Category: Alex Rios

Personification of an elegant beast

I used to throw 40-something mph “fastballs” at the Ontario Science Center and go berserk listening to Joshua Giraffe.

But a kid named Josh used to throw FASTBALLS and go REALLY berserk living the life of a Joshua Giraffe.

He did it all with California-sized heart.

He lived a little wilder.

His fastball flew a bit faster.

The heart pounded a little bit harder.

You might say, he welcomed the jungle.

The story of Joshua Giraffe implanted itself deep in the psyche of many a youngster, but for this kid, it was a revelation. Every line of Joshua Giraffe described his world. SoCal was the zoo. The jungle was professional baseball.

This is the other version of the life of:

Joshua Eric Towers


Joshua Tow-ers,
Was born in SoCal,
He lived in the val-ley
For a few years and a half,
He threw and he threw,
But he wasn’t rickety
With hands so very sticky,
From Coors light, Gatorade, Mountain Dew
Big Boy’s, Fazoli’s, and Mcdonald’s.
There must be something better
Than batting in this cage.
I’m not too really sure,
Drafted in the 15th stage.

Joshua Tow-ers
Was feeling kind of rad
But also kind of sad.
How little of life he’d had,
Wasting away with no room to play,
Trapped in SoCal zoo drinking Mountain Dew.

So he went next door to the snake pit
And asked Mr. Slash what to do.
I’m wasting away with no room to play,
I’m trapped in SoCal zoo, drinking Mountain Dew.

Slash was very dark and gray.
But still had huge stardom.
And he said:
“Never fear Joshua, for a vision will appear”.

And that night, a dream came to Joshua,
And Joshua saw beasts like crazy orioles,
And a whole pile of red socks and yankees,
And flitty tigers,
And rays size 12,
And sleazy nats,
And a flock of campy blue jays .

But Joshua wasn’t afraid
Because he sang himself this song:
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Nothing can go wrong-o,
I’m in Toronto
Even in his dream he knew,
He’d never be sent away,
Not even for a day.
Then a peanut hit him on the nose.

Joshua Tow-ers
Was sent down to Syracuse,
What could he do,
Awakened from his dream,
He’d never be the same,
Because of what he’d seen.
Then he’d see:
Bisons in Buffalo, Durham Bulls,
Iron Pigs in LeHigh, Louisville Bats,
Red Wings in Rochester, Toledo Mudhens,
And some Gibbons just plain aped him.

But Joshua was lucky,
He had special friends Thomas and Rios,
And they tried a Yankee coup,
But Joshua couldn’t fight so they waited til the night,
And swapped his rage for brew,
He discovered he could fly and,
He soared into the sky with them,
Wrapped around his neck,
And they haven’t come back yet,
So if you see them make a bet

That’s right they haven’t come back yet
But when they do, they say they are
Going to free all the Blue Jays from their cages,
No matter how newly acquired,
Even some pets, too.
So if on your way home today,
You happen to find….
A baboon basking in the balcony
Or a lion licking a lemon in the lobby,
Or a python perched in the pantry,
A wildebeest in the W.C.,
With a turtle twirling in your tub,
Don’t be afraid, just say you’re a friend of their friend.

Joshua Tow-ers, Joshua, Joshua,
Joshua Tow-ers, Joshua, Joshua (woo hoo) Repeat x9

Wells lost at sea, Janssen eaten by fish


TORONTO — The wayward Vernon Wells could not rescue a shaky Blue Jays pitching staff during a 6-5 loss to the visiting Florida Marlins Saturday before 20,634 baseball fans at Rogers Centre.

Coming off a year-long rehabilitation from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Jay’s starter Casey Janssen struggled through 3 2-3 innings giving up five runs on eight hits.

Jeremy Hermida homered in the third, and Jays-killer Cody Ross followed up his grand slam Friday by nailing a Janssen breaking ball in the fourth to make it 5-0.

“I just think, first of all, it looked like he got his cutter up a lot today,” said Cito Gaston of Janssen. “He had a little trouble getting his breaking ball over and, the fastball counts, if he threw his breaking ball, it was down and it was a ball and he had to come back and throw his fastball.”

In his fifth start of the season, the 27-year-old former reliever fell to 2-3, ballooning his ERA to an unsightly 6.23. David Purcey, also 27, carried a 7.01 ERA through five starts in April before losing his job.

Marlins rookie-starter Sean West survived 5 2-3 innings, improving to 2-2 on the season.

An RBI double by Hanley Ramirez scored Chris Coghlan in the first, and a double-play ball hit by Coghlan in the sixth plated Cody Ross from third base and accounted for the Marlin’s last run.

With the Jays down 6-2 in the sixth, Lyle Overbay, named American League player of the week June 7, jolted a two-run shot to put Jays within two.

Marco Scutaro led off the seventh with a walk, advancing to second base on a walk to Aaron Hill. Vernon Wells gifted third baseman Wes Helms a light grounder which he launched into centre field, while trying to throw out Hill at second before Scutaro wheeled home to make the score 6-5.

Wells blew a golden opportunity when he struck out in the bottom of the ninth with Rod Barajas standing on second base, ending the game and a miserable 0-for-5 day at the plate.

Cursed by at least one baseball god, Wells finished the game on a 0-for-14 skid. Through June 13, he is batting .241 overall and .149 with runners in scoring position. Gaston moved him up to the number three spot Friday after 62 consecutive games batting clean-up.

One gets the feeling that the streaky Wells, a two-time all-star, is capable of captaining a sinking HMCS Blue Jay, or sailing it safely into October.

The loss gives the Jays an unseemly 0-5 record in interleague play and 4-16 lifetime record against Florida.

Alex Rios, 4-for-4 with a two-run dinger in the fourth, seems to have reversed his fortunes since Gaston moved him down from number three to six in the batting order. Rios stole second base in the eighth, but catcher John Baker threw him out when he tried to steal third.

“You’d like to see him safe, but we’re not swinging the bats that well,” said Gaston. “So, we’ve got to try to make something happen. He stole second base and gave us a chance to drive him in.”

In middle-relief, Sean Camp lasted three innings allowing one run. BJ Ryan lowered his mountainous ERA, from 6.91 to a slightly less ridiculous 6.46 in one scoreless inning of work. Jason Frasor (4-0), one of the few bright lights out of the bullpen, and closer Scott Downs held down the fort in the final two frames to give the Jays a chance.