No sooner did we all hear about old friend Manny Ramirez returning to the diamond, when we got the news that another former, beloved Dodger is also heeding the come back call. Eric Gagne is planning to pitch for Team Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Yesterday Sportsnet baseball columnist Shi Davidi reported the news, and I for one, am quite excited to see what Monsieur Gagne, now 41 years young, will bring to the mound in the increasingly prestigious international baseball tournament.
Gagne last pitched in the majors back in 2008. Since then he’s coached Team France in the WBC, pitched in one game for the Ottawa Champions in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball last year, and most recently, he pitched batting practice to none other than Tim Tebow. Apparently Gagne got the better end of that competition.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Eric Gagne’s own admittance to using PEDs back when he was shattering the Dodgers’ record books as a closer. He also estimated that 80% of his teammates were doing the same.
Gagne has been welcomed back into the Dodgers fold over the past few years, and is often seen at team celebrations and similar gatherings of past players. I’m glad anytime I see Gagne at Dodger Stadium. The bullpen gates open these days to the tune of “California Love” and the entrance of the new Dodgers saves-record holder, but I have yet to feel the type of electricity that Eric Gagne generated when those gates opened for him and “Welcome to the Jungle”.
Old friend Russell Martin has also announced that he’ll be donning Canadian colors in the WBC. We may not see him as Gagne’s backstop, as he’s expressed a desire to play shortstop.
Look out folks, here comes Canada!