“I told them how you go to Seattle and it’s like a home game, you go to Detroit, of all places, and it’s like a home game. And that really, telling Mark and Josh and them, they were like, ‘Really?’ And I’m like– I said, it’s something. To play for the Blue Jays– I wouldn’t have said this beforehand, but now that I got to experience and live it– it’s a cool experience. I said, ‘You know how you’ve got the aura of the Yankees here in the States? Put that with the Blue Jays and times it by a whole country. I’m telling you, it’s pretty cool to have the fan base that the Blue Jays have,’ and kind of told them that.
“That definitely made Mark a lot more excited, and Josh, because you’ve kind of got that aura of, ‘Oh, I don’t know’– the fear of the unknown, if you will– and I kind of reassured them that it’s going to be a cool experience. Jose was– he wouldn’t break a smile anyways, if you ask him he’s excited to just be alive, so of course he loved it. And I think what makes it even more exciting is, heck, you look at the team that Alex put together. It’s hard not to be excited about that, probably as a fan and obviously as a player, because you realize the potential we have.”
Yes, Jose Reyes, as Jeff Blair made sure to point out, might be even more awesome that we realize– and Buck concurred.
“We had probably one of the toughest years, and he was kind of our guy last year, so a lot of that fell on him, and I don’t think there was a day where he wasn’t uplifting, or not enjoyable to be around,” Buck explained. “And there’s no doubt in my mind, by the end of this year, the city of Toronto, and like I said, the whole country, is going to love him.
“He’s fun to watch, he plays hard, and kind of to his fault, the injuries he’s had in the past, he can’t pull back the throttle. He’s on the field and he’ll give you everything. Last year he was healthy and they tried to give him some rest when we were out of it and selling the farm and he was like, ‘No, you paid me to play, I want to play.’ Heck, he was still stealing bases all the way up to that last day, even when they were kind of like, ‘Hey, take it easy,’ he was like, ‘No, I play one way.’ That’s what you want for a team in a leader, and as far as in the clubhouse and teammates, I don’t know if I’ve had anybody better. And the one person who might be better is Emilio Bonifacio.