow speed I shouted "What are you doing?" as he went past second on his way to third, and was amazed when he beat the throw. This is only the 3rd triple of Molina's career, his first since 2000. Molina's later home run in the 8th inning was a two run shot, helping to insure a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
There have been two Jays who have hit for the cycle. Kelly Gruber did it first back in '89. Jeff Frye pulled it off in 2001, albeit with a bit of controversy when he stopped at first base to get the single when he all but certainly could have taken second. Ironically Gruber happened to be in attendance that day.
The Jays have just pulled off another milestone. They've called up John Hattig from Triple A. Hattig will be the first major league player from Guam. The Western Pacific island is an organised unincorporated territory of the US with a population of 170000, and its citizens are US citizens.