BOSTON – Josh Donaldson is just discovering who exactly Don Cherry is, and he very much appreciates Grapes’ support.
Cherry called on Canadian sports fans to back the Toronto Blue Jays third baseman in voting for the all-star game during his segment on Coach’s Corner on Saturday night, describing the balloting’s early returns “as an injustice being done in baseball.”
Donaldson, with 2,329,742 votes as of last week’s update, is currently a distant second to Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals, who has 4,046,726. Moustakas, a good player but not of the same calibre as Donaldson, is one of seven Royals currently holding down a starting spot.
“From everything I’ve heard he’s a legend,” Donaldson said Sunday of Cherry. “For him to endorse me I thought was pretty neat.”
Donaldson first heard about Cherry’s comments Saturday night, shortly after they aired, “because my social media pages blew up over it.”
Cherry, as is his norm, didn’t hold back.
“Josh Donaldson, without a doubt, is the best third baseman in the world,” he said. “The guy there in Kansas City can’t carry (Donaldson’s) glove. He’s got four million votes. You know why? The people of Kansas City voted, voted, voted.”
Donaldson said he checks the updates when they come out and said starting the all-star game “is one of those things that’s pretty cool.”
“I was able to do it last year,” he added, “and when you’re a starter in the all-star game it’s a neat feeling to be out there in the beginning of the game, being recognized before the game starts and all that other stuff.”
Donaldson’s experience with hockey is limited – he attended a few Pensacola Ice Pilots games growing up – although he sure sounds like he would have been Cherry’s type of player.
“I played (street) hockey one time, I was a goalie and I busted one of my best friends’ heads open,” he said of the incident when he was 11 or 12. “I didn’t know the blocker had a metal sheath in it and I hit him in the head with it. So I was like, I don’t know if hockey is the right sport for me.”